run, rest, eat, bitch, buy things, cross-train, blog, repeat.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

The Grand Canyon Part 6

We pulled up to Cottonwood Campground and The KoB told me that I needed to eat something. He was right. I pulled a 5 hour energy out of my pack and also ate a half of a little debbie brownie. Then I popped into the bathrooms that were there and before we left, I filled up my handheld with gatorade powder and water.

We were around 16 miles in and the sun was starting to get hot.
The line where the shade stopped.

That 5 hour energy and brownie, proved to be a LIFE SAVER. I started feeling much, much better. And before I knew it, we were at the Pumphouse. I got my bandana wet and wrapped it around my neck. 

It was after the Pumphouse that we really started to climb up the North Rim. Honestly? I was so fucking happy and relieved. I was SICK of running with my huge pack and wobbly legs and I welcomed the hiking uphill. You'd go up a really steep section and then have a little bit of a straight stretch and even though it was pretty hot, my head was feeling so much better and I had quite a bit of energy during this part of the hike. 

That probably lasted for about 90 minutes. It was glorious. And then all of the sudden, I started to feel like I needed to use the bathroom. Not a huge deal, except THERE IS NO WHERE TO GO! On one side of you... there is a steep cliff  and certain death and and on the other side... there's a rock wall. So, I was afraid that I was going to get to a point where I was just going to have to pop a squat right there in the middle of the trail. BUT, there were people coming down the trail, CONSTANTLY. No privacy. I started to stress out a bit. Melissa passed me and I took a break and took a couple of salt pills thinking that maybe my stomach was just a bit sour. I was pretty miserable. I kept making my way up and eventually the feeling passed. I was pretty fatigued, but I was so fucking ready to get to the top of the North Rim. I knew I had to pass one more water spigot before I got to the top, but I just never seemed to get there.

By this point, the gains were quick and at one point, I saw Melissa above me and I yelled up at her... I told her that when she got to the top, to grab the boys and go ahead and start back down and I would just turn around and start heading down with them. Screw the North Rim. I'd only be missing out on less than a mile and I was just ready to start heading back down. I was in full on survival mode.

And then I started contemplating just turning around and heading back down right then. But, I was afraid that Melissa wouldn't take me seriously and that she and the guys would stay at the North Rim waiting on me forever and forever. ARG! I knew I had to keep going up until I saw them coming down. Around every switchback I imagined that I would see them coming down. And then I'd get there and there just be more trail ahead and another switchback.

It's interesting. I knew that there were going to be some real lows on this trip. It happens in everything... races, runs, etc. And I knew that if just powered through it somehow... that I'd get through it. I guess I just didn't expect them to be such long and severe lows, though.

FINALLY I got to the Supai Tunnel and I knew that the water spigot was going to be right there. There were two guys standing around it and a woman sitting down behind it. Unfortunately... it didn't turn out to be the respite I was hoping for...


Gracie said...

Um, this is sounding very not-fun. I love the idea and all, but I would want to curl up and die running that far in the heat and dirt and cliffs. More power to you, but the lows you were feeling would probably be my main mood for most of it!
Not to mention, I am in no way able to run that distance. I ran long getting lost on a marathon course once, and that was as ultra as I ever want to get.

Carina said...

Even these non-life-threatening cliffhangers are good ones! It's always funny and almost shocking to me how very long a mile can seem sometimes when you're struggling, and how quickly it can fly by when you're soaring.