So as I finished one of my last ever high school finals I quickly hurried to head down to La Grange the starting place for the kettle 100. The past two years I did kettle didn’t work out the greatest and I was hoping the third time may just be the charm of doing solid at this race.
|Nothing better than hanging around|
the bon fire a night before a hundo!
Photo Ops to Jeff Dallman
I woke up saturday morning after bon fire and camping out on Dallmans Land and I surprisingly felt really good. Some unexpected not starting cars made the morning a little more hectic than usual. All I could think about is making it to emma carlin - mile 47 feeling not tired at all, which meant I actually started out slow enough. Some unexpected shipping delays made me run the first 20 or so miles without a gps watch and It was nearly months that I have ran the pace I wanted to at the start (11:30 pace or slower)
Surprisingly I started out slow enough hitting 11-12:00 minute miles which meant I found myself in the back of the pack. I was lucky enough to have a crew- Ashley, who was amazing at getting me out of the aid stations decently fast. So I was in and out of Bluff fast enough to get up with Angela and others. As the miles ticked along I made it to Emma Carlin in perfect timing. My mom now made it out, so I was lucky enough to have my gps watch and a cooler full of ice water to sponge water over my head.
|At Emma Carlin in bound-|
As I quickly left Emmacarlin I told myself I wasn’t going to go faster than 11 minute pace anywhere through the parries. And it was rough, it just felt so slow especially this early in the race. The race became a mind game early on by having to tell myself constantly that Ill catch up to everyone later. As Ashley filled my bottle with EFS Liquid shot gel with water, I didn’t realize that for the HWY 67 section I wasn’t suppose to drink the whole bottle especially along with a red bull. So leading up to Hwy 67 and all the way to Scuppernong eating was scarce since I already upset my stomach a little.
Arriving at Scuppernong felt as normal-Not really tired but more tired than I think I should be. Although having Ashley and my mom at nearly every aid station made the aid stations twice as better. The next thing I know is Im at Emma Carling feel absolutely awesome. Altho I must have looked a little serious or something since I was told by Brandi to relax! Although I most have not showed it but I was extremely happy at this point and just couldn’t wait to snag my pacer at 62!
As I was hitting the mile markers before Nordic I started to realize that there wasn’t that many people in front of me. So as McRoberts-My soon to be room mate in CO- passed me in 6th I started to count and soon enough I was at Nordic with only 21 people in front of me. I couldn’t believe it! I thought for sure that Id be in the 90th place range since I didn’t pass that many people. I guess getting in and out of aid stations helps quite a bit!
|About to head out for the last 38 miles!|
I was around the 13:30 range so I was thinking sub 22 or 22 something especially since I was feeling as if I’ve only run 15 or so miles. I plopped on my headlamp and Ashley and I took off. Instantly i felt bad. Not horrible but almost to where i couldn’t even think. and deep inside I was pissed as all can be. How can I go from feeling so great to so out of it so quickly?! To make things better we somehow went off course for about a half mile before realizing it. There wasn’t much walking involved on the way to Tamarack and Bluff since I didnt really physically feel bad, and Ashley’s a speedster soo there wasn’t too much walking options.
I stuffed my face with pickles, pickle juice, and pretzels at Tamarrack and took off for Bluff. This is where everything went downhill, and it was a struggle to keep my mind to just make it to Bluff. I felt extremely tired and just wanting a nap thats all, but Ashley gave me no choice “ You get 3 minutes” I think back to this part and mixed stories come to my head..Time almost felt like once I closed my eyes, Ashley just woke me up. Other thoughts make me think I swear I dreamt about something. Either way I got up and I realized what was around me and was instantly pissed at Ashley - Which Is a good thing right?? I mean really isn’t that the test of a true pacer is that their runner hates them “during” the race?
After finishing the Redbull and a couple of long long miles down the trail I remembered I still had a couple of Ibuprofen in my back pocket of my shorts from earlier in the race. And by couple I mean 5 or 6. I just grabbed all of them and dropped some in my mouth and put some back into my pocket.
Instantly Ashleys says what’d you just eat? I just had some Ibuprofren I replied… How many?!? And here I am feeling the back of my shorts and trying to do some math in my head. I think I had 4.
Im not the most expiernced person with ibuprofen, and it felt like a minute later but most likely it was at least a half an hour later where as I was saying "I think Im going to puke" I hurled over the side of the trail and lost probably a little too much fluids. As I stood there Ashley already started moving up the trail and all I could think was-What the hell?? I seriously just puked my guts out and she’s already half way up the trail!
|Yea.. I don't remember taking|
this picture at Hwy 12
Photo Ops to Brandi!
Suprisngly the puking didn’t make me feel that much better but for some reason or another we were moving quite a bit better. All I did was stare at her feet for the next couple of miles and suddenly we were at Hwy 12. I was on repeat it felt like.. All I would tell Ashley and Brandi was that I had Zero Motivation. We were seriously going 20 minute miles! I couldn’t believe it, so many people kept telling me this was my race, this was my year at kettle and just in 14 miles that all blew away. They both got me up and going with Simak- Who’s running the Midwest Slam this year and his pacer who just ran the Virginia 200 miler the weakend before!
As we took off I put in my earbuds and just zoned out, Ashley and Simak’s pacer were pushing a pretty solid pace and I just had to be in my head for a little bit. I dreamt of years of running kettle as a senior, and be just about to graduate. I started to feel bad that I was going so slow! Karen and Ashley came all the way up from Indiana and I was just going to bust out at least another 26 hour or probably 28 hour finish. Soon enough I started telling myself that I wasn’t running the race just for myself anymore, and the splits on the watch started to portray that. Along with my head- I slowly could start thinking more and more.
|The gang! |
Photo Ops to Brandi once again!
As we reached Rice Lake we hung out for a tad bit before heading out. I pulled off my ear buds and had a huge smile on my face- at least from what I remember that is! I kept telling myself-Just gotta head back now thats it! Simak’s pacer and Ashley were once again pushing on the pace while Simak and I just tried to hang on. We cruised this section and even at some points Simak and I were pushing the pace. We rolled into Hwy 12 and I snagged some more of that classic Hwy 12 Potato soup. Simak’s pacer was done as he did just run 200 miles last weekend and wasn’t even planning on pacing at kettle!
We would soon crash into Jeff Le and Karen who recommended the trekking poles for the last 14. So as I put my headlamp back on since I was using it as a flashlight previous miles within minutes my head was back to not being able to think. So I naturally started messing with my hand lamp and loosened it and what seemed instantly my head could actually think. A headlamp issue?!? Really I thought?? All those crappy miles was all due to a headlamp being on too tight… Lesson surely learned I thought
Although now that Simak’s pacer was gone, I felt as if Ashley was pushing the pace even more now. Even when I would try and take a sip of “not ice water” and dry heave immediately following, Simak and Ashley were still moving up the trail. We were moving and no puking or dry heaving was going to stop that. As we reached single digits left I immediately started doing math and questioned to Simak of sub 25.
|"Now wheres a Chair?"|
We made it to Bluff, and everyone was smiles. The race is basically over at this point with only 7 miles left but its still 7 miles. Along with the same 7 miles we already did 3 times this race. As we passed through Tamarack we joined a group of people for the last 5 or so miles which made the miles tick on by with the pacers/Fun runners really pushing the pace at points. As the last mile hit Simak and I took off and we were pushing the pace along with Ashley who without I would of still been milies and miles back. As we crossed the banner it read 24:46 and I couldn’t have been happier.
Although the next 4 hours, every minute was spent in a chair, it was still a blast watching and talking to all the finishers. Best of all was to watch Karen and Jeff Le finish especially after seeing Jeff not looking the greatest at mile 76. I couldn’t thank enough my mom, Brandy, Karen and Ashley who kicked my ass for the last 38 miles! Without them I wouldn’t even want to know what my finishing time would of been!
|Jeff all smiles especially compared to|
when we saw him at mile 76!
Although I was a bit disappointed in the following days after kettle. Especially Monday morning when I woke up not even sore. Yup 100 miles and the next day I wasn't even sore which in my opinion is horrible since I now know that I could of gone so much more faster. Always next year...Maybe