A beautiful day to suffer. What a fantastic race. Beautimous weather, sunshine, cool breeze, challenging course, and of course diabetic drama. I picked Steve up so he could get a bike ride in after the race without leaving a vehicle. All was good until the pre-race test. 280 while a great score in sports such as bowling is not a number I think Steve was excited to see on the glucose monitor. We started the race all full of ourselves during the first mile of gently rolling creekside running and then the hill began. Apparently just having a blood sugar of 280 is pure joy in and of itself but when you add a nice anaerobic sustained climb for 2.3 miles well then it's just ectasy. Ninja plowed through the hill. At mile 3.3 we hit the first crest at Rominger Rd. Steve's test was 260. Not exactly good news. A short recovery period and we were climbing again. He was hangin' tough though and in fine stoic form it was easy to forget just how uncomfortable he must have been. A test somewhere between the aid stations showed a miniscual drop to 240. At this rate of decline he would still be around 180 at the finish. From here though the course was a gradual descent. We were actually able to catch the group that passed us at the second aid station. We would subsequently pinball and yoyo between this group of about 6-8 runners for the remainder of the course. Steve started to feel better and the course floated by as the views became more and more impressive. At the second aid station Steves test was 140. A drop of 100 points in just over twenty minutes. Let the roller coaster ride begin. He started eating shot blocks. By the third aid station at mile nine manned by a former student and her Mom, Steve's plummeting blood sugar had stabilized at around 114. Keep in mind he would have to eat shot blocks continuously just to maintain this level. Nothing quite like feeling like poop, running up hill, and then crashing mid-course, and having to force feed yourself gooey cheweys like it was your job. Around mile ten we hit the river road. The long gradual uphill on rough gravel. We picked up a chocolate lab who paced us the remainder of the run a solid 4-5 miles of playful energy at my side. Into the final aid station Steve tested and remained just above 100. He crammed down a whole package of shot-blocks six gummy squares plus power aid. Then we rolled out with a clear mission of recatching and passing the group that had just sailed through ahead of us. And catch them we did just as we got to the sneak hill on Watauga River Road. The cliff shot I had taken at mile nine kicked in here along with some inner drive as the grade increased. I geared down and it felt like I floated the last hill pulling just ahead of Steve. Of course at the crest I was looking down at not quite the downhill I had been hoping for. The lab stayed with me and I managed to stay out in front of the people I had just passed. I saw a woman about 2-300 yards ahead of me finishing strong and was very content to come through the finish line by myself. Steve was not far behind. All in all a beautiful day. Steve and I cooled down a little before he took off for his "light ride" up through Willow Valley. All in all a great run. I can't begin to tell you how nice it was to run with a friend for most of the course chatting away enjoying the views rather than singing lame songs to myself in my head to try and maintain sanity and avoid thinking about how stupid running fifteen miles really is. Sorry Wayne! Kudos to OSTAF for Off The Couching it. Yeah great idea to ride 25 miles the afternoon before ha ha. Although I don't know if I would have been able to finish a fifteen miler in 6 hours under your self imposed training regimen. I still say you would have been better off with a couple of frosty carbo-beverages and nachos. And you still think you're not sure if you could handle a marathon??? There's no question in my mind.
Dressed for the event
Just passed past the second aid station
Two goofballs at the mile nine aid station. Steve cramming down shot blocks
Our lovely mile nine aid station volunteers look on as Steve psychs himself up for yet another gooey chewey.
Now show me great internal angst and self loathing!!!