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The Peaks and Troughs of Ultrarunning

November 22, 2011

​Today was very bittersweet for me.  Horvath, Jesse and I had a strong day and despite Mike facing some serious dehydration issues halfway through the leg and Jesse not being able to run with his IT injury we fought hard to a much stronger finish than yesterday.  Mike especially got a tremendous adrenaline rush and had a terrific second half of the day.  We just havent been able to find a cohesive rhythm yet as each point of the last two days one of us has been hurting.  Running as a team is very difficult as we deal with three sets of peaks and valleys independently of one another.

Perna just finished several hours after the three of us battling hard to the finish and Rich is still on the course with one hour to go before the cutoff.  But we lost TROB today and it hurts a lot.  He's been dealing with some serious GI issues for the last three days and today it got the best of him.  I feel partially responsible as Ive been trying my best to help support each of the guys individually to the best of my ability but wasnt able to do anything here. He got off to a great start today and was chugging down the road well ahead of myself, Mike and Jesse.  But when we caught him right after Checkpoint 1 at the beginning of a typical climb (3500 steps) he was vomitting and visibly sick.  He had felt great but once his heartrate spiked the GI issues returned.  We hung with him but he urged us on as he was going to try and rest and fight it out.  Apparently he climbed a little more and then called it a day.  Saying we (and especially me) are going to miss him is a huge understatement.  But as a blessing in disguise he'll be spending Thanksgiving with his wife and family now. 

Based on the course desciption today was the easiest day.  By far.  Tomorrow is 25 miles straight uphill the entire way with a very steep climb to the finish L'Alpe Duez style.  This is by far the most demanding of the RTP events Ive done so far.  But also the prettiest.  The views are nothing short of spectacular and each day as we run through these tiny villages we are greeted by hundreds and thousands of locals wishing us well.  These people live on the land and work their tails off doing all sorts manual labor for pennies to hopefully put enough food on the table to support their families.  And they couldn't be any happier.  Far cry from where us average Americans come from.  Nice to put that in proper perspective.

Tomorrow the battle continues.  Personally I feel very good physically and its obvious that the team is getting stronger.  At this point I dont think theres a competitor in camp who hasnt gotten sick at least once or twice.  As everyone heals up hopefully we can continue to work our way up the leaderboard.  We are in third place in the team competition and have a long ways to go.  But I have no doubt were moving in the right direction.  Thx again everyone for the support. 

Reimer - great Lions update...hope you started them in fantasy across the board!!!  And how the heck did ND only beat BC by 2 points at home???  Pathetic.  Haha.

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