Wednesday, October 8, 2014
Hurricane Hundred Miler Report - 2014
I was certainly hesitant to run the Hurricane Hundred, mainly because the grueling Bear 100 was only six days earlier. But I've got this nerdy streak going on where I've tried to run a 100 miler a month which I had done for eight months in a row. Our family is going to be really busy in October. So if I wanted to get a 100 in for October it had to be that weekend. I've never tried to do two 100 milers six days apart.
I started the run in Warner Valley where the scenery is simply beautiful. But after only three miles I considered bailing out. I just wasn't feeling it. My legs were stiff, a little achy, and had absolutely no energy. Of course it's not too hard to figure out why. I sat down on a rock at three miles and had a heart to heart talk with myself. Do I keep going or end the streak? The absolute top priority in ALL my training and racing is to keep my body in good shape and avoid injury to the extent that I avoid Katy Perry music - which is a lot.
I sat thinking for a bit and figured I'd go a few more miles before making a final decision. Finally, thankfully after about 8 miles my legs loosened up and I felt much better. I thought "Maybe I CAN do this." I stopped to check out some dinosaur tracks in the area.
By midday it was toasty hot reaching 86 degrees. I had my car parked in a central location that branched off in different directions. I had lots of water, ice, and treats in my car and would stop to refill my pack every 15-20 miles which worked well. I spotted this guy near the car and thought the markings looked cool.
I really, really love races because of the camaraderie and the opportunity to spend time with other awesome runners. I also really love these long solo runs too. It's fun to have no specific course, no cutoffs, no aid stations, no pressure, just running for the sake of running. Because running is awesome.
In the late afternoon I was feeling like someone popped me inside an Easy Bake Oven. The heat was zapping my energy. Then I came up a hill and saw an old, familiar friend. On top of a rock I saw a little pile of rocks that I had stacked last time I was here.....almost 10 months ago! (You can see that old rock tower HERE.) It was a long time ago that I forgot about the rock tower I had made. It had fallen over but the rocks were still there. I stacked them again and smiled. Next time I'll add another rock to the stack.
Some of my route was on trails. Some on dirt roads. And some of the miles were on no trail at all.
I listened to Trail Runner Nation and Ultra Runner Podcast and never felt bored being out by myself hour after hour. Each time I run here I stop at this same spot to admire the view. The contrast of colors always looks so awesome.
I stopped again on the return trip back.
I would have killed for a bit of cloud cover. Just a little bit of shade. But alas......nothing except a trail of white behind an occasional airplane up above. Come on Mother Nature, work with me on this one.
Once the sun started to set and it got slightly cooler I started to catch a second wind.
Mel and Jackson wanted to run some miles with me so after 42 miles on the trails I drove a couple minutes back into town and met them at the middle school track. The best part about the track is that it's dirt. I had a lot of fun running five miles with Mel and Aunt Jackie the dog.
After Mel left my 13 year old Jackson came over to do some laps. He said he was planning to stay all night. He would run for a while then take a nap when he got tired. I agreed and it was great to have him there with me. I couldn't help but think about the time when he stayed with me all night in July when I ran 100 miles around a track. He is a good kid.
I admit that in the middle of the night when I was so tired and sore and beginning to fall asleep while running, it was tough to look over at the grass and see this. I desperately wanted to curl up on the blanket next to him and take a nap.
In the very early morning Jackson woke up and got some more miles in. He ended up doing a total of 13 miles. I'm so proud of him and his dedication to working hard.
After Jackson was done running I still had 10 more miles to get to 100. I decided to stop the Garmin and drive a few minutes up the road so that I could finish the run on some trails. I decided to go to Gould's Rim, a trail that is close by with beautiful views.
Years ago when I was running on Gould's Rim I found an ancient artifact called a Van Halen cassette tape. I couldn't help laughing at the thought of someone being so upset at realizing that their Van Halen tape must have popped out of their Walkman when they were out on the trail. I put the tape in a secret spot and I go see it every time I'm on Gould's Rim. It was still there on this visit:
After 26 hours and 28 minutes I finished the Hurricane Hundred and my ninth month in a row of doing a 100 miler. I really can't wrap my head around the fact that my body was willing to run two 100 mile runs six days apart. I'm just a guy who likes to eat pumpkin pie, drink Diet Dr. Pepper, and watch Major League Baseball playoff games. I'm not some kind of elite runner with a sculpted, muscular body. You only need one look at me to know that.
So what I'm saying is that bodies are amazing. We can do some really awesome stuff. It wasn't too many years ago when I gave up on my goal of running a marathon because my knees wouldn't let me get past six miles. (That happened a few years in a row.)
I'm thankful that bodies adapt. God knew what he was doing when he built us. So if you have a goal with your running, go for it! You want to go for a half marathon? Great! Do it! You want to run a 100 miler? Sweet! Do it! Because that sense of accomplishment from running and working hard is awesome.
"If one could run without getting tired, I don't think one would often want to do anything else." ~ CS Lewis