MILES 0-16: 3am start. It was dark & cool. People were chatty. The 1st big climb was on dirt road and not steep. I felt great, and looking back I probably should have slowed the hell down. The best part was dawn- we saw the outline of all the mountain passes to come- beautiful.
MILES 16-23ish: BIG, STEEP climb up to 9500 feet. It kicked my butt, but we were still having fun. The early part of the climb was in a dried out creek bed with wildflowers galore, and the second part of the climb was along a ridge with the most unbelievable views. We were feeling good, had lots of company, and took pics. The downhill was steep, rocky, and I hit my 1st low. Just as I started to whimper and feel sorry for myself, I tripped over a rock and ate dirt. Blood, dirt, puffy knee, and some rocks in my mouth. Sweet.
MILES 40-52: Pure evil. Out of the 17,000 ft. of climbing, 13k of it is in the 1st half of the race. What no one tells you is that 4k from miles 30-62 feels the same as 13k from miles 0-30. This was truly my lowest point of the race. 12 miles of rolling rocky dirt road. I twisted my ankle a number of times, and started feeling sick when I ate what felt like the 100th shot block of the day. If you don't like bowel movement stories- skip to the last section NOW. I hadn't pooped all day, and I finally felt like I might need to go. I ditched into the woods to pop a squat, and to my horror I realized I was really constipated. After about 10 minutes, I was still sitting there with 1/2 a terd out of my body and 1/2 still in- WTF?! So I wiped as best I could, and decided to continue on my way- feeling that *amn terd every step of the way. I was low on calories heading into the aid station- I downed a couple of potatoes dipped in salt, and nothing has ever tasted so good.
POST-RACE: I cleaned up as best I could with baby wipes and a sink- then crawled into our tent for 8 hours of blissful and achy sleep. The next morning, we stopped at a diner for breakfast with the group, and bacon tasted heavenly. I have to give a huge shout-out to the general surgery residents (and 1 attending) who kicked butt (one of the residents won it, and another had never run further than 15 miles before the race). They refuse to let 80 hour work weeks get in the way, and their mental toughness is unflappable.
In hindsight, we definitely made some rookie mistakes, but after 3 failed attempts @ making it to the start line of an ultra endurance event & more than one doctor telling me "some people's bodies just aren't able to go that long- I am elated. Now recovery...and secretly planning the next one ;-)