Friday, October 4, 2013

Hinson Lake 24 hour ultra, September 28 & 29, 2013

Brett's race report - lol!
Brett Wilborne submitted his race report (see picture).  I laughed when I saw it, but hey, it was spot on.  Yep, running circles around a lake.

My report is a wee bit longer…  I said goodbye to my 30's with this last race in the "kids" division (as Paul H put it).  Welcome to the masters!

I had a pretty “severe” taper for this run.  I ran all of 4 miles in the 9 days leading up to it.  That’s it.  No circuit, no yoga, nothing.  I was way busy with work and life, but that extreme taper might have been a good thing. I went into Hinson well rested and ready to go!

Friday September 27 my family and I made the drive down to Rockingham for our annual Hinson Lake outing.  We arrived mid afternoon, which was apparently “late” for setting up canopies.   We still managed a good spot along the curve, it was a bit off the dam, out of the wind, and closer to the moose lodge where we had the camper set up.  Figured Jordan dog might behave better over there as well.

I chilled out for a while with my MTC peeps, throwing a few back and having a good time.  

We ate dinner at the moose lodge where they had a pasta party for the runners.  It was a good meal, fair price, and “on site” – didn’t have to drive anywhere.  Doesn’t get much better than that! 

We went to bed fairly early in anticipation of the next day’s events.  At 6:00am, as usual on race day morning, Gnarles Barkley woke me up with his tune “Crazy”. What is crazy is I woke up with a horrible sore throat and a cough that was a lot like bronchitis would be like…  ugh, seriously?  I made myself some hot tea, melted the sore throat away and proceeded to get ready. I got everyone up and dressed, Kayla even braided my hair for me.  I talked strategy with my oldest 2, giving them some ideas on how to make it to their goals, telling them to eat and drink, and the most important thing? “Start of slow, then back off”

Before too long we were listening to Jerry give announcements before the race.  At about 7:57 he throws in this “oh by the way”….  You know what he did? This year for the first time, there would be buckles awarded to anyone running 100 miles or further.  You could hear the crowd start talking.  My guess is many peoples game plans changed a bit with that tibit of news. I heard a rumor of some sort of award for 100 mile finishers 2 weeks prior at the MTC shirt run.  I didn’t know it was a buckle though.  “It’s a major award!” (A Christmas Story).

"50 mile Drew" and I
My goal going into it was to #1 have fun, #2 get in 50 miles, and #3 hopefully get a 50 mile PR.  If my feet held out, and I felt good I would go farther.  What I didn't want to do was push hard and be miserable like I was at U100 for the last 50 miles...  All along though I knew that 24 hours is a long time, and you have to take it just a lap at a time.  Cautiously optimistic is how I put it.

I was having a good day.  It was fun to see Drew and Kayla logging their miles.  It was fun to see Ashlynn playing with her friends and taking her stroll around the lake with friends.  I was enjoying running and walking with friends, old and new.  

I signed up and carried Dustin’s shirt around for a lap.  That was humbling.  I was thankful to be one small lap in his memoriam 100 at Hinson.  Drew carried it around for a lap as well.  He said “mom?  I am going to be praying this whole lap while I am carrying the shirt”

Mile 25 I changed shoes and socks.  Lots of grit had built up on my feet so I wiped them down with baby wipes, powdered them, and headed back out.  Love the feel of dry feet!  I felt renewed and ready to go.

It was sometime during the daylight hours when I ran some with Ray K.  He always brings a smile to my face with his singing.  Of course he was singing and what better song to sing to me than “Aime, what you want to do, I think I could run with you, for  a while maybe longer if I dooooo”  ♫  

Around mile 40 I realized I was closing in on my goal of PR’ing my 50 miler.  I started picking up the pace some and it was interesting on who was taking notice.  I started to get many cheers as I was running through the check in/aid station.  That was just fuel for my fire.  

I finished my 50 miles in PR time of 10:43.  Took time to change my socks and shoes again (again, the grit build up was bad,) and switched back into my first pair of Hokas.  I also changed my clothes thinking that with the sun going down the temps would drop and I would not be sweating as much.  In hindsight, I probably shouldn’t have wasted my time, I was soaked with sweat again within a lap of changing.  So it goes….

I came up upon Kayla finishing up her final lap.  I gave her a hug.  She was struggling through and close to her goal.  She was tired - my heart ached for her cause I knew what she was going through but at the same time I was so proud to see her pushing through the pain to reach the finish.  

This is From Wm Keene a few days after Hinson: Kayla really impressed me at Hinson Lake with her determination and demeanor. She qualified for Team Buttercup. A good kid needs recognition for her effort.  

Now this is where things start to get a little crazy.  Joey shows up and runs a few laps with me.  Drew is on his last lap (by now he is walking), and I want so bad to walk it in with him.  I see him struggling – his body is tired, his mind is too, but his heart is carrying him on to finish his goal of 50 miles. Thing is, if I walk this lap, chances are, I will not be able to get 100 in…  I was so torn.  I knew he was in good hands though with Gene M.  New goal, get in 2 running laps before Drew finishes his lap.  

Well, I didn’t quite make it, Drew finished before I got there.  Still he was greeted with cheers and a lot of atta boys.  He got a big hug from me as well when I arrived to the canopy.  I was so proud of him.  Here are a couple posts from friends about Drew and his 50 mile quest at age 10:

Denise Dilley Martin: For all the "Drew fans", here is some more inspiration for you. Drew did exactly what I would like all runners to do -- come see me if you are in pain. He came in about 12AM & said "My legs hurt," then sat quietly until it was his turn. I noticed he was cold, so I gave him my hoodie and let him lay on the other table until I could work on him. After working on him, I told him he could use the jacket while he finished his last 3 laps to make his goal. I wasn't expecting him to say yes, because it was 20x too big for him, but he politely said he'd like that. When he returned, he told me, "I put my hand in the pocket and there was a bunch of money in there, so I kept my hand there so it wouldn't fall out." I didn't know there was cash in my pocket. The effort for him to safekeep it in a garment that is way too big for him while accomplishing a feat that seems way too big for most adults speaks volumes of this kid! Amy messaged me that he didn't "know to pay". Nope, he didn't; he just knew he hurt, and he could come to me to get help and I'm glad I could do it.

Charles West - No question about it, he's a tough kid. It's a quiet determination that if you're not paying attention you'll miss it.

This is where it gets complicated.  Shortly after Drew finished, there was an incident that even on a good day would have had me mentally frazzled.  I will not elaborate any more on what it was but it was significant.  I was upset.  I was angry, and knew that if I didn’t somehow pull it together and refocus, the last few hours of running were for nothing.  I had a big meltdown at the aid station around mile 78.  Now, It is not unusual for ultrarunners to have meltdowns, so it fit right in with the usual “how things go during a 24 hour”.  I struggled to focus and refocus and channel my frustration into running and leaving it on the trail.  I kept thinking of the shirt I was wearing that said “strength through focus” on the back and kept moving forward.

The old saying goes, the darkest hour is just before dawn.  That it was…  When will that sun come up??  My feet were killing me.  I made the choice to not change my socks and shoes at mile 75.  It was a catch 22.  I should change to save my feet, but in doing so, I might not have enough time to finish.  I could feel blisters forming and with every step it was like needles.  The worst part was switching from walking to running.  The best part was when one would pop and the pressure was off – ahh!  Oh, and to add to the fun of the evening, I went in to use the restroom and who was there?  Aunt Flo! Just another thing, right?  

See Paul waiting for me? best hug ever.
When the sun finally came up, we were on the bridge and I started singing “Here comes the sun, do do do do, here comes the sun, and I say, its alright”… ☼ ♫  YES!  I made it to morning and held a good enough pace in those dark hours to get me through.  

I crossed that 100.32 mark in 23:24.  Rebecca took 2 great pics of it.  Paul H was just finishing up a lap when I came across and I received from him.  He and I logged some frozen miles together at CR24 – he in his big wooly coat and me with a blanket over my shoulders.  It was so cold!!  He is a great friend and I was thankful that he was there for me at the end. 

heres my # 129

Now I was excited.  I could to maybe inch my way one more place up the leaderboard if I logged a few more miles, besides, this was a 24 hour event, I was going to run the full 24 hours.  I went out with Rebecca, and to say that we were punchy was an understatement.  We were having a ball.   Singing, laughing and carrying on.  Vac n Dash caught a great pic of us on the bridge on our banana lap.   “Hey I just met you, and this is crazy!  But here's my number (129) so call me maybe”  ♫

Jerry handing me the 100 mile buckle
It was shortly after that the siren went off signaling the 8:00am hour and the end of the race.  We dropped our bananas and walked it in.  At the end of the day I logged nearly 103 miles (102.86, close enough, right?)  
Jerry presented me and 22 others with the first ever Hinson Lake 100 mile finisher buckle.  3rd woman overall and 11th finisher out of 275.
So here's the details:

Shoes: 2 pair of Hoka Bondi B’s – 3 pair of feetures socks

Fuel:  1 dozen special k protein drinks.  I drank one every 3ish laps.  At least 8 cans of coconut water, 1 cheeseburger, lots of water from the aid station as well as ginger ale.  I only had 2 cups of coke (caffeine) in the middle of the night, and ¼ of a pb&j and a handful of skittles.  I relied heavily on the protein drinks and it worked very well as easily digestible fuel for me.  

Damage:  going to lose 3 toenails.  Had some pretty severe blistering, especially on my left foot.  Blisters on each toe, heel and my midfoot.  The right foot just had one blister on the midfoot.  I know this could have been prevented by changing socks and shoes.  So it goes...  I had cankles for days.  My feet were severely swollen - especially my left foot til Thursday.   
Would I have done anything different?  Fuel wise, everything was spot on but I would have liked to have changed my socks and shoes at mile 75.  The weather could not have been any better.  We have had many hot and humid HL races.  This one was quite mild in comparison.  It did get warm during the day, but most of the time we were in the shade and it was not too bad.  Just had to be sure to keep drinking.  

Awesome volunteers, a ton of fun schwag, and a great atmosphere.  All for $24.  This is the type of event that I like to call “the family reunion that you want to go to.” Its a chosen family of sorts and is always a great time. I plan to attend again next year with my kids.  They love this race, the people and support.  I wonder what their goals will be then?  Wonder what mine will be?