|Finishing my last loop of the HURT 100. Photo by Rob Lahoe. All photos unless otherwise noted are by Rob Lahoe.|
I was by all accounts completely unprepared for HURT 100 mile run this year yet I PR'd by almost 40 minutes and placed 2nd. I did none of my usual intense training. In fact, quite the opposite. I decided that I'd do whatever the heck I wanted in training which meant very few long runs and lots of cross training. I love moving my body, challenging it, and the intensity of exercise, but I hate monotony. I'd trained hard the past few years and plateaued, some might even say I had backtracked through my intense training. My body rebelled and I became slower the more I forced running. So I stopped forcing it. I began biking indoors most days through the winter and I started a daily strength training workout (15-30 mins a day, every single day) and delved back into the physical and spiritual side of yoga. I was practicing yoga 60-90 minutes everyday. I began experimenting with and experiencing my inner self and learned to access a calmness that I'd rarely had in the past.
|Running through the jungle. By Rob Lahoe|
|Photo by Rob Lahoe|
The race began and I scooted back toward the middle of the pack. I thought I'd shoot for 5 hour loops, at least for the first 3. I'd pace myself so that I could comfortably finish. I kept finding myself flying despite my plans. I was singing to my ipod songs, I was loving the root dance, the slippery corners, it was real joy!! I'd catch myself falling, falling, falling and be back upright, bombing down toward Paradise Aid Station chasing my friend Danny. We rolled into Nature Center Aid, completing the first of 5 loops in 4 hrs 22 minutes and I thought, how the fuck did that happen? I was running so easy. I feel so damn good.
|Photo by Rob Lahoe|
A little shocked by the pain, I pushed myself up, limped, looked around. No one had seen me fall. I knew I'd be seeing the 2nd and 3rd place ladies soon on the out and back and I'd been chasing them all day. I didn't want them to know I'd hurt myself. I sucked it up and hobbled for 100 meters before striking a nice ultra shuffle. Ok, I'm ok. I decided to get my ankle taped right away. Last year, I'd waited almost 40 excruciating miles before getting it taped. Despite the ankle issues, I completed loop 2 in about 4 hours 45 minutes. Still sub 5. That was very good. And I still felt amazing, if not a bit swollen and pained in the ankle.
|Getting my ankle taped at Nu'uanu Aid. Photo Courtesy Ultrasportslive.tv|
|Photo by Rob Lahoe|
I knew it! What a liar my legs were. They said I was CRUISING, but loop 4 was slower than the past 3 loops despite my pacer and crew person extraordinaire, Dave Melanson, inspiring me through all 20 miles with his Northwest plaid style Belly Shirt. Yes, he wore a belly shirt. If you don't know what that is look up Scott Jurek at White River circa forever ago, white belly shirt. Maybe the belly shirt made me think I was going faster....
|Dave and his belly shirt. Photo by Rob Lahoe|
|Photo by Rob Lahoe. I look like I've seen a ghost.|
|The sprained left ankle and some horrid chaffing/cratering of pain from the taping.|
|Lots of chaffing on my stomach and back, I'll spare you from a back photo. Why so much? Shirtless, no body glide and lots of sweating. I figured I'd put on a shirt if it started to chafe, but before I knew it the chaffing was there.|
|I got matching blisters under each 2nd toe that popped the nail out of its bed.|
In finishing, I'd like to thank a few amazing people in my life who made my 2014 HURT possible, couldn't have done it without all of you:
- The race directors and volunteers: PJ and John Salmonson, Jeff Huff, and seriously the aid stations were amazing!! Thank you so very much.
- Dave Melanson: kept me company before, during and after the race! Crewed and paced ALL DAY and night with no rest.
- Pearl Izumi Ultra Team: the best shoes and clothing plus the support of the team kept me motivated.
- Ultimate Direction: the amazing folks at UD sent me an Ultra Vesta last minute so I could be properly hydrated during the race and run in style! I'm really excited to be an ambassador this year!
- James Varner: made my trip possible and kept all the folks at home updated during the race!
- My friends, family, and ultra fans. I am humbled by the positive feedback! Thank you to the Bellingham Trail Running Club for kicking me into shape :)
- Marina, and Stella: Love you two!!! I wore Stella's bracelet and put M's on my pack. Always good luck to have that kind of love.