Monday, April 28, 2008
Last weekend we headed out to Clinton State Park several days of camping and the Free State 100k. Everything seemed really rushed with Tiffanie working all week and we had to wait until the last minute to get the camper home and packed for the trip.
Wednesday evening we got the camper home and I was out it the cold dark rain repacking the wheel bearing after hearing some strange noises while bringing the camper home. If you decide to try doing this, it is not hard, although I strongly recommend not doing it in the dark, in the rain and with a headlamp for the first time.
Thursday after we got home from work we headed straight out to Clinton Lake where John had already reserved sites for both of our campers. We got some nice spots close to the lake and trail. It was nice because we were all able to take the kids out on the trail and down to the water without much trouble.
Friday John and I went mushroom hunting and hit the mother load. We ended up with 90 or so morels but many of them were the size of a 20 oz coke bottle. We sounded like kids on Christmas morning when John spotted one from across a creek and then realizing we were surrounded by 1/2lb morels. Needless to say we ate very well that evening.
Saturday we got up and hopped over to the next campground for the start of the race at 7:00. It had rained a lot the prior weeks so we knew it was going to be a mud fest. I remembered how I had such a rough time last year on this course and was hoping to do a bit better this time around. 3 loops of approximately 20 miles were waiting to eat me up.
Everything started out well for about the first 5 miles and then... I just wanted to stop. It was pretty much the reoccurring theme of the entire day. It took everything I had to stay out there running. I felt completely dead and many people passed me on the next 10 miles back to the start/finish. Caleb and Stacy Amos tried to boost my spirits at their aid station but I was stuck in a really bad place.
I just kept wanting to quit, everything was a struggle, I really am not sure what the problem was. My wife and kids did a good job of keeping me going. Anyone who heard my wife talking to me probably thought, man, she is a b$@^#!! but I guess it worked.
At the thirty mile mark I was talking to Rick and my son Corbin, I asked Rick how John was doing and he said he was about 30 minutes ahead of me. Corbin said " Yep Dad, he's pretty much kickin your butt!" Kinda funny, but true.
Fast forward to the end of loop 2. I was still feeling crappy but my faithful sidekick Rick would hear none of that. He was planning on running with John or I on the last loop, depending on who needed the company the most and I was it. We were able to keep a decent pace and ended up passing several people and somehow came in around 11:44, over 2 hours faster than last year and below my goal of 12:00, although I should have done much better.
John finished about 15 minutes before me and I tackled him to the ground after crossing the finish in recognition of him beating me!! Seriously, he ran a great race and I am glad he finished ahead of me. After washing up and cooling down in the lake we headed back to the campers for some brats and burgers which our wives had cooked for us.
The race seemed to go off without a hitch this year. The course was wonderfully marked and the nerds and KUS did an awesome job at the aid station. Thanks Ben for putting on another stellar event.
I am very disappointed in how I did this year, maybe more so than ever in a race. Not because of my time or what place I finished in, just my mental strength that day. I was weak and could not get my head on straight. I was hoping to run well and build on the last few races which went pretty smoothly and with good results. I guess it just wasn't my day. Lucky for me I have people who care enough to help me through those bad times and still cross the finish.
Here are some pics from Liberty Nationals where Corbin placed 2nd and the State Championships where he took 4th.