Coach Wade (aka the Professor) Blomgren at Western States100.
Fri, 6 Jul 2007 00:43:33 -0700
Hi Paula, yes I went, and finished! I had missed a month of training (April) due to a foot injury that turned out to be "nothing", got back on track in May, went to the Memorial Day training weekend and had a good 70 miles over 3 days on the course, so things seemed not optimal but OK....but then a week after Memorial day I did a little too much on those tired legs, going back out for an (un-necessary in retrospect) extra loop on what was pretty much my last training weekend, and fried my IT band. I'm not sure that stopping at 10 miles that day instead of 17 would have prevented all problems, as I still wasn't in the shape I had hoped or planned back in January, but it probably would have worked out better. So anyway, I backed off completely for the remaining couple of weeks and hoped for the best.
I took one of those Protec IT band neoprene straps with me on race morning, and needed to put it on even before the top of Squaw Valley.
It was a long rough day. The one thing I could do was power hike up hills pretty fast so that kept me going. I sat for 30 minutes in Last Chance trying to get my nutrition under control, and another 40 minutes in Devil's Thumb. I wanted to drop there, but I talked to an orthopedic surgeon who said I wasn't really risking any permanent damage it was just more how much I could take. I still wanted to drop, as I thought since I couldn't really run down hill I would not be able to make the 30 hour time cuts (also I felt like hell ). But I decided to continue to Michigan Bluff so I could tell the crew in person rather than just surprising them by climbing out of a car.
At Michigan, I told all my sob stories and got it out of my system and then somehow decided rather than turn in my wristband I was going to continue until someone cut it off. Brian Siljander started pacing me in Foresthill, and I pretty much walked the 38 miles to the finish from there through the night and into the next day. Uphill was good, down and flat, very tricky. There were good parts...the river was really fun, the volunteers all along the way were great, so even though I was pretty messed up it was fun in a way. The last 4 miles from No Hands bridge were really bad as my hip flexor started spasming I think due to trying to compensate for the knee problem all day. I stood on Robie Drive at the bottom of that really steep pavement, pretty much unable to move forward, thinking that it was over. I had been able to take some small steps earlier by jamming my thumb into my hip flexor area, so I tried strapping the IT band strap way up high on my thigh to achieve a similar effect but so I could relax rather than applying the pressure with my own hand, which was kind of keeping me all tensed up...and it worked and I was able to hobble a 30 minute mile to the finish, stopping every 50 yards or so to rest everything.
I made it with about 35 minutes to spare (about 50 people actually finished after that!).
If I had it to do over I would definitely NOT have started, but once I was out there, I was glad I finished it. If I had felt I was doing any permanent damage I would have stopped but I didn't just want to quit because it was "hard"...I've seen & helped other people through who were hurting just as bad as I was.
My legs are unbelievably sore! Feet are so-so, knee is a little swollen, but I'm in good spirits considering. In some ways the bronze buckle means more than the silver I already had because this one took such a huge effort. But if I do it again, I will absolutely be fully prepared and healthy and if not, no start...once like this is enough.