Ask the Goat: Javelina Jundred race report 3 of 3

Editor’s note: This is part three of a three-part series. Part one was published on Nov. 7. Part two was published on Nov. 15.

On Wednesday morning, I paced Kristine for her Army Physical Fitness Exam. I woke up with a wicked headache, probably the adult form of that larval one I had been harboring for almost three days prior. But the worst part was excusing myself multiple times during the instructions and first two events to have my ass-end explode. Whatever had my stomach upset had moved into maximum overdrive. Seriously, I wasn’t even digesting anymore. This was the process: Bite, chew, swallow & poo.

Ask the Goat by Chris Knodel

Ask the Goat
by Chris Knodel

I paced her through the run without incident, but my headache would not abate, and predicting the bowels was nigh impossible. If I didn’t know better, I would have equated these symptoms to my October 2013 bout with C. diff., but it’s rare outside of healthcare professionals, and I already had one unlikely diagnosis. The odds of a recurrence were very low.

Kristine and I were slated to begin our Javelina journey at 6 p.m. Wednesday. I kept trying to get everything together, but about every 30 minutes left me sprinting to the bathroom. I wasn’t eating. I kept hydrating and flooding my system with electrolytes, but that was mostly in the hopes that my migraine would abate. Not once did I seriously consider myself to be “sick,” per se. I just thought my depleted state from pacing CR100, plus the stresses of the week had worked a “perfect storm” on my system. It was (as it always is) Kristine that took the reins on my health. She got me into a last-minute doctor’s appointment for Thursday 2:50 p.m. – almost 24 hours past our departure time. We’d still make it in plenty of time for the race itself, but our social/relaxation period would be cut significantly.

The doctor did not mince words. He stated flatly that it was most probably C. diff., and that although treatment would be administered long before testing was conclusive, any bacterial infection would have to be treated the same. He prescribed a very harsh antibiotic, and noted, with a slight sense of humorous irony that I had the same diagnosis and prescription one year ago to the day. He followed the statement with the following recommendation: No travel, no races, no running –four weeks minimum. Then reassess and listen to my body for direction.

Withdrawing from a race is always tough, although a medical DNS is mentally easier than a will-power DNF. But I was transporting goods for sponsors, gear for friends, pacing for clients and Kristine was a volunteer and crew member for the lot of us. I was going to see friends from all over the country, at a race that I had been adequately trained and mentally prepared for. It just made me angry.

So the long and short of this is that my final hundred was not Javelina. My final hundred was pacing the back-50 of the Cactus Rose 100. It wasn’t the way I planned the year, but as with every journey, not all bad outcomes are truly bad. It’s how you respond to those outcomes that dictate their lasting effects.

Chris Knodel is a Mangum Track Club member and Sandhills Region native. He is the author of “More, Better Quicker – The Irish Goat: A Fat-Boy & His Path to Ultra-Distance.” His column will appear each Thursday on

Filed in: Outdoors, Sports

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