The 12 Hours of San Diego

My life as an amphibian

Mary Campilongo

Well, the ‘beauty’ of my sport is that anything can happen, and usually does… What happened was cold and NON-STOP rain for the first 14 hours. It wasn’t torrential rain, just heavy enough and constant enough to make it very ‘unpleasant.’ Cold and wet are a bad, bad equation for me but I kept thinking it would stop. So, I withdrew at 12 hours. I also had gut problems which resulted in numerous, time-consuming bathroom breaks (every 3-4 laps) and a strain behind my right knee which came about in the 6th hour. (Given that my training had gone well, with no hint of anything, I attribute this pull to the fact that it was just cold enough for to never warm-up.) I was doing well for the first few hours (in 10th place overall and holding) and then my bathroom trips became more and more frequent and I started dropping down in the standings. After my leg started pulling and I was reduced to a (painful and sore) walk at a pedestrian 16.5 minutes per mile, I stopped looking at the leader board as I knew I was sucking and just didn’t care to know how bad. Needless to say, it was frustrating at times. I didn’t know how many/little miles I had actually done. I knew it was pathetic and I figured I’d know when my plaque arrived in the mail. I also had to do numerous clothing changes as my rain gear wasn’t breathable so I would end up soaking wet underneath it from sweat and since the rain gear material was cold, I would get chilled. I’m extremely disappointed as I was fit and ready to go 100+ again this year. As well, the cost of these events isn’t cheap and so, despite the rain from the start, I wasn’t about to throw away all my training and a $146 entry fee. I kept telling myself the rain would stop. And it didn’t until about 14 hours into it. I stuck around until about 7:30 the next morning and counted about 25 folks still out there. C’est la vie. The last 6 hours I was out there I couldn’t even walk without pain and soreness and even Iburprofen didn’t alleviate it. I just couldn’t justify further injury to myself and at the 11th hour decided I’d stop at 12 hours. Ever since I went out to the University of Utah as a Ballet major, I haven’t been able to handle cold weather. (And I grew up on the East coast.) There were a lot of folks out there running the entire time in shorts and tank tops and shirtless even (men only)! One of the women is from Canada, another is from the Bay area, another from England, one racewalker from Jersey, so I’m sure they’re used to cold and damp conditions. The other folks were mostly So.Cal. folks so I’m not sure how it is that the coldness and rain didn’t affect them. Everyone’s different though. This is only the second race I’ve ever dropped out of. And the other was under the same conditions. I’ve done 4 races now under these same conditions and it hasn’t had a good outcome each time. I thought I’d be okay as during an 8-hour track training session in prep for this event, I got rained on 4 times. I know though that the temps were higher and so was able to at least warmup my muscles and I didn’t get chilled.

I was extremely disappointed at the time, especially when I started to drop down in the standings as well as the next morning before I left the track. But I had a little ‘talk’ with myself and ‘snapped’ out of that mindset. Apart from being just plain silly, it’s also somewhat egotistical to think that however many or little miles I ran really matters to anyone other than me. So, any embarrassment I was feeling about my performance is really just me becoming a little too self-absorbed and letting this running thing get out of perspective. After all, it’s only a footrace. Sure it’s my passion and I work hard at it and it gives me a great deal of enjoyment (albeit ‘painful’ enjoyment at times) but, my life and happiness are not solely dependent on the outcome of my races. Sure I strive to do well but, things can happen (like really ugly weather) that are completely out of my control and might/will affect the outcome of that race, so it makes no sense to stay frustrated and bummed out. It is what it is.

So, that’s ‘what happened.’ I should be good to go in a week.

Please follow and like us:

Related Posts

Facing death / valedictory

Running and Being

Cancer and Badwater

Mt Baldy and her first ultra after the surgery