Blemish No More

Well, by the fact you are reading this post means my latest physical challenge didn’t succeed in killing me – yeah! So, as a quick recap for those that are not regular readers of this side of Intrigued, yesterday was a big day for yours truly. A day that has been nagging at me for two solid years thanks to a …hmmm… let’s just refer to it as a blemish on my running career. A mishap that ended up in with an unexpected ambulance ride to the emergency room. The event was the Cry Me a River Trail Run (CMAR) held along the bluffs of the Illinois River. Back in 2018 I had run the half marathon distance and learned just how hard this course was – beaten to hell, but left grinning ear to ear in absolute enjoyment – trail runners can be a strange lot ha (link here). So much fun, I committed to the 50K the following year. That was supposed to be 31+ miles (more on the ‘+’ later), but I only made it ~14 before dropping from heat exhaustion. Passed out and hit a box fan on the way down earning myself a 2 inch gash in the back of my head (link here). The minute I regained consciousness there was one thing dominating my thoughts – redemption .. actually make that two – redemption and that’s a lot of wasted blood. My first DNF (did not finish) in any race and it gnawed at me every day. Trained my ass off to make another go at it last year, but thanks to that damn pandemic the race was canceled – ANOTHER year of gnawing and hard training in hopes this was the year to rid my record of those three humbling letters.

2021 Cry Me a River Trail Race 50K
Cry Me River 2021 Race Swag

It all came to a head yesterday morning as I lined up at 8am on the CMAR starting line in an attempt to fulfill a commitment made on a ambulance gurney 2 long years ago. Hit the jump to find out if my attempt was successful… or was this another endeavor cut short with another ride in an ambulance.

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One and Done

I’ve been eagerly awaiting to find time to get this post out.  If there is one thing I hate more than clowns and crooked picture frames, it is failure.  It was bad enough when I unexpectedly went down during a training run several years back (link here), but when I had to take my first ever DNF at a race it was like a dagger to my pride.  The Cry Me a River fiasco (link here) will probably never be forgotten from a big ol’ blemish on a fairly successful running career and even more from a health scare perspective   17 years of racing and not one DNF graced the results page.   That changed of course when my first 50K attempt decided to coincide with some wicked heat.

Farmdale Reservoir 30 Mile/50K trail run October, 2019

Linda can confirm I tried everything I could to get back in that race.  Pleaded with the emergency room doctors to clear me to go back to the race.  My argument that I was in the best possible condition I could be in being they had filled me up with 4 IV bags and another bag of straight magnesium.  Ambulance drivers said “hell no”, nurses said “you are nuts” and the doctor initially scolded me only to eventually concede that “they were open 7×24”.  Later that day, Linda went back to collect some gear I had dropped.  “Hey, take me with you, you are going there anyway and I only have 15 miles to go!!”  Imagine a piercing evil stare of disgust in return.  Next morning I was nearly on my knees begging to return – now rested, still full on the fluids and feeling fine with the exception of the head wound.  “15 miles and you won’t have to hear about this again”…which brought a reminder than when she relayed my desire to the race coordinators the day before they put me in the certifiably nuts category.  Arggggggghhhhhh.  Well, there was only one thing to do… sign up for another 50K 3 months later in October.  Take that medical professionals!

Farmdale Reservoir 30 Mile/50K trail run October, 2019

Hit the jump to find out if there was redemption or not!

Continue reading One and Done