TransRockies – Day 1
Well, we were off to a good start this morning after another solid feeding from the staff (the food here is good!) and it was a fast start at that. The day opened on Main Street in Buena Vista with about a half mile before we crossed a bridge and then funneled into some single track. The fast road and looming single file single track that lay ahead caused the craze of a triathlon swim start but without the water, body contact or bubbles. Okay, not exactly the swim start but the stampede of tapered athletes all around bounding with energy kick-started the adrenaline and leg turn over. Naturally, it was going to make the start faster than it should have been for a 6 day event.
Chris and I were on the same page and had a good agreement not to go out to fast and use this first 20.9 mile day as a warm up as we built into days 5 and 6 when the “race” (if there was even going to be one ahead for us) would start. Chris is a good teammate and although we got to close to the front of the crowd we settled into a steady pace within the first mile or so and kept it rolling. I have had plenty of days running with my guard and felt it working for me in Patagonia and when I didnt have it in some key training days and Sardinia. Without it was sprained ankles, working too hard to keep my balance, etc, etc. Coincidence? I did not forget it for this trip and once I put it in it was like locking it in cruse control. I ran the next 18 miles at 146bpm average and never had to leave my steady zone. Perfect warm up for Run Camp. Loving life on the one track!
The entire day we continued to error on the side of a conservative effort. Our pace stayed the same until about mile 15 when Chris began to have some calf and hamstring issues. Not full cramps just a twinge here and there. No worries. We took some extra walking breaks and were still moving forward with progress as a team. It was looking like an uneventful day (just what we wanted) until we made the final turn at mile 18 onto a fire road to the finish line. By then Chris really started to suffer and we were walking more than running. The third and last aid station was at mile 17.5 and we both knew this was a possibility so I loaded up at the station like it was a buffet and planned to use the last few miles as a cool down while I ate my face off. Unfortunately, Chris could not get food down at that point and we rotated through a mix of solutions but nothing was working.
With only a mile left to the finish we decided to walk_it_in. Chis was digging deep but also falling deeper and deeper into a pain cave. We were so close and were just trying to get to the finish line to get support to be honest.. Unfortunately, Chris was going down hill VERY fast and we ended up needing to call medical. In the picture above you can see the finish line just ahead and his backpack on the ground. We got to this point in just over 3 hours and then spent the next two hours on the road there in the shade of a truck.
It was not pretty and I felt so bad for Chris. Full body cramps and pretty scary. It just proves how tough that man is… He did not want to call it so after a couple hours, equipped with a team of support from other runners and staff we managed to get the extra .17 mile to cross the finish line. Gnarly day.
Chis is feeling much better now and moving around has helped. He is taking in fluids and eating and I even caught him smiling here and there. Rough first day but a positive outlook for the days to follow. Goal number one right now is getting the fluids and energy back in Chris and a solid nights sleep. Not what we expected but we are doing our best. The day was beautiful and the views were amazing. We are both looking forward to tomorrow. Hope to have more wi-fi access to update you as we go. Nowhere to go but UP tomorrow!