Saturday, October 15, 2016

Tragedy of Errors

Sure, most people like to say Comedy of Errors but I'm not here.

Around a month ago, I had begun looking at racing a 50 miler in Colorado around an hour from Denver. It was called the Indian Creek Fifties and seemed like a perfect fit for me. Elevation, climbing and a new challenge. Coming off of Boulder Field 100K, I felt this would be a great race for me to do. I started to make arrangements with hotel, camping, rental car and flights.

Plan was fly out early October 14th and return home late on October 17th giving me around 4 days in the area. Day one would be working remotely in a hotel. Day two would be the 50 mile race followed by camping. Day three would be hiking in the Front Range and camping. Day four would be downtown Denver.

Everything was in place except registration in case work threw me a curve ball. Both my managers were out so I had to work remotely meaning anything I couldn't get done on the 13th had to be done. Well, an hour after I register on the 13th, slammed with work that I need two monitors for. This sent me into an anxiety attack. It was 4:30 and I NEEDED to make changes in our system ASAP. I left the office in a panicked state. On my bike ride home, I began to think about how best to make it all work and begun to settle down. However, damage was done, I was having an anxiety attack I could not quell physically. My body was racing. Even hours after I managed to make the changes at the home office. Sleep became hard. Not good for a 4am trip to the airport.

At least I got right through security at the airport on the 14th.

Now while waiting for the flight I got to check some emails and saw I received 3 emails from the RD of the race. Most notably, a course change and the removal of one major aid station. Oh noes. I didn't plan on carrying fluids for 13 miles between aid stations. Even though I had a pack with me had I needed it. Looks like I was going to. All of this information was not on the website and nor FB page.

Flight ended up being delayed by 20 minutes but arrived on time. Early in fact but the gate was occupied so we had to wait on the runway.

Light rail travel was easy to Stapleton. Car pick-up went as smooth as possible. In fact, best rental car experience ever. From there, I headed to Walmart to get some camping supplies like tent, sleeping bag and a chair. I was using my Rest in Peace 5K winnings for that stuff. I also bought some provisions. Why not do it at once? Then before going to the hotel, I stopped at Boulder Running Company for Tailwind and Blocs. From there it was easy check in at the hotel around 11:30.

My room at the Courtyard Tech Center was smooth and it had a real lovely courtyard that the room opened up to. I unpacked and got my gear together for race morning. Mixed up Tailwind. Split up Shot Blocs. All set....

Then....a headache. I didn't think much of it at first but after an hour it wasn't going away. I was losing my appetite. Then, I got nauseous. It hit me slowly but surely...altitude sickness. Advil didn't help with the headache. Ugh. I was hoping a few hours would make it pass since I was surprised by it considering I had spent time at 5000 and 6000 before, Quick trip to Target for Nyquil and Pepto Bismol. It is now 4pm local time. I took both and then more or less slept for the remainder of the evening. The nausea settled and the headache improved some. It was good to not feel like death considering I was coughing up bad stuff prior to the Pepto. Still the headache lingered. Later half of the night I was a bit unsettled.

Still had time to pass before my 4am wake up for the 50 mile. As it got closer, my head still was out of it. Yeah, I think I'm done. But I opt to go run around the hotel for a few laps. See how that would feel. Didn't feel good so I knew racing was out. Especially since the race was to climb up 3000ft in elevation. Now I had to figure out, do I stay until Monday with things or go home. I checked Sunday flights on Southwest in the event I could use one day to check it out. No Sunday flights. It was all or nothing. I was leaning towards cutting my losses and going home.

I did a check of any park nearby and found one. I drove to Cherry Creek State Park. Parked and went running. It felt nice to physically do something but I wasn't all that right. I got about 2 miles in total and during that effort my headache started to come back. That sealed it. Home.

If I couldn't do anything physical like hike or run, the trip was not going mean anything other than sitting at a campsite by myself. Sure camping solo was part of the plan but when not feeling good and not able to do the things I planned. Yeah, it makes sense to not be there. Luckily, I was able to reschedule my Monday departure and pay only 27 more. I got 24 of that back from cancelling camping.

I drove the rental car back to the place expecting to pay the original cost or close to it. Amazingly, they did only charge me for the one of 3 days I reserved the rental. That was good. Oh, before that I returned all the camping gear. Not losing as much as possible. Flight was a wash and Rental was 2/3 cheaper. Making the race the only lousy waste of cash here.

Since dropping off the car, I also had the pleasure of just missing the light rail to the airport. Fine because the next was only 15 minutes later. However, once I got through security, I got a message saying my flight was delayed until 3:35. It was 11:15am. Ugh.

For the record, I still feel a tad out of it. Nausea is gone and I've eaten a little but I feel exhausted with a headache.

So in the end, I spent some cash for a memorable experience that was not the happy one I wanted. And in fact, cut short by more than two days.

Oddly enough, I think if the work had hit before I registered, it all might have been different.

Luck of the draw. Or not.

I'll be back to this area. While I didn't get to what I wanted, I know I still want to experience it. Some places have to be treated differently.

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