The Bear 100 - DNF
I have been sitting in a hospital bed now for over 30 hours (minus lots of trips to the bathroom). I have been grilled by doctors and nurses about what had possessed me to (attempt to) run 100 miles. Family and friends usually just shake their head at me in wonder. Some are probably even thinking "I told you so!".
I don't care...
I have wanted to run the Bear100 for years now. True, at first I said I would never do it cause that is crazy/pointless/too far etc. Then I secretly began planning to run, then publicly began planning to run. The time finally had arrived and I was nearly ready. Only about 6 weeks to go and a few key runs to do to prepare. Unfortunately, my body decided that I had run enough for the summer and inflammation took over my right leg. Training took a detour and then was even suspended completely allowing my body to rest and heal in preparation for the event that would nearly destroy me (ok, that's a bit dramatic).
The day of the race finally arrived and I found myself jogging up the road and chatting with Hal, Ty, Seth and trying to soak it up. Here we go, I will be done in less than 24 hours (maybe). My leg injury was still present enough to cause serious concern. I wondered if I would be walking as early as Leatham Hollow. As I climbed the first big climb of the day (3300' in 5.5 miles) I took it real easy and watched the front runners pull away. I ended up in a small group including the 2 lead ladies (Darcy Africa and Shawna Tompkins). We chatted and joked around for a few miles passing the time before I moved on ahead. The whole climb up to the first Aid station at mile 10.5 went smooth and I was ready for a great day ahead.
Logan Peak Aid - 2:12 (mile 10.5)
The next section I spent trying to save my quads and ITB and went as slow as reasonable. I was sore at bottom of the hill and was looking forward to some uphill running to reduce the pounding. As I came into Leatham Hollow aid, I saw Joe my main man ready and waiting (to crew me). Spirits were high as I was feeling really well considering all the unknowns. I had splits with me for 20 (too fast), 21 (beat Jon), 22(realistic goal before the injury), and 24 hours. My main goals were to finish and if possible go sub 24 hours. I was only over Jon's splits by 4 mins at that point (my time of arrival was 3:34 not the 3:19 shown on the results).
Leatham Hollow - 3:34 (mile 19.5)
The boring road to Richards Hollow was even more boring since I had no company and wouldn't see another racer (other than my pacer) for 32 miles. My ITB was screaming at me here so I took 400mg of IB to calm things down (I took 800mg at 5am, 4.5 hours ago). More on that later, but going really slow on the road plus the IB helped get the pain under control.
Richards Hollow - 4:02 (mile 22.5)
The climb up Richards Hollow was great. I was able to lock onto a steady effort and enjoy the mountains. There were some new patches of trail that took you out of the stream bed and avoided the numerous crossings. That made me sad. I loved the trail as it was. Pretty uneventful section really.
Cowley Canyon - 5:33 (mile 30)
I find it humorous when helpful aid station volunteers give me details course descriptions to the next aid while I grab a strawberry. I smile and say thanks but inwardly I laugh as I doubt there is anyone else in the race (other than the race directors who run it too) who knows the course as well as I do. The volunteers are trying hard. I really do appreciate it.
The trail to Right Hand Fork was pretty uneventful until I found myself laying in the dirt rubbing a sore knee. Figures, I fall down and land on the bad knee. No harm done, keep going.
Right Hand Fork - 6:42 (mile 37)
I finally get to see my family for the first time and also get to have Tim Dunn pace me for 15 miles. I haven't seen another runner for hours now so its welcome to see so many friendly faces. 3 mins there and I am off. The crew is very efficient. I think I took another 800mg of IB here. It was either here or at Temple Fork (my amazing wife/crew person just told me it was Temple Fork and that I didn't take any after that point).
The long hot road to Temple Fork Aid is not pleasant but time passed quickly with Tim as entertainment. I was trying to push the fluids, but there is a limit to what you can handle. I had a blast running down the Sawmill trail and was surprised to hit a few 8 something miles even with stopping at the creek to cool off. I passed Seth Wold here as he was walking into the aid dropping out due to stomach issues and loss of will (forgot about that - thanks Jon).
Temple Fork Aid - 8:13 (mile 45)
I made a mistake here and didn't take the arm warmer my crew had filled with ice. Not sure what I was thinking but I had thought about it before the race that I would want it at both RHF and TF, but I didn't take it at either place. Stick to the plan. I got hot and tired on the long climb to Tony Grove. It was rough. It was even rough for Tim who had to slow down due to an injury he was nursing as well. We ended up hiking into TG separately. Wild. I was very happy to see the lake and even run with my son for 100 meters. He commented to me, "Dad, this is easy."
The stop at TG was long as I needed to change shoes and patch up my feet a bit. Those Hokas are great at cushioning but suck at blister prevention. I popped 4-5 blisters and put on the trusty Cascadias. It was painful at first, but they were great the rest of the way. I fueled up and carried a doggie bag of food to go. Spirits were high and I left the aid with Joe in tow only 18 mins behind Jon's sub 21 hour time.
Tony Grove Aid - 10:18 (leaving aid) (mile 52)
The trail out of Tony Grove is amazing. One of the best around. I did some hiking, but mostly running and once I hit the summit it was time to cruise. Ok, so it was 9 min pace at best, but I was still running this far into the race. I was beginning to have some serious stomach cramping (I think it started about Temple Fork). It was slowing me down, but it was manageable. To this point, I had stopped 3 times (to earn some "stars") and I was sure that I was overdosing on the sugar. (I knew I was pushing it on the Ibuprofen as well, but that leg was killing me). I really enjoyed this section and it was one of the high points of the race.
Franklin Basin Aid - 12:13 (mile 61.5)
Another great crew stop for me here at Franklin Basin. I think it was here I took the final 800mg if IB for the night. It was a big mistake to take this much IB for this race, but I thought I couldn't manage the pain without it. I may have been remembering this wrong as though as my wife said I didn't get any IB here. But either way, 2000mg within 12 hours is still high. Especially when you are dehydrated.
This leg has a brutal climb that never ends and it really taxed me. I was not moving very well through here and it was a real low point of the race. We nearly made it to the road before having to use the headlamps, but not quite. Once nighttime hit, I was really in a low spot. Tired, cramping, crazy sore, and still with lots of miles to go. A highlight for Joe in this section was the big bull moose he saw. I was so deep in the "pain cave" I totally missed it while he managed to take a picture, tie his shoe and eat a snickers without losing a step on me. Stupid energetic pacers. Make us real runners look bad.
Logan River Aid - 14:24 (mile 68.6)
They moved the aid back to the river crossing this year due to hunters taking the usual spot. That must have made the volunteers very cranky cause they were not friendly at all and quite stand-offish to my crew. I took a minute here to regroup and away we went. While in the aid, Darcy and her pacer (Roch) passed us putting me into 9th place overall. They quickly disappeared up the trail as I played mind games to get going again. I did a run/walk routine that would make Galloway proud. I finally came around enough to do some steady running all the way to the big hill. I caught sight of a runner ahead and knew I was gaining. I hiked the hill then did my best to not fall on the descent. As the trail became less technical, I was able to pick up the pace and was actually running quite well. I was having a great time and although I was in miserable pain, was happy to be out running. I hit it pretty hard all the way to Beaver Mountain where my awesome crew was waiting. We arrived right after Darcy and some other racer. I did my best to eat some soup and chips and carried some for the road.
Beaver Mountain Aid - 16:01 (mile 75.8) solidly on 22 hour pace
I left before the "other guy" but right after Darcy and we ended up running more or less together for a few miles. I was about a mile or so up sink hollow when my stomach cramped up bad and I had about 10 seconds of warning before earning another "star". As I looked at the nastyness, I noticed that it was a deep maroon color. Oh no. I made my fearless pacer verify my fears and now I realized the pain in the stomach was not cramping from food, its my stomach lining being eaten away and blood was entering my stomach. I knew just enough about this to know this is not good. I decided to dump the coke I was drinking and went straight to water.
About this same time, my energy levels dropped and my legs started to cramp up. I also began to have more cramping in the stomach and now pain in the lower back (kidneys?) was very noticeable. It was all I could do to keep walking. I tried to run, but my insides were so messed up the pain stopped me. So walk I did. Gibson Basin was a welcome sight.
Gibson Basin - 17:32 (mile 81.2)
I was in and out in less than a minute as I filled my bottle with water, grabbed a couple pieces of strawberries (cause they looked good) and left. I no longer cared what my pace was it was all I could do to walk. Mentally, I was ok to suffer through this and push on, but physically my body was wrecked. It was shutting down. I needed to get down the mountain and quick. I tried to jog but the pain was intense. I walked down the final hill into the aid station getting passed by 2 guys who tried to encourage and support, but really I needed a doctor.
Beaver Creek Campground - 18:45 (mile 85.25)
This is where my awesome crew of my wife and step dad, together with Joe tried to put me back together. They had no idea of the ordeal I just had. I tried to describe the issues to them and they were torn. They were told that under no circumstances were they to let me quit before the finish line. It was finish line or hospital. My instructions. Nobody wants the wrath of Cody so they were doing their best to fix me up. I drank soup and sat in a chair by the fire and put more and more layers of clothes on. Before long, I threw up all my food and was shaking uncontrollably I was also hyperventilating just standing there. That sold them on the quitting idea and it was over. Safety is the priority.
I was quite fearful I would be a mile up the road and wouldn't be able to move and would die or something so I was ok with the idea. I was so (SOOOO) bummed to be quitting with only 15 miles left. Soooo bummed.
I sat in the truck and sipped a 7-up for the ride home. I suddenly felt much better. Warm blankets, heater, a drink and no physical movement. Heaven.
I got home, showered and went to bed. I slept for less than an hour and needed the bathroom. I got really dizzy there and was hallucinating and was going to lose my 7-up. I called for my wife just as I started to pass out. She freaked and was holding me up and trying to wake me. I could hear her but not respond. Then as suddenly as it started, I was back. I calmed her down and went to the ER. The whole episode took maybe 2 mins in my mind, but she swears it was closer to 5. I must have been out for a bit.
At the ER, I was pale, but calm. It took a bit to describe my symptoms but I was soon getting x-rayed and blood draws. Very soon the blood work showed some serious issues.
My Creatine Kinase level was 30,320. Normal is 40-200, anything greater than 6,000 predicts renal failure. I had basically started to eat myself. I was breaking down muscle so fast, my kidneys and liver couldn't keep up. I was thinking I would get a slap on the wrist and and IV and sent home. Nope, its now 30 hours and counting here at the hospital with no end in sight. My levels have dropped to 15,000 by 5am this morning, but I still have quite a few other indicators that show severe distress to my kidneys and liver. Today, I feel pretty decent. My legs are destroyed, but the pain in the abdomen and back have disappeared.
Lessons learned -
My body can't handle Ibuprofen when I race. Period. Some can, mine can't.
Don't start a race with an injury that requires IB to manage it.
I need to drink more somehow.
I need to eat real food somehow.
still deciding more.....
Would I do it again? YES. Would I do it differently? For sure. Live and learn. You had better believe I will be back again. I am satisfied with my race. 85 miles. Essentially in 8th place before shutting down. Sub 24 hours was mine. Great day, but rough finish and now a stinking long recovery in the Hospital.
POST EDIT: I left the hospital at noon on Wed (102 hours) -
Acute Renal Failure
Anemia - dilutional
Some pics (courtesy of Bethany Draper)-