Thursday, October 2, 2014

Hinson Lake 24 Hour - September 27 and 28, 2014

At the start - see the purple hair? didn't think so - ha!
This marks my 4th year running Hinson Lake.  Its one of those races that will probably be on my yearly race list til I can't run anymore.  For me, and for many, its like a tailgate party / reunion with running involved.  

This year was very different for me.  My kiddos / family were not with me and I not camping - Drew had gotten hurt a week prior and I knew that if I took him that he would shoot for that 50 miler again and get more injured... so they spent the weekend with their cousins.  I also opted not to camp this year and found a hotel instead.  

I arrived at the lake by 11:30 Friday to claim a prime 8 x 8 piece of real estate next to the trail.  NCRC banner was proudly displayed there Saturday too!  The rest of the day I literally put my feet up and chilled with many running peeps.  We talked strategy and what our plans were for the race.

My original plan was to go for 110.  Why 110?  In ultrarunning magazine there was a top 25 list of women who ran the farthest in 2013 in 24 hour events.  Number 25 came in at 106 miles.  I wanted to be on that list for 2014.  I figured 110 would get me on that list.  

But then Kevin wrote up this article that lit a little fire under me....  114.6 was the course record?  hmmm...  what is another 5 miles?  So yeah, I started dreaming big.  I set the bar really high - knowing full well it would be tough to achieve but none the less, I set that goal.  I only shared that goal with a few people.  24 hours is a long long time and anything can happen.  I would go into it like I did last year "cautiously optimistic"  #gobigorgohome

We ate at the Moose lodge Friday night at the spaghetti dinner.  It was good.  I ate there the year before too.  Its nice that it was so close and cheap!

*note to self*  book a hotel BEFORE the race.  Drove around looking for a place that had vacancy  for about 45 min - lol!  oh well....  found one that didn't seem to have bedbugs and settled in for a nap before the race the next morning.

Changed up my routine *just* a bit.  Still did the braids but added in 2 purple extensions - thought it might bring me a bit of luck - lol!  

on the run selfie with John n Dan :)
Woke up, got everything together and headed over to the lake.  Now if there was a way to somehow calm the nerves those few hours before the race... that would be amazing....  

Before too long we were all at the start listening to the briefing.  I was concerned that it was going to be crowded with Jerry opening the field to everyone who was on the wait list.  It was about 350 people who started - up from about 275 from last year.  That was not really an issue tho.   It was a bit crowded for about a mile, but after that it thinned out and it was go time.  

I had the opportunity to run with so many people.  Love this event cause you can see the fast people when you get lapped and the slow ones when you lap them often.  Its crazy tho, the ones who are about the same pace as you?  Ya miss them - cause they are always just ahead or just behind by a little bit and you all are keeping the same pace.  I didn't see Steve all day, and only saw Tim twice... 

my favorite pic from the day :D
I kept to what worked well for me.  A protein drink every hour, water n s-caps.  When noon-ish came around I backed off and slowed it down to not get too hot.  Still, I think I got a little dehydrated.  I didn't pee for about 3 hours even though I was drinking a lot and even carried a handheld.  

I made it to 50 miles in 10:30.  Not my PR of 10:15 (during CR24 last year) but I was at least on track for 100+

Bout the time the sun started getting lower in the sky I started picking it up some.  Bout this time Colin came around and I started running with him.  His pace was slightly faster than what I was doing and it is what I needed - a good pacer!  I needed to run a little faster to make up some time going into the dark.

half way there - livin on a prayer!
I think it was about mile 60 where I started to have some issues...  I downed a sweet tea figuring I needed the sugar and caffeine.  About 3/4 of a mile back down the trail I told Colin to keep going cause I was going to be sick.  And indeed I was sick.  I was along side the trail having a sweet tea reversal.....  First time this had happened during a race.  After, yes, but never during....  I knew it wasn't good....  

One kind Good Samaritan stopped and "held my hair" - she said I am sticking with you and making sure you get back in.  Her name was Jessica and I was thankful that she was looking out for me. 

Once I was done we started running again.  Actually I felt better and we ran walked the rest of the way in.  I got to the aid station and took some water, but it was not sitting well.  ugh.

cleaned up - trail love - ow!
I went out for another lap and it was dark. This year the moon was not out like it was in previous years.  I didn't bring a light with me.  *genius*  On the front half it wasn't so bad but around the back stretch I ended up catching a root and went down.  I skinned my knee and was covered in blood an dirt.  :/  Trail Love!  I should know better... oh well... 

I actually then sat down to evaluate where I was at. I was shaking and my stomach was a mess.  I knew there was no way to reach that 114.6+ goal.  Even 100+ was out of reach.  I took a couple more laps then grabbed my flannel and sat with the BCRT for a while.  I was shaking.  I couldn't control my body temp.  ugh... sometimes that happens when I am completely exhausted.  I knew my day was done........
I was tired, cold and sick.... still smilin tho.

I soon left and went back to that same hotel to get a shower and a few hours sleep.  Woke up feeling much better. 

Came back in the morning and logged about 3 more laps and finished with just over 70 miles.  

Went to breakfast with Steve, Tim and Patrick in Sanford.  We were starving!!  For me its 100 calories per mile - so yeah, about 7000 calories burned!

So what did I do wrong?  I keep thinking about it....  too high of a goal?  perhaps, but it wasn't within reason on a perfect day.  Looking back I should have run a even slower between noon and 5 and drank more.  I think I got dehydrated and that is what got me throwing up after picking up the pace again.  

Love this sign - and the 'graffiti'  ha!
Overall I am happy with the run.  I had a good time.  I ran with some great folks, and even though I got sick, I still logged over 70 miles.  I can't complain.  Am I disappointed?  Yeah, a little but not much.  It wasn't a DNF. I finished strong after a nap.  I am very grateful for the health and strength to run.  I can do all things through him who gives me strength. 

Til the next adventure - *cheers*