Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Hi, everyone! It's now Tuesday afternoon. I returned home very early Sunday morning and am finally catching up on e-mail and voice mail messages and more. Thanks to those who posted comments, words of encouragement and congrats. We had hoped to update this blog throughout the race, but technology and the pace of things in Death Valley didn't make that possible. The Badwater.com website did a great job of keeping the outside world informed, though. It included photos, video clips and commentary alongside the official times through each race checkpoint. That's what satellite phones and a big volunteer crew will do for you. If you haven't checked www.Badwater.com, please do check it out.

This race was a fabulous experience. My crew was phenomenal, and kept me fed, hydrated, iced down and in good spirit throughout. Jared Knapp, Bud Petry, Nattu Natraj, Terri Pfeil, Ed Green and Dale Perry just couldn't have been more caring and supportive. (I wasn't always happy about getting food down, but they pushed and cajoled me to eat 200-250 calories every hour, so I lost no weight during the race.) Staying awake for 40 hours + was not a problem, except for a couple of hours of mild hallucinating that first night. I feel great, and even went to the gym for a light workout yesterday morning. Nothing broken, nothing overly strained. I feel good about my finishing time of 40 hours, 48 minutes, and 35th out of 80 overall. Frankly, as tough as the race was, I truly believe I could have finished in 38 hours or less had I not run into severe calf cramping early in the race--i.e., prior to Stovepipe Wells at Mile 42. That forced a change of shoes and these alternative shoes, in turn, caused major blistering, especially around my heels. Blistered feet for 90+ miles was no fun, and the discomfort, to use a nice word, reduced significantly the number of miles I could actualy run and the speed at which I could go. There are always the "what-if's" in these ultra races; no one is immune. Still, I might just have to try this one again sometime. Anyone care to join me?

We will post photos soon and hopefully some comments from the crew. I'll add some stories, too. Thanks, again, for all the kind support.


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