This is how my fun run went……….
Loop 1: Ready to Run
The week leading up to the race I was sick with what I thought was the flu, but on race day I was ready to go. The start happened so fast. We arrived around 5:30 a.m. A few minutes before race time I saw my tribe. A great group of friends who were also getting ready to ignite their running spirits. What up?! Toni, Steve, and David! The starting line temperature was perfect. I trained in minus temps in preparation for this race, so the low 40's and a forecast of rain later in the day was not bad at all. I lined up in the middle just behind the lead pack. I glanced back at the wave of lights and I couldn't believe it, I was just about to run 100 miles! The energy was high and it sent a charge though me, I was ready to run. My goal was to finish and enjoy the experience. I completed the first loop around 9:15 a.m.
Feeling good and happy at this point. I was really enjoying the course, the crowd and the awesome aid stations. I'm not going to lie, I found myself being sucked into the aid stations on every loop. The energy was great and the support was unbelievable. My favorite stop was the school house. All I can say is peace, love and happiness. I used the aid stations as needed to refill my bottle and refuel. It started to rain lightly at this point. I was feeling really good. Mentally I was in a good place. My spirits were high. I couldn't have asked for a better start to the race. I finished the second loop around 12:40 p.m.
It had been steadily raining most of the day. During the first 3 loops I mainly used Hammer Gels, Skratch, Sustained Energy and Endurolytes as needed. I wore the Orange Mud VP1 and was able to carry everything but the kitchen sink. The VP1 worked perfect! At this point I found myself eating pierogi (perfect snack to stuff in your pockets by the way), applesauce (great for upset stomach), drinking pickle juice (the perfect sodium upload) and eating whatever I could throw in mouth. I’m sure I looked a little like Cookie Monster as food was flying in mouth. Nam! Nam! Nam! I loved a sweet Mountain Dew and the old standby, PBJ. The rain was continuous and heavy at times. Dressing in the right layers made all the difference. A couple of miles into loop 3, the mud started to get bad. Draining me on every step as both feet became submerged in mud that was the consistency of peanut butter. I stayed focused. I chose to walk over certain sections as to not hurt myself. Even with my cautious steps, I still managed to tweak my right leg just behind my knee. I blocked the small ache out of my head and kept going. By the end of the 3rd loop the back of my knee started to hurt. A DNF didn’t even cross my mind. I was going to finish. I was able to maintain a steady pace and finished this loop around 4:38 p.m.
Loop 4: Mind over Mud
I love running in the rain. Good thing, because it was a steady flow at this point. The rain could have been my worst enemy or my best friend. On this day she was my bestie. It was comforting to have her by my side. I laughed as she made me slip, created fun uphill challenges and literally kept me grounded. After awhile the mud became soothing between my toes. I had never run in mud that challenging before. Mentally I was fresh but my legs were really starting to feel the happy pain. Physically I could feel my body slowing down. I found I was over compensating to take some of the pressure off my right knee. Still blocking out the pain I continued to move forward and make the best of the IT 100 Mudapalooza of 2015. My pace was slow, yet steady on this lap as I came in around 8:52 p.m.
It had been dark for a few at this point and it was time to change my upper clothes before the temperature dropped even more. It was pointless to change my shoes. I was in new territory as I reached 80 plus miles coming into loop 5. Between trying to figure out my calories and sodium intake in addition to continued blocking out of the pain in my right knee, I found myself light headed, shaky and on the verge of passing out. Candy and the amazing volunteers at the main aid station were quick to act and a few minutes of rest, food and recovery and I could be on my way again. I learned that my digestive system was not very happy and it reminded me at every aid station for the remainder of the race. Ugh, runner problems. Before the mud hit I was on course for finishing in 24 hours. Yet I realized that determination, consistent forward progress and heart was all I needed to finish.
Loop 6: “You don’t have to be fast. But you’d better be fearless.” – Born to Run, Christopher McDougall
On the last loop the pain was intense. Every step was amplified on the up hills and down hills. As I hobbled through the last loop in the early morning hours, I feared the worst for my right leg as the stiffness was at its peak. The temperatures dropped but it didn’t seem to affect me. (Who ever invented hand warmers deserves a Nobel prize). I was never mentally drained and even though I was not moving fast, I couldn't help but get lost in what I love to do. The sunrise was amazing and seemed to give me a 7th wind. In the last remaining miles I could feel all my hard work had paid off. One last crawl down the finish line chute and my goal was complete. I finished!
28:06:24 hours later I had earned my buckle.
A GREAT BIG THANK YOU to my wife and crew Candy for putting up with my crazy and supporting me. Erinn and Mark you made it easy and kept it fun in the beginning loops, thank you. It was nice meeting you Geoff Peterson, you killed it! To all the great volunteers, the Race Director, Mike and his amazing crew….Thank you for such a great race that lived up to its expectations and then some.
Hydration pack: Orange Mud VP1 hydration vest pack www.orangemud.com
Shoes: ALTRA Olympus 1.5 www.altrarunning.com
Blister prevention: 2toms (100 miles in the same shoe and same socks. Zero blisters. This stuff really works) www.2toms.com
Race Caps Supreme