As soon as I walked in the tent I was working, and it was non-stop until well over 4 hours into the race.
I did everything I was supposed to do: compression, stretching, PNF if I could... kinda hard to do on a cot that's only about 1 foot off the ground.
What was so interesting to me is that I was providing as much "mental" therapy as I was "massage" therapy. Some of these athletes were so distraught- grown men in tears, shaking their heads. 'They trained for this day, they can't believe they ended up in the med tent, they've run ultras and never cramped like this, the next thing they knew they were seeing spots, they had to stop at every mile to puke, they passed out' ...
I couldn't believe my ears most of the time. What the heck is wrong with these people?? They are sitting here with an IV in their arm, they just had a thermometer shoved up their bum, they're shivering wrapped in blankets, they're yacking into a plastic bag... and they're worried that they didn't get a PR?
Wait. I AM one of these people. But, I've never ended up in the medical tent. In fact, it's the one place I swear up and down I do NOT want to be in. I WILL NOT end up there. Nope, not me. Shit, here I am... now, I don't know exactly what crazy psychology was creeping up on me, but I left the race yesterday feeling really weird. I should have been proud of myself- for doing the one thing I was there to do: provide cramp relief. I did, and I did it well. I was able to take care of most of the people I laid my hands on. But instead, I was feeling... self doubt?
Maybe it was being exposed to the "other side" of an endurance event, or the fact that I actually related to what all of these poor souls were saying? Always thinking we could have done better, should have done better. I don't know, but there has to be some sort of lesson here...?