i must say, i was not as insane as usual leading up to this one - well, okay, except for a teeney meltdown on thursday night, but that was tone's fault - he asked if i was packed yet. so then there was the 'fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck' response by me, followed by the phone call and a lot of ranting before he managed to calm me down. i love tone!
anyway, i had a bit of a kerfuffle trying to decide how to get there. i wasn't sure i would be able to drive home after running that long, and i did have a ride up. but i couldn't find anyone to bring me back. ah, wtf, i'm sure i'll be fine. so after a few clients friday morning, and some last minute packing - cooking - showering - hugs from dunc, i got into the little red mazda and headed to hali! what could go wrong?!
i got there just after 3:30, got registered and drove over to find a camping spot. as luck would have it, my buddy ralph had already parked his monster camper home , so i went beside him. i had borrowed a '4 person' tent off of andrea, and when i pulled it out of the bag, i realized i had NO idea how to set it up. thankfully, ralph was sweet enough to come over and help. once we got it all figured out, we discovered it was huge, and as the guys beside me remarked, you could park a small car inside. it was quickly dubbed the 'princess castle'.
now, when i had talked to tone on thursday night (scene of major meltdown), he made no mention of an upcoming 'run in the forest'. he had thought about it, but decided it wouldn't happen, as he was already flying in the next weekend, and didn't want to spend the extra money. and, i knew that dave (aka running god) would be there, as he was registered in the 26k (he actually was only supposed to be running a couple kilometers at a time, due to complications from a stoopid cancer tumor, but figured he'd just 'hike' it . . .) anyway, imagine my surprise when THE TWO OF THEM showed up at the princess castle!!!!!
totally off topic, but check out the pigs . . .
we all went to the mandatory-for-the-hundred-miler dinner and met a lot of runners we knew - such a great community!
it was early to bed that night - after about 15 minutes of angry bird, i threw in my ear plugs and fell asleep in my castle.
5am came, and you could hear everybody starting to move around. i got dressed and made my way over to the cookhouse for some blueberries, coffee and a sweet potato. just before 6 (start time), i hurried into the outhouse for one last dump, and manged to miss the role call! argh! luckily coach derrick spoke up for me! (did i mention he was running the hundred, and his awesome wife sara was doing her first 50 ?!) anyway, after the haliburton forest prayer, we all herded over to the start line accompanied by bag pipes and the invincible helen malmberg - race director superstar! here i was, about to begin my attempt at running a hundred miles. WHAT THE HELL WAS I THINKING?!
i made it to the 40k turnaround in 5 and a half hours. nice - only 120k to go! spirits were still really good, and i was running a lot of the smaller hills - legs felt great. when i hit aid station 2 at the 68k mark, dave and tone were there, having both finished their 26k races! so kool !!! i also saw derrick who unfortunately had been feeling really krappy and opted to pull out of the hundred - slacker - JUST KIDDING! he was still recovering from a nasty bug he'd picked up at transrockies and was wise in pulling the chute! and i saw his tuff chick wife sara pushing the last 2k of her 50 miler - what a machine! also, i had my first encounter with jd - my pacer for the night. we had never met before and derrick had arranged for him to run with me. jd said he'd see me at the 50mile mark - located at the start/finish - and would then determine when to jump in.
now, something diabolical started happening to my brain as i made my way around the normac trail for the second time. all these little demons were telling me that it would be way better to stop at 50 miles, and that i didn't want to keep going, cuz i was soooo tired. WHAT THE FUCK! where did that come from !? apparently, as i approached the turnaround, dave and tone said i looked like shit, and that they were really worried. but praise the spirits, some guy grabbed me by the arm as soon as i hit the cone and started walking me back down the road, away from the finish. 'you can't stop here, you have to keep going'. at first it didn't even register who this person was. i remember thinking, man, what a nice guy, and who is this person. as the old brain started to clear, i realized it was jd and that he was the 'nice guy' getting me to move my ass back onto the course. stoopid dora !!! 'i'll see you at aid station 2 in a couple of hours' he said, and left me to keep running on my own. but again, as i was going around the normac trail for the third time, the demons came back. 'you should just stop, this is crazy, you are tired . . .' luckily, 3 things kept rattling around in my head. one of them was, 'if you stop, you'll have to do this all over again at some other race'. fuck, i don't want to do that! another was, 'if you stop, you'll be disappointing a lot of people' - so many of my friends believe in me and all the crazy shit i do, that i couldn't imagine having to tell them i didn't make it. and the third thing was something that the mighty alex always says to me, 'this is too easy for you!' ha! well fuck you possamai - i'll just prove you right! (and i said that out loud a few times.)
so i kept trudging - keep on trudging, trudging trudging (thanks leslie, i was thinking of you a lot too) - and made it to the aid station within a couple of hours. i met up with jd (derrick and sara were there too) and the two of us set off for adventures unknown!
so i must say, derrick did a great job of pairing the two of us. it was like an instant comfort thing, especially after me dropping the f-bomb within 5 minutes, and jd farting within 10. what a match! ahahahaha! at first i ran in front of him and he let me go my own pace. i managed to keep my whining to a relative minimum, and he didn't even complain when i stopped to whiz on the trail every hour - although he later bugged me that we could have been finished an hour earlier. at one point in the middle of the night, we shut off our headlamps and just stared up at the full moon. it was pretty fucking kool! after awhile, i couldn't really determine trail conditions, so i let jd lead. i think i stared at his skull gaiters for hours, just watching his footsteps and trying not to wipe out! we talked about everything and nothing, and even though i kept saying 'if i finish', i had a good feeling he'd get me there. he even humored me when i was convinced we were surrounded by all these white moths with glow-in-the-dark eyes! and, he didn't get mad everytime i laughed when he stubbed his toe!
i will admit, i was getting pretty kranky when we started around the normac trail for the last time. 'stop whining princess, it's the last 12k'. it was light when we came into aid station 3 and again, derrick was there waiting for us - awesome!
only 6k more to go . . . (i love this shot - hope you don't mind that i stole it D)
and FINALLY, the finish line. thank gawd! i was never so happy to see a pylon in my life! time was 28 hours and 35 minutes. INSANE! i'm NEVER doing that again!!!
someone brought me a chair - gary i believe - and it was the first thing i'd set my ass on in the past 29 hours.
check out the feet!
my amazing, incredible, fantastic farting pacer! he ended up running over 14 hours with me!!
dirty di chesla - it was her fault i did this in the first place! so so happy that my pretty-in-pink friend finished her first hundred at hali !!
and another surprise was having chris and bodi drive up from peterborough to see me finish. i was totally overwhelmed!! i love these two!
after a bit, i pulled myself together somewhat, and had dave and tone drive us down to the lake for a soaking in the cold water. it felt sooooo good! oh, and by the way, nice lulu lemons jd . . . we then got dressed and made our way to the cookhouse for the 'awarding of the belt buckle'.
and as usual, a few closing thoughts. it was very special to have dave and tone at haliburton with me. dave won the hundred in 2003, and it was only fitting that he be here when i finished my first. i want to thank my amazing coach derrick for getting me across that line. i arranged for him to train me just over a year ago, and i have total respect and appreciation for all he represents. he built my endurance and increased my confidence in myself, and he even worked around my crossfit obsession! i also want to thank the mighty alex who pushed me beyond pain and made me strong as fuck! despite the sore feet, my legs were still moving solid. AND, i was still able to pull off a few squats the next day! i want to thank my beloved dunc for allowing me to drag him out and break him on 5 and 6 hour training runs with me, and for his words the day i left, ''don't stop till ur done!'' finally, i want to thank my 'honey' - my pacer jd - without whom i truly think i wouldn't have finished. you my friend, are awesome!
so there you go, another item ticked off my bucket list - i lost my virginity at haliburton. it hasn't sunk in yet, but i know it will. and then, look out! dora the explorer - you just ran a hundred miles . . .