Monday, October 24, 2011

How far does one push? 2011 Pumpkin Holler Hunnerd Recap

When things get tough (& they ALWAYS DO), how far does one really push? When we are faced by what seems to be a "boundary" against which we are determined to break through; at what point is it fruitless & does not really have to do with our innate capacity to break through? When does it make sense to make a wise choice when there is nothing to prove (to others AND to ourselves)?

Well such was the case in this year's Pumpkin Holler Hunnerd. Our intention - to successfully complete our 2nd 100 mile run. Often times, even the best laid plans need to be flexibile. Everything was in place, fully stocked supplies & a ready crew (thanks Skip) & pacers for the second loop (Mitch Drummond) as well as the final loop (Tom Wozencraft). It was a well designed course. For us 100 milers, it consisted of a 8 mile out & back (thanks to our race director, he threw in an extra mile - Thanks Ken) followed by (3) 31 mile (50K) loops.

After the typical per-race jitters, we were off on our journey.

At the top of the first out & back found Mitch serving up waffles for hungry runners.  (BTW - did I say "top"? Listed as "rolling hills" & a fast course this was the first of many, many hills.

As the day unfolded, the nature of the course began to sink in.
Rolling Hills - NOT! Gravel - NOT!

The course was beautiful. Scenic country vistas along the Illinois River, lakes & ponds (& an occasional dog).

It was the surrounding beauty that helped take my mind off of the grueling course.

After the first loop, I was joined by Mitch as my pacer only to find out that Tom had car problems & would not be able to make it to pace me for my 3rd & final loop (bummer!).

As the sun went down, Mitch & I ran through the night. It is amazing what one talks about when you are out in the country running for hours on end. Things from chicken farming to the fact that I w graduated High School with his wife.

Bathtub Rock was beautiful the first loop but seemed a bit more treacherous at night when I was tired & sore. I DID NOT want a bath at that moment.

The end of the second loop was rough. Hips hurt, knees hurt feet h . . . well, my feet were actually fine.

We came into the Start/Finish around 7 AM in fairly good shape. Mitch had completed his first 50K & with my little 8 mile out & back at the start, I had made 70 miles. Doing the math, we determined that my 3rd & final loop to complete my 100 miler WAS NOT going to happen. I would have had to pull an 8 hour loop - - NOT!

Here is where the "pushing" part comes in. I had no doubt that I cold make a 3rd loop but NOT in 8 hours. It was the wisdom that I had not left anything on the table, made my best effort & pulled a 70 miler.

I was happy (although a bit disappointed & wiped out) as this time, the course won.

Watch out though as Know No Boundaries WILL beat this next time. (May even have revenge this year!)

Blessings to all.

K2

1 comment:

Jannick Kjaer said...

Hi Okultrarunner,

I am sorry I am leaving a comment, I can't find your email. I am writing you in the hopes that you want to participate in an e-book we are writing about ultra runners.

We want to tap into the collective craziness (we mean that as a compliment:-)) of this community to challenge and inspire other non-runners to make their own life an ever-greater creative expression of their own goals and dreams… without limits.

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All the best,
Jannick