Ultra Madness Part I – Bad Beans

Matt finishing

Matt finishing the Rocky Raccoon 100 Mile Race after seeing his second sunrise.

There is so much to tell when it comes to the culmination of Marathon Madness 2012 and the Rocky Raccoon 100 miler that I am breaking my story up into four parts. Not only do I have three stories worth of stuff, but I’m also only covering my race experience and leaving Julie to tell her tale. A lot happens in a 100 miler.

Everything was going great. I was feeling ready to go mentally and physically. I wanted to get going. I even told Julie on Thursday that we needed to get going on this thing because I was getting antsy to the point that I even made my back sore and scraped up my hands digging trenches around our tent because of all the rain.

We picked up my dad on Friday morning and from there on, it was all Rocky Raccoon all the time. We went to Starbucks to use the internet and we found at least 7 people there for the race. We went to Subway for lunch and there were almost a dozen people involved with the race there too. It was on to Kroger for last minute supplies and sure enough, we saw at least 4 people there doing the same thing. Needless to say, it was easy to get pumped up and excited about the race.

We showed my dad the course, set up camp, picked up our packets, and went to the race briefing with the race director. It was then back to camp and dinner. We had been dodging rain all day and the forecast didn’t look good. The rain came and we hung out in our tents for awhile. It cleared enough to come out and cook some dinner. We were playing it safe and cooking our own phone (Julie picked up food poisoning last weekend from a restaurant in Alabama). We had pasta with broccoli, onion, and garlic. I also ate a small cup of leftover baked beans from the previous night’s dinner. We didn’t have them refrigerated but it’d only been one day so I didn’t think much of it.

And at around 10pm the beans it. I hurried up to the bathroom and began a night long experience of vomiting and diarrhea. I tried to stay positive and proactive. I drank water to stay hydrated and would promptly vomit it back up. I managed to sleep a few hours before our 4:30am wakeup for the race.

I was nervous to say the least but still thought there was a chance to race well. I hadn’t thrown up for a few hours, but I also hadn’t eaten or drank anything during that time either. I tried to eat some breakfast, a banana, bread, and Gatorade. I could tell my stomach wasn’t ready.

To go with the stomach issues, the storms came rolling in at 5 am with thunder and pouring rains. It was sheer madness at the start with cars driving into the park, rains pouring from the sky, and me nervous as hell after my whole race visions were washed down the drain with all of the food I’d eaten the previous day. And to top it off, I ran to the bathroom 10 minutes before the start and vomited up everything I tried to put in me for breakfast.

I had the thought of dropping from the race before I even started. I was bent over a urinal throwing up my guts and thinking, how in the world am I going to run 100 miles? But once I got the puke out, I felt a little better and made my way to the start line for my second attempt at the Rocky Raccoon 100 miler.

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