I went to "Run Woodstock" in Pickney Michigan this weekend to run the "Hallucination"100 miler. Running the DG race I had decided that I wasn't going to do this one in-spite of being registered. The recovery from DG was so good it was only a couple of days later that I had decided to go ahead with the race.
Left home a little after 8am arriving in Pickney 6 hours later. Grabbed a bit of food before heading to the Hell Creek Ranch. Got a bit turned around in Pickney and burned 30 minutes looking for the race. Arrived and parked 100m from the start finish right on the course. Attended the 3pm meeting with a beer and a burger and the company of Chris B, Chris and Christa Baker and a friend "Lim" from NYC that they had picked up in Detroit the day before.
So I was off at 4pm with what seemd like two to three hundred folks doing the 100 K and 100 Mile races.
The 26.8 K loop was to be run 6 times and there were 4 aide stations equally spaced it would be every 6.7 K ... a little further between then I am use to. The first loop was fantastic. There were always others around and lots of chatter going on making it easy to forget about what I was doing. The course is very flat , only a few small hilly sections. The trail was a combo of single track , mountain bike , rail trail and gravel roads. Finished the first loop in around 3.5 hours somewhere around a 7:30 avg pace feeling really good. It was 7:30 pm so I had to stop at the car and suit up for the night run... this is where things started to change for me. It seemed to take forever getting ready I was a little perturbed for not being more organized ...should have been quick grab. I even took my shoes off and dumped the sand and dirt that had already accumulated. So heading out just before 8pm I grabbed a Coke and a PB and Jam Sandwich walking the first little bit of the course while I ate. Just as I was finishing the PB and J I just about threw it all up. The tummy wasn't upset I was just having trouble swallowing it. So it was disaster averted and I started running. A few K in we hit a Rail Trail for 2-3 K. Dead flat with Zero hazards a gift I would say. It was twilight and getting dark fast. The Sky was beautiful and I had my lights off just enjoying the ride watching the sky feeling good and taking it all in. I had passed a few on the trail , most with their lights on. As I was lost in my thoughts one came up.... maybe you should have your lights on so you don't miss the trail markers. Looking down there were Blue Flags .... I should be following Pink. Looking back down the dead straight and flat track there were no lights to be seen. Then a K or 2 back I saw a light , then it went out. Then another and another. Strange I thought to myself that folks kept turning their lights off. Then I dawned on me that they were turning off the trail. So back I went probably close to 2K. I tried to shake it off bu the next 15K were not so fun. Started walking allot and it was way way way to early for that. I found that the walk was as fast as my shuffled run and it seemed to take allot less effort. I figured I was coming in somewhere around a 10-11 min pace which I was OK with. I was a little dehydrated after the first loop but made it up in the second. I had been doing a GU Roctane at every aide station and was eating Granola Bars and bringing in lots of fluids and the occasional S Cap. At the third and last aide station I had a slice of Pepperoni Pizza ... it was so good. Cranked the tunes and suddenly I was running again .... the last part of the loop was hilly but really wide sandy trails. Finished loop 2 around 1am feeling great , awesome actually and was really optimistic that I had turned things around and was going to be able to run loop 3. I was around 1:30 am when I hit the rail trail again . This time determined not to miss the turn. I couldn't believe how well marked it was a was amazed that I had run by the spot a half dozen hours previous! I didn't know it at the time but the rail trail was the last running I would do that night. I could not muster up a run at all. I was good with the Nutrition , Hydration and I was getting enough Calories, I just couldn't run. The weather couldn't have been better , clear and around 15C. I was frustrated because I knew that it was darn near perfect conditions and that I was looking after everything but I just couldn't get running. Half way through the loop my walk was starting to slow to what I guessed was a 14:00 pace. There were an awful lot of very talented runners flying through the night. I only came across the odd person that was going slower then I was. There was an option at the end of your 4th loop of drooping down to the 100K race. You would get a medal and an official time. I had entertained the idea of doing just that...perhaps taking a break after loop 3. My feet were sore as is usual. I had blisters on toes that normally don't bother me. Figured it was from all the walking. During the last 5K of the loop it was becoming light out. I was going to finish it around 7am after taking nearly 6 hours to cover the 26.8k. The idea of a 1-2 hour break heading back out around 9am for up to another 6 hours just to get he consolation prize didn't appeal to me at all so I decided I would DNF and it didn't bother me in the least!
It only took about 10 minutes to pack up the car and get dressed. After grabbing a Red Bull, Coke and PB and J I headed out and was home around 1pm. The highlight of the weekend came at the border thanks to a friendly Canada Customs Agent. It went something like this....
Agent :"Where are you going Sir"
Agent:"Anything to declare"
Me:"Well I got this Duty free case of Blue 21 hours ago and expected to be away until Sunday but plans changed and I left early."
Agent:"What were you doing in the U.S."
Me:"I was running a 100 mile Ultra Marathon and things didn't work out so i bailed at 80K."
Agent :"You ran 80K...good for you! Have you every done that before?"
Me: "Yes I completed a 100 miler a month ago."
Agent :"A month ago ...don't you think you should have waited a bit longer to do it again?"
Me:" Well today's result certainly suggest that "
Agent " Well Sir enjoy your Beer ...you certainly earned it!"
I drove off without paying any duty...how cool is that!
All and all a great experience. I would like to go back next year not for redemption but to participate in a truly great race.
I shot a ton of video through the night capturing all my highs and lows. When I post it to YouTube in a week or two I will also add it to a Blog Entry. Its going to be interesting viewing!
December 1,2013 - First Run 2013-2014 Ski Season - Robin, Noah and their friend Landon hit Blue Sunday morning. I was up at 5:00 am , hot tub for an hour then took the boys Tim's for Breakfast. The dri...