I was expecting the Quad Dipsea to be epic, but definitely not the way that it unfolded for me. I started off decent and did the double in 1:57:30 but never felt strong like usual. I don’t know exactly where to attribute the weakness. Maybe hitting the first flights of steps too hard. Maybe the cool air chilling my core. Maybe the rigors of the toughest course I have ever run – 28.4 miles and 9,200 feet of elevation gain with thousands of steps to run up and down. Or maybe the sore throat I have had the past two mornings were more ominous than I thought. Who knows, and it doesn’t matter much now. Either way, I wasn’t feeling good prior to finishing up the double (half way), but thought maybe it could be a “phase” of doing the Quad.
Things turned for the worse at the turnaround point at the start/finish when my body (specifically head) unraveled and the chips fell hard. I got very dizzy and the spins were awful. My legs were ok but it felt like my heart was pumping in my brain. I seriously considered stopping here but went on. By the time I reached the cardiac aid station on the third leg I thought I had reached my end. The headache was worse and I was left wondering how I could feel so helpless. However, I have never quit a race so it was relatively easy for the aid station crew to convince me to continue. It’s tough to say “continue” because I was out of the mindset and out of hope for recovery. I was reduced to hiking a huge chunk of the remainder of the course, including the entire way from Stinson Beach to just before Muir Woods. The dizziness was finally curbed by lots of electrolyte drink and soup in the finish tent. Big thanks to the finish tent crew for taking care of me.
Ok, I’m going to stop lamenting because in my mind, the race is already behind me. It sucked, I was miserable, it was a bad race – oh well, time to move on and gather the lessons learned. There will be many more opportunities…
Other than my regrettable experience, the day was filled with many dazzling performances, including Erik Skaggs breaking Carl Andersen’s longstanding course record by 13 seconds coming in at 3:52:16. Erik’s performance was magnificent and I can only imagine the potential for him on this course if there is somebody close by to push him (if there is such a person? or a reason for him to return?).