30 degrees. Yesterday at the 2008 Mt. Diablo Marathon, it was 30 degrees warmer than any of my previous training runs up and down that mountain. Not yesterday. It was in the 80s. And that my friends is a recipe for pain.
Here's the elevation profile. That's 10,100 feet of elevation gain. To put that into perspective, you want to die going up about 1 mile into it. And then when you head down 2300 feet between miles 20 and 23, you want to die again.
I have many pictures. All of them taken on the run. More for me to help me recall why I should never do something like this again.
Here's a picture of my buddy Eric and I at the beginning. Note the 20 things on our belt. We don't travel light.
This is the start of the race. 90 people ran the marathon and 110 people ran the 50 miler. This guy was obviously running the 50.
And we're off. The race was mostly on single track trails, which made passing difficult and preventing getting passed (me) easy.
Cresting Eagle Peak (2300 feet of gain in 3 miles - nice) and running along the spine before dropping back down.
The dude in green shorts caught up to me. But I didn't let him pass me.
I like scenery. It makes me smile inside.
Lots of growth. Much rain this year.
Did I mention that there is lots of walking involved in this ultra-like events?
Pain and only 6 miles into it. Also, I have pretty large nostrils.
The top of the observation deck at the top of Diablo. 7.5 miles down. 18.7 miles to go. I actually felt pretty good at this point, which will partially explain why I felt so bad later.
Fuller's got some self-photography skills on the way down the first time.
The California poppies are out in force this year.
I've now gone down and am headed back up the second time. I have consumed about 80 ounces of liquid fuel (Perpeteum), 1200mg of Sodium, and 4 100 calorie caffeine gels. I need to invent liquid steak.
This face doesn't do justice to how I felt.
This one might. Notice that my right eye is more shut than my left. Always a dead giveaway that Mike is either tired or dead.
My favorite part of the course when I don't feel like dying.
Honestly, I don't remember taking this picture.
I soon finished. In 6 hours and 33 minutes. Just under a 4mph pace. Yikes. Eric finished about 13 minutes in front of me. I finished 27th out of 79 finishers. In the last 6 miles, about 7 people passed me, including Eric.
Here are my toes. The right one is particularly jacked.
And my dirty legs.
Even with the massive fluid and caloric intake, I lost 7 pounds during the race. Of course I gained it back and more by the end of the day. Mmmmm, lasagna.