Sunday, April 13, 2008

Me at my darkest hour on the trail
Friday night I was in my room and I heard Rocky jump of the couch and let out a yelp. He came limping into the room. He seemed fine like maybe he just twisted his leg. I thought I hope he's not seriously hurt. I picked him up, and put him on the bed. I finally decided I better get some sleep, it was already 12am and I needed to be up at 4:30. I got into bed where Rocky was already asleep. He all of a sudden woke up crying. I picked him up, put him on the floor and he was crying and limping.
I thought maybe he just slept on it weird since he was hurt. I tried to get him to go to sleep and finally at 1:30 I called the emergency pet clinic. I knew there was no way I could run the race, knowing he was hurting. I just needed to make certain it wasn't serious. It really broke my heart to see him crying. I took him in at 2am, they gave him an exam. The doctor said he just jammed his shoulder most likely, when he jumped. He didn't do major damage, but was crying because he pain. They gave him a shot for the pain and to help relax him.
They send me home with some doggie advil, and said if he is still having problems in 7 days, take him to his doctors. We came home and I pulled out the sleeping bag ,so we could sleep on the floor, since I didn't want him to try to jump and hurt his shoulder more. For the rest of the night he wined off and on. I kept waking ,only to see him staring at me.
Finally at 4:15 I got up to get ready. I felt bad leaving him, but my Uncle would be home all day with him.
Chet and I heading to Finly aid station
I met Joe & Mylinh as planned at 5:30 to carpool to the start. We got there and parked next to Julia ,who was celebrating her B-day. She was planning on running the 50m but like many others cut their distance short.
It was hot, our first hot day of the year, no one was heat trained. I was not feeling well do to the lack of sleep, and consumed with guilt for not being home with Rocky. I just kept praying the whole day that he would be totally fine and 100% when I got home.
On my way to Rock city aid station mile 24 I felt like passing out 3 or 4 times. At one point I laid down in the shade on the trail flat on my back thinking I wanna quit. This damn Devil(Diablo) was trying to drag me into HELL...I got up after what seemed like forever and continued onward and upward.
I was happy to see many old friends and meet new ones like my blogger pal Leslie from Alaska running her first 50m race. She finished strong.
I was happy to see Jim Winni at Rocky city my all time favorite pacer and crew person. He was the aid station captain there. Oh also it was great seeing Michelle and Morgan working Juniper.Thanks for being there.
The two studs at Finley. (left) Will, me, and Ryan
I headed out to the Finely road turnaround point. It's a 6 mile out and back. On my way out I hooked up with Chet from Reno. It was great to be with someone who was feeling like shit too.. We stayed together that whole section. We did a good time going down to Finley. I was happy to see Will(fast old guy) and Ryan(young fast guy) ;) I actually went to school with Will. I even had a crush on him when I was a teenager.
Chet and I headed back up to Rock city, the climb was hot but I think by then my body had adjusted to the heat. It was great on this section because you got to see all the runners.
We arrived into Rock city in a good time. I was feeling much better since I had Chet to talk to the whole way. Jim Winni had my favorite smoothie for me a mango tango. I shared it with Chet. I was feeling 100 times better. I ended up taking off and loosing Chet.
The weather was great and I knew I could get by in my sports top and MoeBen sleeves.

Trail junction where I last talked to my Mom before she died.
There is a spot on the trail, it's part of the trail through time, at this very signpost was the last time I heard my Mothers beautiful voice 6 years. It's a special place to me and I always place a rock or flower when I pass by it. I called on my Angeles often during the race. I even prayed a lot for my little Rocky.
I made it to the Juniper aid station 9 miles to go, there I saw many many runners not looking good. They looked like they wanted to call it a day. I tried to get them to leave but no one left with me. A few later went on to finish.
We all had to battle our demons out there on that trail. Many times during the race I felt like that Devil Mountain was pulling me into the depths of HELL. I just kept fighting and clawing my way out, hour after hour.
There where times I had 10 reasons to quit but I had 15 reason to keep going.
I was stronger than I had been all day those last 10 miles. I ran free all the way to the finish knowing I had beat the devil once again. I finished in 15:02. I survived just like most of the runners ,who managed to finish.
By the time I got home it was 1am. I walked in the front door and there was my little Rocky running around like a little mad man as though nothing was wrong. And just some 20 hours ago he couldn't walk. My Angeles answered my prayers and healed him.


everett said...

hey catra,im glad to hear rocky is up and feeling better.
Im glad to hear your run ended well,it sounds like it WAS hell.

Donna said...

I had the same thing happen to my dog back around Christmas time. Same exact thing. Fine one minute, limping, refusing to walk and crying for no apparent reason. I had to carry him around. He had an appointment at the vets the next day, so I didn't call the pet ER. I had gone out with friends that night and when I came home he was absolutely fine, running around, being himself.

What a trooper you are! Running, in heat, after an hour and a half of sleep. Wow!

Snakebite said...

Good job, Catra! And I hope you'll find a good use for any unused doggie advil!

21stCenturyMom said...

I was at the Rock City aid station helping out and you looked quite a bit better than many of the runners. It was

I missed you on the way back so congratulations on making it!

Eero said...

Sounds like a really tough run! Those days prove what you're made of. Glad Rocky is OK.

Jay said...

Hey Catra,

Congrats on gutting it out to the finish, you're the true IronChick!! Good to hear Rocky's OK.

Are you going to the PCT kickoff party next weekend???


Congrats!!!! Very happy to hear that Rocky is ok... :) I'll have to send Leslie a line...... Oh by the way my Wife joined a female mountain biking club called "Alaska Dirt Divas".....

Namaste and Love,


Alan said...

Congrats on a strong finish after some early struggles.

Glad to hear Rocky was feeling better when you got home.

Michelle said...

I am super glad Mr.ROcky is doing better.

Glad you battled that devil til the end, It has gotton the best of me tiwce and I DO intend to have a rematch and win.

It was a scorcher out, so mnay people did not look good....I had some come through doing the marathon with NO WATER bottles. We had extra so we gave them to those people.....

Jonah said...

It sure was a too-hot weekend throughout Cali. Way to stay focused and push through. Congrats and thanks for inspiring…

Christian said... can see a grimmace on your face in that photo at the marker where you mentioned your mom.

I felt that.

Much respect for a gnarly finish and glad the hound is ok an owner of three, it's another 'something' in which I can empathize.


Dave - Atlanta Trails said...

Congrats on hanging in there on a tough course...especially with all that heat. You rock!

olga said...

Oh, catra, glad Rocky is ok, and that you kicked it at Diablo - that's why you're crazy and an ultrarunner to boot! Looking forward to spend time at Miwok with you!

willgotthardt said...


Good to see you again...very nice to have your positive attitude & personality come through Finley.

Well done with both race/report.

Hello to Rocky.

Will G.

Catra said...

Hey Everett, Thanks so much.

Catra said...

Hey Donna it was tough that's for sure.
Funny how our little pets are having issues one min. and fine the next. I think it was just the universe challenging me.

Catra said...

Hey Snakebite thanks.

Catra said...

Hey 21stcenMom-
Thanks for helping out. I actually felt better by the time I came back through.
It was an epic journey that's for sure.

Catra said...

Hi Jay-
I won't be there ;( I'm running Leona Divide 50m on Saturday and won't be close to the Kickoff.
Have fun and tell everyone DirtDiva says hi.

Catra said...

Hey E thanks. Yes the little guy is perfect now.

Catra said...

Hi Tom-
Thanks. Leslie is a really great runner. Coming from the cold to 90 degree temps she kicked butt.

How cool is that your wife is going to be a "Dirt Diva" too.

Catra said...

Hey Alan thanks!

Catra said...

Hey Michelle-
I saw a few people without bottles. I thought they were out of there mind. And yes they were marathoners.
I was using up 70 oz in my bladder and my 20 oz hand held by the time I reached most aid stations.
Thanks for being there it was great seeing you and Morgan.
Mr. Rocky is totally fine!

Catra said...

Hey Will-
Thanks for being there. I was hoping you would be shirtless. Darn wanted to see that awesome chest of yours. Guess I will have to wait until Ohlone ;)

Really it was great to see both you and Ryan.
See you soon.

Catra said...

Thanks so much for the kind words.

Catra said...

Hey Christine-
Thanks for the post. I made it and happy that Rocky was fine.

Chihping Fu 傅治平 (超馬阿爸) said...


Nice to see you out there. Congrats to your finish!

I have your picture in the photo 080412 Diablo 50M. But yours is better :-)

See you soon (in Miwok?)


Catra said...

I love all your pictures. It was great seeing you out there.
I will see you at Mi-Wok. I will just be pacing Andy.
Have a great day.

Chihping Fu 傅治平 (超馬阿爸) said...

Now I can read your post in details at work (a meeting was suddenly canceled). It was touching about you and Rocky. Glad to know Rocky is now better.

I had the similar situation when I was ready to leave for the overnight Greyhound bus for the C2M. I just could not leave my two kids for three nights when they hugged me and said a lot of kid talk while I was packing.

I look forward to seeing Rocky strolling with you at the finish :-)


Judi said...

Beautiful race report.