This was my second Orange Trail DNF. The first occurred earlier this year, in this:
but this September I had nothing epic or dramatic to report on.
It was the usual hot day for the start of The Ring. As usual, the field separated quickly, the faster group moving on and a large group of slower runners.
I was determined to take it slow, to not get overheated. I was with a group for the first thirteen miles, then the runners were more strung out after our water stop at Milford Gap.
I glanced at my watch and was a little surprised to see how slow I was going. Yes I am about up ten-fifteen pounds, and have barely run since Hardrock, but wow…I am slow.
I got a little dizzy starting downhill toward Camp Roosevelt, and had the interesting goosebumps on my arms. That means heat exhaustion, but I couldn’t do anything about it until I got to Camp Roo. I thought I was hitting a cut off at Camp Roo.
I was going to quit at Camp Roo. I poured cold water over my head, and applied my water drenched Buff to my neck. I drank two glasses of Coke. Quatro mentioned the cutoff was much later at Crisman Hollow than I thought.
I felt a little better. I decided to go on, see how I felt at Crisman Hollow. I thought I could catch Tammy and Jeff, then I would have someone to hike up Duncan Hollow with.
Ugh. I didn’t feel the love hiking up the trail. I never saw Tammy and Jeff. I was just very apathetic being out there. The bugs were not too bad, but every time I lifted my veil, they were there.
Yuck. Before I can quit, I have to ascend Waterfall Mountain. I think about cutting the course, and taking the road to Crisman Hollow Aid Station, but I can’t remember how far that would be.
I count the start of Waterfall where you start up the trail, where the white connector trail intersects.
It’s up and up and up. First I was pausing every fifty steps, but then I got dizzy and jacked my heart rate way up, I started pausing every twenty steps.
Way back at my first Ring, Carolyn had told me there were 2400 steps to the top of Waterfall. Since I was alone, I decided to count them too.
Up up up.
Almost there. I count the end of Waterfall where it tops out. I got 1960 steps, so we could probably call it 2000 steps to the top. My Strava segment was 32 minutes, which I think is pretty typical for me, previous times were 28 and 30 minutes.
I was so happy to be at the top because I knew I would be off trail in less than a half mile and I was QUITTING!!!
That’s my tale. I just didn’t have the mojo for grinding out a finish that would have been around noon on Sunday. I have not been into running since Hardrock. I’ve got lots going on in my personal life, and running has not been that important.
In hindsight, I’m glad I stopped where I did. The knee bursitis flared up again. I’m going to take a week fully off running and see if I can get this healed up.