Friday, September 24, 2010

Sadness & Joy - Elbrus Race Sept 24 2010

Yesterday, 9-23 there was a storm, and the race was postponed for today, assuming the weather cooperated. As night fell, the clouds parted, the temps dropped, and the wind picked up.

Due in part to my horror story experience on Rainier, the wind freaks me out some. I'm working on it. The wind was pretty tough on qualifier day, 9-21, yet I came in @ 1:41, not a bad time, but my fingers froze and my facemask made me freak & hyperventilate. As well, I'd had two days of frequent diarrhea (including painfully needing to go all the way up requiring great muscle tension), and it was sucking the life out of me.

I spent the 22nd putting together a sleeve/glove/heatpack combo that I figured would do the trick, and cut out the restriction in my facemask. Ready to go for the 23rd, but delayed to the 24th.

One consequence of planning for feeding 10 and somehow 20 start showing up is that everyone gets half rations, so I had pretty much used up all mine and was really hungry and working hard to store energy. And the diarrhea finally cleared mostly up late 23rd.

After the little dinner on Thursday, 9-23 I climbed into bed while the Marshalls and Lodi spent an hour getting ready for their 3 AM departure, a repeat performance of the night before. I kept drifting off being suddenly woken by the sensation of drowning. Sitting up I could breath okay, but lieing it was very difficult.

I started sweating good too; odd since I had no caffiene that day. I tossed and turned fretting until they all got up, and then noticed I was wheezing. Wow. Sounded like HAPE. I messaged Angie and she looked it up and I did match many symptoms.

I tried sleeping sitting up but kept sliding down till I dove up for air. This really sucked. If it were bronchitis (possible I picked it up in Colorado) it could become HAPE if I went up, and if it were HAPE I could die if I went up.

I talked to the race organizer & he got the race doctor (didn't know there was) who checked me out, said I was mild enough to not require evac, and gave me some pills. I am now a firm advocate of Russian Pharmacies now ;)

I faced my wind demon head on, getting smacked down by a simple cold or flu or bug. Working hard on the qualifier while really sick and weak and majorly underfed (my fault at that point since everything I ate turned to a jet of Yoohoo out the rear & not at all enticing) is a textbook example of "how to give yourself AMS".

We're all going down today after the race (heads-up: 1 runner was way out front and looking like a record).

Sadly, I missed it. Joyfully I'm alive and will recover over the next few days of jetlag-inspired rest. I also have plans for next year...