Wednesday, May 20, 2015

2015 Hom 100 Race Report

A little wet on the trail
Almost 2 weeks out from the run, I had been drooling over the weather forecast. Sunny, slight chance of rain and 75F looked like the perfect conditions to run 100 miles. As the run approached however, it was obvious that the slight chance of rain was turning into a 'pretty damn good thunderstorm'...

"So the trail will be a little damp. Maybe we'll have some humidity."

Turns out, it was enough rain to collect along the trail and force us to alter the course onto the sidewalk and road rather than the soft cushy trail. Making the prospect of running 100 miles on concrete even more painful.

Start (8 am) to Noon

Starting out...
It's always exciting to get friends and family gathered together at our house for the start of the run. Bikes, scooters, walkers, strollers and runners alike donning their Hom's Homies t-shirts in support of Tony. The mood is always upbeat and positive even though we all know why we're here.

Despite the water-logged trails, everyone started making their way around the neighborhood. I scolded several people for actually saying, "It's kinda chilly this morning". Geez! Can't win with this weather-thing. It could have been 115F ya know!! :-)

Suffice it to say, these are typically the uneventful hours of the day. Folks come and go - the miles tick away. I just could not believe how great the weather was...slight breeze, a few clouds and just enough sun keep you warm and toasty.

Approximate miles - 20

Noon to Midnight

In hindsight, I really wish someone would have said, "Hey dummy, it's 75F out. Do you have sunscreen on?" If they had, it would have saved me a few dollars in aloe lotion and that crispy sensation you have when you step into a hot shower with a sunburn. It wasn't until around 5 pm that I noticed (and felt) my massively charred forearms, back and neck. Call me rotisserie-Trev...cause all I did was bake while running around in circles that afternoon.

JA at the end of her 50k PR
I would bet that between noon and 6 was the busiest time. At one point, there was a group of about 6 or 7 dudes going one direction and then another group of 6-7 ladies (led by JA) going the other direction. It wasn't until it go closer to dinner time that folks started peeling off and we consolidated back into a single group. JA was able to reach her 50k goal during this time too. Super proud of her!

I ate half of them...
I hit the 50-mile mark just around 7 pm in the evening. I felt pretty good about that - 11 hours for 50 miles isn't chump change. I grabbed a chair and took a break to try and eat some solid food. Damn I was hungry. Hungry for what you ask?, 5 of them :)

As the hour grew later, it was getting harder and harder to continue moving at the same speed. It was also getting cooler as the night wore on. I made a stop to change into a long-sleeved shirt just to make sure that I would not cool down too much now that I was starting to walk a little more.

Approximate miles - 70

A tradition with SC and JA
One last run with Nate
Marc, Greg, Anthony and I (photo by Deron)
#dadbods unite!

Midnight to 6 am

It was about 2:30 am when my body lowered the boom. "Just a marathon left" I remember telling myself. Which, surprisingly sounds like a reasonable distance after you've already done 75 miles. The problems had been mounting however:
  • I was experiencing bouts of sleep-walking
  • I couldn't feel the bottom of my left foot
  • My lower-back muscles were starting to give out
  • My quads were toast (which meant running wasn't an option)
I was counting the minutes before I could take my next round of Ibuprofen...not surprisingly though, 600mg was not even touching my pain at this point. It was about this time that I was having a conversation with myself about the acceptable mileage to quit at...

"Who quits after already going 80 miles?"
"Maybe everyone will still donate the full amount"
"What if I just did 90? That would be respectable, right?"

I resolved to just keep doing the loop even if they were taking 45 minutes each.

As dawn approached, I could not find the energy to go another step without taking a small nap. I propped my feet up, grabbed a blankie and dozed off for a good 15 minutes. Despite my reluctance, Greg physically started to kick my ass out of the chair. I was somewhat refreshed and in a slightly better mood despite my aching feet and knees. I was able to knock out a quick loop and was gaining encouragement when my body decided that it was tired again.
Not a fake smile at all...
Definitely in the pain cave, so I just kept going. Approximate miles - 85

6 am to Finish (10:30 am)

It was a slow and agonizing march as the sun started to ascend again. Not only was it reactivating my sunburn but obviously I started to sweat more with the increasing temperature. I was having a hard time keeping up with my fluids (while keeping them down at the same time).
Walking so slowly I needed a jacket during the morning hours
Friends and neighbors started re-appearing at the tent around 8:30 - some on bikes, others walking with me. At this point, my back was again starting to give and my right foot was loosing feeling too...not to mention my ankle had swollen up quite nicely during the night. I even tried my dad's Hoka's on to try and relieve the pain in my feet but unfortunately, they were too big.
Literally taking the shoes off my dad's feet
The prospect of staying out in the sun on my feet for another 2 hours was more than I could with 4 miles left, I made a choice to finish the remaining miles on a bike.

Do I regret it. No.
Does that mean I'm not a true ultra-runner? No.
Did I finish the 100 miles. Yes.

It's a charity event for Pete's sake...I'll wake up tomorrow - or next month - or next year knowing that I ran 96 miles (and biked 4) and raised over $16,000 in memory of my friend Tony. Yes, I'm OK with that.

The Many Levels of Gratitude

There is really no way to thank every person who is involved with an event like this but let me give it a shot (and sorry if I forget anyone).

I'm not sure why my wife still puts up with me and my desire to run this crazy distance. I could not do this without her support.

To Dean and his wife Missy for making the long trek out from MI to help out. This will likely be the only Hom 100 medal ever made so I can't begin to tell you how special it is.

Dean and I
Dean made this medal by hand
Thanks to my running buddy and friend, Greg who ran 50 miles with me. He's equally good at running, power-napping and keeping my ass moving even when I was ready to quit :)
The 1 am Grady power-nap
To all my neighbors who donated both their time to set up and tear down. Not to mention the food they donated for all the participants - I'm humbled by your friendship.

To all my fundraising partners and sponsors - Aravaipa Running, Cadence Running Co., I-Run Store, Tec-Works and Transition Networks. Thank you for your continued support.

A final thank you to everyone who donated - it's only through you that we're able to help families and patients struggling with ALS. It's your donations that will one day find a cure.

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