2013-09-25 9:35 AM
Hawk 100 Sept 14 and 15, Clinton Lake Lawrence Kansas
Training went well for my return to the Hawk 100. Got in basically the same long runs but a few hundred more overall miles than the year before. One extra week of taper due to a big thunderstorm that rolled through but I felt pretty well trained. I did feel like I was coming down with a bit of a cold the week of and I was a little worried about that but I pounded vitamin c and apple cider vinegar and hoped for the best.
Took off the day before the race so we travelled to Lawrence on Thursday hoping to get extra rest. Seemed to work well, laid around a LOT on Friday before the pre-race briefing. Got to the briefing a little early because Suzi was volunteering and got yelled at by the Race Director for helping carry stuff from her car. Oh well...
Melissa had originally signed on to pace me again but an injury made that impossible. I'd been working on recruiting some friends but it seemed cursed. Every person who agreed ended up getting injured. Melissa finally enlisted her friend Ami who lived near Lawrence to help me out. I'd never met her and was a little nervous but was assured we'd be a good fit. Ami got her sister in law Kathy to handle the other 25 mile loop and I was set. Ami came out to the race briefing Friday night so we could meet for the first time and we hit it off well. Had some grilled burgers and other goodies and a Mexican beer I'd never heard of in a can then called it a night. Back to the hotel for some sleep.
Slept decent except I woke up wide awake at midnight and got out of bed and started to get ready! Oops. Only about four hours too early. Figured that out and went back to sleep for a bit. Up at the correct time, had a pop tart and gathered up my gear.
We headed over to Clinton Lake early, they were serving breakfast, so I ate again. This time eggs and bacon and coffee. My buddy Dave who had run many training runs with me showed up an hour early for his marathon start to see me off. Ami came out too. Hit the porta john literally seconds before the start and we were off into the dark. 6am.
Everyone was FLYING up Sander's Mound. I kicked back a bit and quicly fell in with a KC runner I knew named Chris and a gal from Des Moines who I believe was named Rita. We ran together for the first half of the first loop.
The way the loops work. You go into the woods. Left to the top of Sander's Mound. Back down and past where you started staying on single track for about half the loop. Quick 2 mile lollypop around Bunker Hill, an open grassy area, then back on the single track all the way back to the start finish. There's an aid station at each end of the loop and one in the middle (Land's End) that you see twice, once each direction.
Finished the first loop in 6:05, almost an hour faster than last year.
Loop 2 (miles 25-50) was largely uneventful until the final 6 miles or so from Land's End. I really started to run low on energy and was getting a hot spot on my foot. Great. Did NOT want to deal with blisters again this year. This is also when I started to notice the tendon above my right ankle getting swollen and painful. It was here I had my only serious thoughts of quitting. As I finished this loop I reached one of my lowest points in the race. It was a pretty dark place and I was feeling sorry for myself AND for Kathy, my pacer I'd never met who would have to put me back together. Spent some extra time in the aid station getting food and drink in me and moleskin on my hot spot. Grabbed lights that we wouldn't need for a little bit which was awesome (last year it was WAY dark before I started this loop) and took off for 25 miles with a total stranger.
Finished the first 2 in 13:07
Kathy and I took off for the 3rd loop (miles 50-75), still light out which is nice but I was really moving slowly. Up to Sander's Mound, back down and off towards Land's End as it was getting dark. Kathy might be the most up-beat person I've ever run with. We had never met but the conversation was easy and that sure helped. We spent just a little bit of time getting to know each other on Facebook but we were strangers. It was during this loop that I started to have some stomach issues. Nothing horrible, but a lot of bloating and gas and somewhere around here I made my first of a few longish porta john visits. I honestly tried to keep a good pace on this loop but the rocky trails in the dark combined with my upset stomach made it very difficult. After the bunker hill section and back on the single track I kept feeling something in my show. Stopped, sat on a rock, took it off but couldn't find anything. Stopped a second time, looked again, even took off the sock but nothing. Stopped a third time and figured it out. I had stepped on a nail and driven it into my show and it was poking my heel for the last few miles! Took
FOREVER to get it out of my shoe and I was fading really fast. Stomach was horrible, I was tired and pissed now too. By the time we got to Lands End with about 6 miles to go on that loop I hit another really low spot. Ended up sitting in the chair for awhile eating everything Gary could find me but I was really tooled at that point. Things were getting really, really ugly.
I don't remember much about finishing the third loop. 22:19.
At several points during the race, Suzi and Melissa (did I mention she drove all the way up here to surprise me and crew??????) soaked my feet in ice water and changed me into dry socks. I changed shorts a couple times too, once into shorts that were too big which caused some major chafing issues on the insides of my thighs. I do remember once at night, stepping away maybe 10 feet, asking everyone to turn around and stripping down naked at the aid station to change shorts. I guess modestly goes out the window during 100 miles.
Picked up Ami for loop 4. Ami and I had gotten to know each other a little bit on Facebook, plus she had come over for the race briefing Friday night so we could meet. She also came out for the start earlier Saturday and had been at the aid stations helping crew when she wasn't getting some sleep.
Up Sander's Mound, and off towards Land's End. Noticed we were moving pretty well in the dark and figured Gary would be quite surprised that I'd come back from the dead. When we got into Land's End Gary wasn't there but we ate a ton then headed back out. VERY slow going along the shoreline section but it was still dark. Last year the sun was coming up at this poing so I figured we were safely ahead of last year's time. But before we got into the aid station at that end Melissa and Suzi were both out on the trail looking for us. Sun was up and they were worried about the time. I thought we were doing great. Ami admitted that they secretly had told her I needed to keep an eye on the time. So around the grassy Bunker Hill area Ami moved up next to me and pushed the pace. Finished that section in decent time, ate half a turkey sandwich and was forced to carry a ziplock full of food with me and we were off. To finish. Maybe 12ish miles left.
6 miles to Land's End aid station and all of a sudden I felt good. I mean really, really good. We started really running and it was fun. I described it as "really cooking" at one point. I will never define 15 minute miles as "really cooking" again but we were. 90 minutes to Land's End. Probably my fastest 6 mile section of the entire day and it was with 88 miles on me. Told Ami it that it was deficit spending and who knew if I would have anything left but we just went with it. Got to Land's End, filled up water and wanted to go. Gary really wanted me to eat but I couldn't stomach anything else. Grabbed a couple of pretzels and maybe a cookie and we took off.
I was right. I was done running. But I was power hiking pretty well. Last year I was honestly BARELY MOVING the last 6 miles. I sure felt like we were moving well even though I couldn't run. With the time we made up into Land's End I knew I'd beat last year's time but I wasn't sure by how much. We kept pushing and this section took FOREVER. I knew we had to hit the marina road and it seemed like it would never come. From there two very long miles. When we came out along the main road it was one mile to go. I remembered that Melissa had to count it down by tenths of a mile the year before just to get me through it but not this year. We just hiked until we got there. Kathy had cleaned up and picked up her kids and was at the playground near the finish. Melissa and Suzi were there. A couple of other finishers plus Coleen and Danny the race directors. And just like that I was done.
30 hours. 26 minutes. Over an hour faster than the year before. And felt pretty good at the finish. (and looked way better at the finish than the year before).
A little concern over my ankle/shin. It was BRIGHT RED and starting to swell. But not much to be done. Cleaned up a bit and drank a beer while just sitting at the finish. No one else was coming though. Finished 15th out of 25 starters. Dead last.
Suzi is the most amazing wife ever. Couldn't do it without her. And she is the best crew anyone can ask for.
Cannot believe Melissa came up for the day (and night) to help. My running BFF.
Made two great new friends, Ami and Kathy. I can't wait to run with them again without having to run 50 miles first!
Two Hawk 100 finishes in two tries. Like that. Puts my overall 100 average at .500! Already thinking about maybe a third trip to Lawrence next year.
By Bill P
2013-09-25 11:14 AM
> I guess modestly goes out the window during 100 miles.
Two 100 milers under your belt, literally! You have arrived Gregg. Congratulations!
2013-09-25 11:38 AM
Great job, Gregg! If you do it again next year, I might be there for 50 miles. We'll see how training goes first. LOL
How's your ankle/shin doing?
2013-09-25 11:38 AM
Hope you do.
Its very very slowly getting better.
2013-09-25 12:27 PM
Thank you, Michelle.
Your friendship has been one of the very best things to come out of this whole "running thing" :).
2013-09-25 12:29 PM
This just astounds me. To run 100 miles in just over a day, when it might take me days to put 100 miles on my car. Congratulations on a phenomenal accomplishment!!
2013-09-25 12:45 PM
I guess modestly goes out the window during 100 miles.
Kind of like having a baby in a way.
2013-09-25 12:54 PM
(fka Molasses Mama)
2013-09-25 7:36 PM
I am so very happy for you! Knowing how finishing last year's Hawk beat you up, you knew what had to be done to improve, and you did it! I know it wasn't easy, but your focus, determination and consistency were well rewarded with an awesome weekend, and a shiny new buckle! I truly hope your confidence level soared as well, because, dude, if you can do this, you can do anything!
Thanks for taking us along on such an awesome journey. Can't wait for the next chapter in your amazing book!
2013-09-26 4:07 AM
You've always been my best cheerleader.
Can't WAIT to see you again this spring at Martian. :)
You truly are a beast! I can almost guarantee I'll never be able to run one of these, and for you to run two is just mind blowing to me. Fires me up in a huge way!
2013-09-26 9:00 AM
Thanks buddy, I really appreciate it.
Everybody finds their niche. I will NEVER be able to run as fast as you....so I do this instead. :)
2013-09-26 10:13 AM
Powered by mwForum © 1999-2015 Markus Wichitill