Friday night (yes, night) was my first significant run after finishing Western States — 6 of us started at Chantry around 11pm, attempting to cover the last 25 miles of the AC100. Most people who have done the race will agree that this is the crux of the course — 2 long steep climbs (Wintercreek and Idlehour), and the rest consisting of some quad-thrashing downhills, specifically 5300′ of ups along with 6500′ of downs.
I was a little reluctant to attempt this, but think I needed it psychologically before going into Vermont. Based on how I felt and did, I think I achieved my goal. I didn’t have the bounce I would’ve liked, but expected it considering it was only the second week after running WS. More importantly, my quads were back, and my tendonitis didn’t bother me. Now if only I feel as good during the race as I did during the training — that would be awesome.
So the training run went without incident…until we ran out of water.
Earlier, I was warned by Carmella that Millard didn’t have water available, so decided to drop some off along Sunset at the end of Chaney Trail. When I got there, the bottom gate was closed, so ended up lugging 2 x 2 Gallon jugs of water up the steep hill, which took me almost an hour. I told Larry’s group who was going out earlier in the evening, plus Carmella’s group doing the run Sat night that I’d have water there if they needed it. So during our training, when I ran out at the bottom of Idlehour, I was looking forward to the stash, and felt glad that I made an effort earlier, since there would’ve been no way I could’ve made it back to my car without refilling there. The others in the group were out too — Jeff was letting them take drags out of his bladder, since he was the only one who brought enough. Once I got to the Sam Merrill aid station, I decided to take the Mt Lowe road down instead of staying on course, since I just wanted to get to the water as quickly as possible, and thought that it would be faster. It still took an hour though — the whole time thinking how great it would taste once I got there. When I arrived, I saw that both bottles were gone, and thought that I may have mistakenly been looking in the wrong spot, but soon realized I wasn’t. I couldn’t believe it — someone had taken the water! I looked everywhere, thinking someone may have moved it, but knew that I wouldn’t find it. After searching for a while, I just sat down in the middle of the trail — I felt horrible, like someone had kicked me in the stomach. The rest of the group eventually arrived about 30 mins later, and I broke the bad news to them. Eventually, Jason ended up hopping the fence around the water tank, and got it out of the spigot — didn’t taste too bad, especially when you’re completely dehydrated. Since we were still under the impression Millard was out, we had no choice but to drink that water anyway, but once we made it to the campground, it was flowing as it always was. It still tasted like crap, but that was normal.
So here’s the interesting thing. When I asked Larry the following day whether they saw my stash, he said they came across it around 2am and took about a gallon or so. I got there about 4am, so the water disappeared between that time. Pretty strange…
Remember what comes around goes around.