I can no longer say that I've never dropped out of a race.
Way too many thoughts running through my mind to even begin to put all of them into perspective right now.
The short of the story is that at about mile 30 my right ankle started to hurt a little bit. I found ways to favor it so that it wouldn't hurt too much and I pressed on. It hurt on and off for the next 60 miles and then I had about 20 miles in which it didn't hurt much at all. Once the pain came back though it was much more severe and then soon after that my left ankle began to hurt as well. By the time arrived at mile 130 my right ankle was throbbing and extremely swollen. I took a 12 hour break and tried to head up the trail but after 7 miles I was reduced to a 1-2 mph walk with intermittent shooting pains in both ankles and up into the back of my left knee.
Just wanted to throw out a quick post focusing on some of the positive things I experienced the past 3 days:
I got to run 150 miles in perfect weather (temps on the trail ranged from negative 10 up to 25 above and were usually in the 10-20 range).
I met dozens of great people and was able to learn so many things from them which will make me a stronger racer the next time around.
My injuries wouldn't allow me to continue any further but I feel pretty certain that they will recover with some time off my feet.
When my ankles/feet felt good out there I was cruising along and feeling very strong. I did 130 miles in 34 hours running time and that includes over 7 hours of stopped time (eating and sleeping) at checkpoints. That means I was only out on the trail for 27 hours. Perhaps my injuries were a result of pushing too hard of a pace but I really don't think so. My entire body above my ankles was handling this pace just fine. I have almost no muscle fatigue and I don't think my heart rate was ever much above 100 bpm. I actually stopped on the trail a few times to check my heart rate because I was amazed at how easy it felt to keep moving along at 5 or 6 mph. This pace is about the same, or a little faster than the pace I ran the Susitna 100 in last year and yet my body still felt strong enough to push on at a similar pace if my ankles would have allowed it. This seems almost unbelievable to me as I could hardly walk and felt like I had been through a train wreck for 3 days after the Susitna, but right now I don't even really feel tired out, I just can't bend either ankle or my left knee.
I took a lot of video out on the trail. I will post a full report of my race soon with some pictures and video to go with it.
And now I am now reduced to life as a spectator. Jill has been cruising down the trail at an amazing pace but there seems to be news tonight that she is still at Rohn as a few hours ago. There was never any specific info. on when she got into Rohn but based on most of the info. out there it seems like it should have been 20 or more hours ago. The info. in and out of Rohn is very limited and it's certainly possible that there was some confusion about her time either in or out of there but I'm worried that she may not have slept enough up to that point. To those following her race online it may appear that she was getting a few hours of sleep here and there, but according to the checkers I talked to at Yentna, Skwentna, and Finger Lake she hadn't slept at any of those places. That would have made Puntilla her first possible sleep which was 38 hours after the race started!
I'm hoping to get some info. on her status as soon as possible because I want to fly up to McGrath to see her finish. Problem is there's only one flight a day to McGrath and I don't want to spend the $450 to get up there and have her already waiting there to fly back on the same plane I just flew in on.