"All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible." TE Lawrence

Sunday, October 10, 2010

40 B4 40

October has arrived and it was now time to put up or shut up. I made a few new year resolutions that i have not paid up on. I joined a running club, check. I have inspired a few people to get out and run, check. I have improved my 5k time, check.
I have yet to run my 40 miler before my birthday on October 18.

I have done the training and put in the miles. I had two opportunities to do this at actual races. One was out of the question due to family vacation. The other intimidated the hell out of me. When I finally got the guts to commit it was too late to register.

I worked up a plan to run the same route I had been training on. I put together a pace plan, set up my fluids, mapped everything out. I felt the plan was solid. The only thing preventing me from finishing was the run being 13 miles farther than I had ever gone.

Saturday October 9, 2010 Run, walk or crawl, I am determined to make 40 miles today. I had a few friends pacing me. My wife had contacted other friends and promoted my crazy stunt. My daughter told me "You can do it daddy."

6am Start in the dark. Derrick an employee from Lowe's said he would be out to run the first 7 mile loop with me. My goal was to run 30 walk 5 this would be my next 7+ hours. The downhill on David Taylor carried us out at a smooth 8 min pace. This was faster than my plan but what could it hurt. About 2.7 miles in we passe Theoden and he turned to run with us. The reason I remember the mileage at this point was I hit the stop button on my Garmin and it paused. At Saxonburry he turned off to get back to Caribou by 7 and to not push my pace. I knew we were moving at his pace but it felt good. I had missed my walk break at 30 so checking my time I found out I was still at 2.7 miles. I was unsure of the missed mileage (2.4) the rest of the day and it helped occupy my mind and keep me from thinking about the pains. We made it back to Caribou before as the UCRR were getting ready to go. Derrick wished me luck and I joined in the pack heading out. 7 miles in 33 to go.

I joined the pack at the usual downhill pace of about 8:30. Emily from Empowered Personal Fitness was there as promised. We split off at the crossing to follow my plan. Emily made the next 14 miles go smooth. She let me slow down and walk when I needed, but was sure to not let me slow too much. When I mentioned I was starting to feel some pain she assured me I wasn't. I did make one mistake at mile 14 I picked up a Cliff bar and broke it in half. I should have just taken another GU as planned. No matter how small of a bite I took this thing was not going down. This was a huge error in judgement. It putt a lump in my gut that kept me from wanting any other food the rest of the run. I should have stuck with bananas that I failed to bring.

3 laps down and 21 miles in I was feeling good. Emily was done and as I walked through Caribou to use the restroom it seemed all the UCRR were done as well. I looked around for Leroy he was going to bring some motivation and donuts. No Leroy.
I started to shuffle going down David Taylor. This was my first leg without a pacer. By the time I reached the trail I started to walk. The cool morning temps were starting to fade into the afternoon heat. I passed a few random runners on the trail. I started allowing myself longer walks. As I passed the turn off that goes under Harris I saw a crowd of cheerleaders pushing me on the entire group joined me for the next half mile.

I pushed on with renewed energy and spirit. I about a half mile out from the pit stop for mile 28 my wife drove by and dropped my daughter off to run back to the car with me. This was awesome. As I sat to get a drink and decide what to eat I felt the first bit of real pain. At the top of my left foot where the shin and foot connect. I have never had pains here before. I shook it off ate some pretzels and corn nuts. I wanted more salt to offset dehydration. Nothing seemed digestible.

12 more miles to go as I ran off down David Taylor again The pain was starting to increase. I started moving at a slow shuffle. walking seemed OK so I pressed on. Now wishing I had taken Advil back at the car. After getting back on the pavement I decided to see if barefoot was any better. I made about a mile barefoot but the pain was getting worse. Now my mind was racing how would I finish this. I felt like it was turning into a death march. Walking up Fairlea I was beginning to wonder how I would justify a DNF. I was thinking up every motivational positive quote i could think. I still was face first into a giant brick wall. My support crew had gone and were not due back until the end of my last lap. how would it look for my kid to see me give up at mile 34.

As I approached the pit stop my wife and daughter had walked out to run in with me and get me going on my final lap. I was flamed out. My wife was not about to let me quit. I sat to change shoes she kept prompting me to get up and keep moving. I took the long awaited Advil and drank my jug of recovery milk. loaded up on some cold water and iced the ankle. Still pushing me to get moving she decided they were going with me. 6.39 miles to go and they were getting me there.

As we left Caribou my daughter kept telling me "You can do this dad your awesome!" All I could say was "Thanks I know I can." Most of David Taylor was a slow walk. I managed a few strides as my wife ran ahead. " Come on your not giving up now, You can do this!" they kept cheering. We made it to the trail and she kept me running short distances. "You can make it to that tree, the bridge, keep going!"
Finally with about 3 miles to go I got moving and the pain was going away or the adrenalin and euphoria of finishing were kicking in. I just kept going. "You have ran 37 miles and still run faster than me." my wife said.

As I made it back to Caribou the Garmin was still short miles from the first lap. I made a loop around the lot and it was only at 39.3 I headed back out to meet my family and run in the finish with them and still only came up with 39.5 I was done. I DID IT! 40 miles before I turned 40.

Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. It’s not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.
- ...Muhammad Ali

I have learned that I need to stick to the plan. I went out too fast and I should have secured a pacer for late in the run. I failed to consume enough calories.

Special thanks to Derrick, Emily, and my pit crew that came through for me and helped me break down the wall. I feel I have an Ultra family. My 9 year old daughter ran farther than she ever dreamed of just to help me finish my goal. And my wife that never gives up on me no mater how crazy my dreams get.

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations Hojo. I have long admired you for your integrity and dedication to your family. You have added tenacity and pure guts to that list. Truly inspirational.