I suppose it's time to write about Haliburton 100. If you didn't hear by now I DNFd hard at 82 miles. There. Got that out of the way, now where do I start... it was a long weekend.
Ok, let's start at the start line. 6am, dark as night and coooold. I hadn't slept much the night before but it didn't take too long to wake up waiting for the 'start gun'. Started off nice and easy, and I should mention a great friend of mine, Scott Garrett had committed a while a go to running this thing with me... although we lost each other a bit at the start line, he kept me on track for most of the race. It's already 4 days later and the details are starting to fade.... especially the first 50-75 miles - the good part. Got to the halfway point in around 12:30 which blew my mind. I never could have done that if Scott wasn't with me. I would have walked way more. He really got me to push myself and it wasn't even that hard, I just get lazy when I run on my own I guess.
Like I said the details of the good parts aren't quite as sharp although I do recall Scott seeing a bear and not telling me about it and warning a friend of it's presence by saying there's a 'hot chick' on such and such trail. I also recall running with a lot of great people such as Maryka and JD, and others whom I can't recall their names. I can't quite get my head together enough to gather other parts into anything coherent. Oh, but I forgot to say that the trails were a fucking quagmire of shit and there was no way to avoid their relentless aqueous hell!
So moving on... going from AS#6 to AS#7 is where I started to tell that things were going wrong. In a last ditch effort to save my feet which had gone through a meat grinder, I changed my shoes and socks at AS5 in hopes of relief. Unfortunately it didn't help and the new shoes just added new pains to new parts of my feet. So that whole back stretch was pretty quiet and I started to turn inward. When we got to AS#7 I started to lose it emotionally. When I saw the food they had, chilli, I couldn't believe it. I had heartburn previously for 3 days non-stop, and it had gotten worse during the race. There was no way I could eat chili and it was heartbreaking to me. I was hoping for anything with sustenance other than the regular stuff. So I grabbed a piece of pb&j and went to complete the half a km and back in order to complete the 120km. I walked it with Scott just ahead of me. I had a bite of the pb&j and had to throw out the rest because it just burned going down my throat. I had a bit of coke, not sure what else, grabbed my pack and left. I was starting to realise I wasn't going to make it and that was hard. My feet were done, my quads were toast and time was running out to get to the finish line before the cut-off. It was a very somber 10k, barely a word was spoken and I was crying a lot. One thing I had been thinking about for a while was the conversation I would have to have with Scott to tell him to go on and get his buckle. I was having a hard time saying those words, let alone anything, without sobbing. But at some point he must have read my mind (or my feet that were barely moving) and somewhere during that 10k he went on ahead, and I'm glad of that. I'm not quite sure of the time that it took us (Tim, a friend of ours had come to run us in at the 120km mark) probably 2.5-3 hours to get back to AS#6. I was still crying when we stumbled in. I sat down and was trying to figure out how I was going to keep going when I had nothing left. I told Angela (my awesome crew girl) to get me my last pair of dry socks, I put them on, put my shoes back on and was hoping for something miraculous to happen. It didn't. As we went on, I stopped to go to the bathroom 3 or 4 times, my gels were increasing my nausea, and, well, I could barely move. I'm not sure how far we got down the trail, maybe 2k, and I realized I would not be able to make it through Black Creek trail, a very very wet section. I was scared something bad was going to happen and I could not imagine myself getting through that wet shit again. So I decided it would be safer to turn back.
I was so happy to see the glow lights that indicate the aid station is coming up. I can't even describe how disappointed I was in myself and how I felt I had disappointed others, even though I know it's not true. There was only 30k left and it just seems such a waste to have to stop when you're almost there. But I gave those trails everything I had. The wetness just ate up my feet and that was it. I have absolutely no regrets.
Gary Black, who was a volunteer at AS6 was to drive 2 other gentlemen who weren't able to make it back to the start so Tim and I hopped in with him to find Angela who would have been waiting for me at AS#5. When I got out of the car, I saw my coach Derrick Spafford, and the flood gates just opened up again (I think I may have gotten your jacket a bit wet there Derrick, sorry). I probably sniveled a bit and then we were off to find out where Scott was so that Tim could bring him to the finish as planned. So we dropped him at AS3.
Gary had told me that I should see the nurse about my feet. And so we drove to see her at AS#2 on our way back to base camp. Letting her touch my feet was probably worse than actually running on them. They were covered in blisters, fissures, my big toes were turning purple, and they were more swollen than when I was pregnant. After a bit of tears (or I don't think I ever stopped) be cleaned, medicated and bandaged me up. She was absolutely amazing. Did I say that she actually came to me? I could not get out of the car to walk to her tent so she actually came and treated me right out of the car. She was awesome. I heard later from Gary that she had said out of some 60 odd runners who came to her, my feet were the worse she had seen. He was probably just saying that to make me feel better ;)
Back at basecamp it was absolutely amazing to see Scott again, who had in the meantime, finished. I was very proud of him and so thankful to have him as a friend. He sacrificed a lot for me as he could have reached his goal to run a sub 24hr race. But he helped me achieve a lot of great things that weekend, even though I wasn't able to finish: I had a great 50 mile time, beating my Sulphur Springs time by over an hour and a half, I also ran 90k way faster than I had at Dirty Girls, and last but not least, I ran EIGHTY TWO FUCKING MILES!!! A distance far beyond anything I could have imagined this time last year. I'm still emotionally drained by the whole thing (crying for 10 hours or so will do that to ya!) and am having trouble thinking of everything that had happened but I wouldn't trade the experience for a million bucks. It was amazing.
That's about all I have energy for but perhaps as things pop into my head I will write about it.
Onwards and upwards. I still want to complete 100 miles and may have another stab at it November 27th in Creemore.
Thanks for reading.