Those 3 dreaded letters no one wants attached to their race result. But it happened yesterday and now I have to live with it. For clarity, no I was not injured, no I was not sick. It was not out of necessity, it was a choice. My legs just failed me and while I probably could have kept trudging along, I chose to drop. They were done. I was done.
Kristin, Colin, Me + Evan at the race start.
I was running well through the 1st loop running 4th behind the female leader. I thought I was running within myself and running smart. Cardio-wise I felt great. Steady on the ups, fast but not out of control on the downs. I was drinking often (containing my calories + electrolytes) and taking my salt.
In spite of all of that, those all too familiar calf twinges hit me after about 10 miles into it. They started in my right calf, then it spread like a virus to my right hamstring, left calf, then both of my quads. On my descent down from the 2nd major summit, my legs were full-on seizing and I knew I had to throw in the towel.
I don't know how I could have expected any other result based on how little I've been running. I tried to go out again after coming through the halfway point at 25K (although it measured more like 17 miles) but only made it about ~3 miles out before I finally threw in the towel and walked back frustrated but not too dejected.
Colin and Kristin finishing together.
The trip itself was actually a blast as my girl and I along with our friends Colin and Kristin made the drive up the day before to make a weekend out of it. We had lunch in Santa Barbara, passed through some beautiful wine country, stayed at a charming bayside cottage in Los Osos and ate at my favorite steak joint Jocko's Steakhouse post-race. Also, I took immense pride in my friends who gutted out all 32-33 miles to go along with 6,400+ feet of climbing on a tough, sunny day.
Above Santa Barbara wine country.
I will certainly be back. The course is too beautiful and too luring in the challenge it presents for me to not return. I will just be better prepared to deal with it next time.