Photo courtesy of Andrew King - D4 Productions

Sunday, August 19, 2012



DNF is such a harsh term.  It makes me cringe every time I say it so I'm going with a new term -DQMITHFL.  Didn't Quite Make It To The Finish Line.  I did make it, however, I was assisted by a vehicle with my wristband cut off.  I am more bummed for my crew and pacer than I am for myself because they spent the day at Twin Lakes supporting me.

Not much to really elaborate on so I will be brief:

Since Hardrock (5 weeks ago) I put in about 250 myles with an entire week off and a taper week included.  With those myles I have been battling lower left back pain (don't want to self diagnose myself here but would appear to be Sciatica).  Yeah it causes me to limp but for some reason I thought it would go away the longer I ran.

Right from the gun I felt it but no different than the previous weeks so I plodded along with optimism.   I got to May Queen in pretty good time (1.44) but with no up or down, I had not really challenged the back. Up onto the Colorado Trail, up and over Sugar loaf, and into Fish Hatchery (3.21) my stride became altered but once back onto the flats it seemed to be tolerable.  I cruised the road pretty good and thought I could deal with it but then we hit the Colorado Trail again with some climbing and rolling hills.  Sure enough it started to hurt a little more.

Leaving Fish Hatch with Jason Ostrom and Lucho
I had every intention of dropping at Twin Lakes (5.54) but as my crew looked on while I rolled my back on a tennis ball (ala Nick Pedatella), I needed to make an attempt to get over Hope Pass.  The tennis ball was painful but it seemed to help so kept going over it.  Then my savior, Cindy Stonesmith (massage therapist), came over and really worked on me for the next 30 minutes.  I hate to admit it but she brought a little tear to my eye as she dug in there with her elbow, working my back and hip flexor.  She eventually made something in my foot pop, I have no idea what the correlation is but it seemed to release something and I was relatively better.

I left Twin Lakes just under 7 hours into the race and I hiked up Hope Pass really smooth.  Leaning forward with my hands on my knees seem to the do the trick.  Down the back side of Hope and onto the new section of trail all was going smooth but the tightness returned on the left side going into Winfield (9.30).  Nick Pedatella was over there and he really tried to give me another work over but the longer I sat the tighter the back got.  Snipped off the wrist band and rode back to Twin Lakes with Brandon Fullers crew.

To be honest, I was embarrassed to walk up the street at Twin Lakes licking my wounds and telling people my sob story.  I saw the look in their eyes "you look fine, WTF?"  And that's the tough thing is that my spirits and energy were good and positive all day, even after 50 myles.  So as I walked up the street the Patricks (Garcia and Stewart) each came up offering a full beer.  Thanks guys, you know me well!

To my crew: Nicole and my boys, Mom and Dad, Rick, to my solitary pacer Scott Tucker, Nick Pedatella, and to Cindy Stonesmith - Thank you for supporting me.  It's never an easy decision to call it a day but I figure the longer I do this, it's inevitable this happen every once in a while.  Better days to come!

Some amazing performances out there: Of course everyone who finished but in particular my PI teammates Nick and Ashley for pulling down the number 3 positions and Darcy for cranking out yet another 100 mile to keep the Rocky Mountain Slam alive.  In addition, the Leadman race was outstanding, Lucho and Troy battled to within minutes of the title with Lucho pulling it out as Leadman champion and new record holder - Amazing!