Yesterday I was on call, but no one called sick. So after five hours working on the phone from home, I was ready to run! My legs had felt good running two hours the day before.
I ran from my door a mile to some hilly single-track. I had expected the trail to be overgrown, and indeed parts of the trail were rife with poison oak. It was overcast, breezy and cool (ridiculously so for June) so I only drank half of my water bottle, pouring in some powdered Gu2O and filling it up at a water spigot at the top of the hill at the transition to East Bay MUD Trails.
water spigot back half a mile, photo taken on a sunnier day more than 2 years ago
Entering Chabot Park, I went through more jungle, once again trying to dodge poison oak at my feet and branches hanging right at my eyes. My wife then paged me about the open house she was going to at 4 (and wanted me to come too), and so I texted her back that I would make it about 15 minutes after she would. I soon after looked at my watch and figured I could run the fire roads of Brandon Trail and come back on the single track Columbine on the east side of the lake and still make it by 4:30-- she was going to take some time to really check out the house, right?
It had been a long time since I'd run that section of Chabot. Or maybe it was wishful thinking. It eventually became apparent that I'd miscalculated, and I texted my wife that I'd be a little late. Returning on Columbine I started feeling my energy dropping, worsened by the fatigue still remaining from my 100 mile race in San Diego just 11 days prior. My bottle was long dry, I had no gels or shots, there was no water to fill up without going what I felt was too far out of the way, and then my phone malfunctioned so I couldn't even send or receive text messages.
...though I was able though to snap and store this view of Lake Chabot from Honker Bay, mile 28.7 of Skyline 50k, held the first Sunday of August.
I finally made it out of Chabot, brain functioning enough to figure out I could take the battery out and back in to my cell to get it to work, and received all at once 6 texts and 2 voicemails from my wife documenting her rising impatience before she left the open house for home without me. On my own, I had to run another 25 minutes, and wouldn't have time to shower since my older son's day camp performance was that night and we were already running late.
I hobbled up the steps to our front porch, sat try to take off my left shoe, and having just run 3 hours and 10 minutes on one bottle of probably slightly diluted Gu2O after 50 minutes on half a bottle of water (for those who have followed me on this blog for years, you might guess what's coming) my calf went into a most severe spasm. With a scream I fell to the ground and tried to lift my left leg up to relax it. Meanwhile, my 5-year-old son, calmly and without any compassion, pulled out my cell phone from my bottle holder sleeve and started playing with the keyboard. "Look Dad, Chinese!" he showed me (my cell phone does this, not sure how to prevent it, they are taking over!) My younger son came out. He usually shows a greater capacity for daddy empathy, but I tried to get him to go back inside, because I didn't want him to touch any of the urashiol from all the poison oak.
I managed to down a bottle of juice with 2 lyte tabs, grab the camera, put on some sweats and limp down to the car. I let my wife drive.
Running around all day with no nap all week. Here ready to sing about the planets. My kid is exhausted, but at least he didn't get behind on his calories or lytes, and his calf didn't spasm.
Luckily there was plenty of food at the potluck...
Interesting article about eating during ultras from day before yesterday's Sacramento Bee, featuring many people we ultrarunners know.