I wasn't really prepared for this 20-mile race and it showed. I felt okay through the first 8 miles but the trail, at some places so completely covered with rocks that you had to run on them, soon got the better of me. I couldn't keep picking my feet up to dance around the rocks and started tripping and overturning my my ankle. Acents became unbearable on my hamstrings and descents unbearable on my knees. Soon, my old friend from the Duke HIM, my achilles tendon injury, reared its head and made it impossible to run. I walked most of the way from the 11 to 14 mile aid station and for most of it felt quite naseaus and cold (the temps were in the low 30's and while I was dressed adequately for running, I was not for walking). The sight of the 40-mile runners coming through the aid station motivated me. After some coke and a 1/4 pb&j and a lot of stretching, I felt recovered and set out down the trail only for my achilles to seize up really bad. I walked back to the aid station and for the first time ever, I withdrew from a race. No pottery for the Tridaddy.
I felt good about the decision until I was taken back to the trailhead and heard the cheers for people finishing. Still, I started thinking that I probably wouldn't attempt the 20 again. Then on the way home I entertained the thought of wrapping up the tri season earlier and going straight for the 40-mile race next year as redemption. Probably won't do that, but I will run at least the 8-mile next year. It's too good of a race, not to mention they give out technical t's rather than socks!!
On the positive side, I was recognized from my blog by a local athlete, Ken Haney, who did IM Florida in 2001. I also saw the first person who ever recognized me from my blog, Peter Clark. I met Eddie Burgess, a friend of my buddy Jamie Williams. Eddie just happens to be the son-in-law of the people who let me and Jamie swim at their private lake to test out our wetsuits last year before White Lake. I also met Brian from Middle Ring Cycles in Albemarle. Brian is the guy who helped bring XTERRA to North Carolina. Check out his shop... Middle Ring Cycles. Lots of great people and special thanks to Sally Edwards, Kim Jones, and Robin who as always put on a great race and found me a place to stay for a little bit of volunteering and kitchen help Friday night. I also met the creator of the great Uwharrie Trail Cookies and discovered that the Oatmeal Raisin Cookies were just as good!!