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Mesa Flat Top 100 (really it was 104.8 miles)

February 20, 2021

Two falls
One bloody finger
Stopped counting after kicking 13 rocks, many more almost falls from rock bites
No stomach issues because I ate all the food
Lots and lots of giggles on a great trip to the sun

The Flat Top Mesa 100 should be renamed Flat Top Concentration Run because if you don’t concentrate and pay attention to where you place your feet, the rocks will make you eat dirt.  Great views from up top on the Mesa however the course was awful.  Starting down in the parking lot you got to run, well walk up a steep sandy hill to the Mesa.  Then 13 loops on an 8 mile course which had us running on the edge of the Mesa.  12 x 8 is only 96 so we got to run 13 loops for 104 miles plus the .8 to get up the Mesa and for me another .8 to get back down. 

The rocks were plentiful and if you didn’t strategically pick up your feet and pay attention the rocks bit you.  On several occasions I would be doing something else like getting something out of my pack or looking at the view and I would trip.  On one of these occasions at mile 23 I bit it.  Yup one second you are vertical and the next you are horizontal with a mouthful of dust and dirt.  Fortunately I’m short and close to the ground so I don’t fall far, no damage to the legs just got dirty so I got myself up and starting moving again.  Then I notice my middle finger is bloody. Ick.  I’m only a couple of miles from the aid station so I vow to wash it out there and discover how bad it really is.  What else you gonna do out in the middle of no where.  Just run.

Bay ee. That is how you pronounce her name, our hostess for the race. She ran the main aid station while her husband ran the other aid station at four miles into each loop.  Bay ee was very helpful all day, all night, and all the next day.  She fed us wonderful food (egg burritos, hot dogs, ramen, oatmeal, cocoa, and pancakes) and helped me wash out my finger.  I put neosporin on it and a couple of bandaids.  It was ugly and I wasn’t sure if I needed stitches....so what to do, run of course.  Get the hundo done and then deal with the finger.  Kim K taught me that.  She ran 90 plus miles after falling to get her WS qualifier and then got stitches in her hand.

The rocks on the course were relentless. You would have a few sections where you could run and then there would be a super technical section where you had to slow and pay attention and carefully place your feet.  At night I just took my time and walked a lot as it was treacherous.  I also cussed out Jess for first taking me to Coldwater Rumble another super rocky course and now this f..in Mesa rocky course.  Well at least I’m now ready to tackle McBee at Badger.

The wind.  So at the top of a flat Mesa it is windy.  We were expecting wind from noon to 8 pm.  Well we got some dousey of winds for a couple of hours.  Little dust devils blew on one side of the course.  It was so difficult to close your eyes to keep the dust out while still paying attention to the rocks and not trip and fall.  You signed up for this shit, just get er done.  Having a buff was ideal to fend off the wind.  The gusts were difficult but we had just run a race in Seattle where the wind was relentless so we were prepared.  The wind died down in the late afternoon only to return all night long.  On one side of the Mesa you had the wind at your back so it was warm and on the other side it was in your face.  Clothes went on only to be taken off. On off all night long.  At one point there were some dark storm clouds and of course we got rained on and a rainbow appeared.  Not too bad. I only had a short sleeve shirt on and my wind breaker, thank gosh.  It rained then the wind dried me off.  Then the ominous clouds looked like they were going to bring some really bad weather.  It was worrisome cause if it had come, my race would have been over.  Fortunately the clouds dumped on the adjacent mountains.  Lucky me, no excuse to quit.

When there were smooth sections of the trail I would try to look up as I was feelin the strain from having to focus on the rocks.  The back of my neck was painful from focusing down so much.  One smooth section was the .7 to .8 section of sand at the end of each loop.  Deep fine sand is soft so you have to work hard to run.  I always wondered just how much of this sand was getting in my shoes.  My shoes would feel extra full after the sand section and then a bit later the sand would shake out and there would be more room for my toes.  I only changed my socks once.  I should have changed them more but I wanted to get this done and did not want to spend time on the niceties of ultrarunning.  Only one little blister on the usual pinky toe so all good.

F in rocks, F in wind, F in sand...all this F in fun.  Actually there were quite a few blissful miles running in the sun, traveling with my friend, giggling at myself, giggling at Jess, giggling in general, enjoying music, a good book on the run, and dealing with the challenges that keep me alive.  I really do like to run and have fun.

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