This WAS a factual statement. However there are endless variables that can be encountered during an ultra that go above and beyond your physical/mental conditioning. During this race, I encountered two:
- Vomitting (followed by dehydration) - Raceday was HOT, not necessarily middle-of -August hot, but hot by Colorado spring standards. Combined with a lack of shade or breeze, it felt hotter than the mid-70's the thermometer showed. So when I gagged on a salt capsule at mile 32, this eventually led to me puking repeatedly... so much so that I was dry-heaving bile after the 5th or 6th time. This coupled with the heat made it impossible for me to get rehydrated for the duration of the race. It was all I could do to take in enough fluids to offset the amount I was sweating, let alone replenish what I lost from the nausea.
- Getting Lost - This wasn't the first time I've gotten off course during a long trail race, but it was maybe the most demoralizing. I was at mile 44 when I took the wrong turn at a fork which wasn't clearly marked, and proceeded to lose 14 minutes, 2 positions, AND any hope of besting my 2009 time. Additionally, due to the lost time and positions, this was the first 50 miler I've ever run where I didn't have a top 10 finish... I was 11th overall.
Since it really wasn't my conditioning (or lack thereof) that led to my disappointing finish, I'm very optimistic for this weekends race in Buena Vista (Collegiate Peaks 50 miler). It will afford me an opportunity for some personal redemption on two levels; I can make up for the frustration of a bad race in Fruita, AND I can finally finish the course that kicked my butt a year ago (I dropped at the 25 mile mark last year due to knee pain).
I've put in over a week of really solid training since Fruita, with lots of vertical gain, and now I'll take the next 3 days easy and brace for the next suffer-fest!