How I didn't run 100 miles
- Race: 2019 Loup Garou 100
- Goal: Sub-24 hours or Finish
- Result: DNF
The day started out nice, running the 20 mile (ish, more like 18.5) loop around Chicot State Park in about four hours. I had some foot cramping from mile 1, which started wearing me down. Eventually, about 4-5 miles into the second loop, I was breaking down from the pain. After five more miles, I was reduced to a walk… at mile 30.
Then Laura passed me, going very strong. I tried to keep up, but couldn’t keep her pace with my pain. At the mile 36 aid station, I massaged my foot cramp, ate some food, and started off again. I started crying due to the pain; it was nigh unbearable. I considered dropping at mile 40. After a few minutes though, I realized the pain was settling, so I started shuffling along. My spirits returned, and I wiped the idea of quitting. I had so much time; I could power hike the last 60 miles and still finish.
On loop 3, I put some music on and started running pretty ok. I moved well, then joined up with a 60-mile runner for about 12 miles. At mile 56 though, he dropped me, and I was left to my own thoughts. This is when things took a turn.
Despite moving ok for the third loop (about 5 hours and thirty minutes for the loop), I was very down on myself. I considered what it would take to finish. Another lap in complete darkness. Two more long (very long-seeming) 8 mile sections. And my pace, it was slowing quickly. I knew that physically I could finish the race, but it would take a long time. So I considered:
- “I’ve done this before; what am I trying to prove?” Nothing, to no one.
- “Am I still having fun?” No, not really.
- “Will I regret staying up all night to finish this race?” Yes, probably (I have to drive 3 hours to the airport on Sunday to start a new job on Monday in San Francisco)
- “What about the buckle?” Its just a buckle after all. I’m not a materialistic person.
- “Do I want this?” No, not today, not enough
So I dropped. The aid station crew told me not to. Fred told me not to. I knew I could finish it. But at the end of the day, its my race, and today I didn’t want to suffer all night. My heart wasn’t in it.
In the end, I learned something about myself. I did my first hundred trying to prove to myself it was possible. I did my second hiking with my friends. But my third will take an individual desire to finish, an intention. I didn’t walk to the starting line of this race with that desire.
Thats the rub really, I started the race knowing I could do it, but I didn’t want to do it.
Next time, I’ll make sure I have the intention to finish before I ever toe the starting line.