Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Squaw Peak 50

Okay... so like it's been 2 months since last post.  Just haven't felt like blogg'n when not running much.

Here's my recollection from June 4th 50 mile run that I completed:  Started early in the morning (I think at 5a.m.) and it went straight up and over Squaw Peak mountain from Start/finish at Vivian Park.  It was probably like 6 miles to the top.... this was a tough section that was done in a fast hiking speed.  It was basically single file up a single track, so the motivation to keep moving was the many people behind you that would run over you.  I was feeling strong at the top and started the crazy run decent... had a snow pile to run over and some muddy places, but mostly it was just steep going down for a few miles until we hit the top of Rock Canyon trail.  This section provided good running with a wider running area (not single track).... I ran this aggressively-- too aggressively.  At the bottom of Rock Canyon, a co-worker, J. Wait, had come up to see the run and snap a photo or 2.  At this aid station (mile 11), while I was there, a runner came in with a badly bleeding nose that he said a rock hit.  I don't know if he fell or how it happened (but found out later it was broke but he'd gone on to finish anyways).

As I started out from this aid station, my right knee started bothering me... my I.T. band started disagreeing with how aggressive I ran down Rock Canyon.  Not good this early with 39 more miles to go.  So, I was reduced to VERY slow running and mostly a fast pace hike across the face of the Y mountain range along the Bonneville shoreline trail to Springville....  At this point we had to go up and over a mountain.  About 1/6 of the way up was mile 20 aid station. I took this opportunity to change my shoes just to give the old feet a little change.  The next 2.5 miles up it was very rocky terrain, so couldn't really run even if I wanted to.  After hitting the top there was another 2.5ish miles to the next aid station at mile 25.  I was going as quickly as I could, still slowed by my I.T.  I had been taking advil for the last many hours to see if that would help.  I spent a little too much time overall at all of the aid stations, but mostly at the 25 mile turnaround point to try and refocus.

Getting to the 20/30 mile aid station was good the second time because I saw 2 familiar faces... Adam and Michelle (Michelle is Suzette's cousin) that I had spent some time chatting with at the pre-race packet pick up the previous night.  Seeing them really encouraged and remotivated me.  By this time it looked like a death march for the next 9 miles back to Rock Canyon.  The temp was very hot and the sun just beat down on everyone (for the back of the packers like I was at this point).  I passed many runners that were throwing up and many at aid stations that had dropped out.

Funny, at this point when so many were struggling, I actually was getting stronger again.  At mile 35, I got a text from my friend Chris Nelson that he was going to meet me on my way to the next aid station (mile 39).  It was great to see him coming down the trail around mile 37 1/2 ish.  Talking to someone really helped a lot at this point to take my mind off the knee pain and we started running a little bit.  Chris was getting ready to run the Utah Valley Marathon in the next week or two.  Some guy stopped us to ask what event was going on and walked the next 2 miles with us.  He was asking a lot of questions and was very intrigued by the race.  He lives right next to the Bonneville Shoreline trail and had never heard of a 50 mile race before.  This also helped get my mind off my knee.

Chris pealed off right before the mile 39 aid station at the bottom of Rock Canyon and wished me well.  I knew what was ahead of me and it wasn't going to be easy to get to the finish line.  Again, I saw Adam at this aid station and he was awesome in helping and giving me encouragement to keep going.  Some of the aid stations, especially the last one at mile 35, looked a little like a hospital waiting room area.  A lot of the runners were just beat up bad!  I hit the trail ready for what was to come.

texted me (this is around 7:30ish.... I had planned to finish around 7:00) that they were waiting at the finish and she didn't think Havyn (2 yr old) was going to last much longer.

Between it getting dark and worried I would miss on seeing my girls at the finish, I really pushed it down the step mountain for 4 miles to where we come out on the Provo River trail.  I saw Adam and Michelle again by Bridal Veil Falls again and said hello as I kept running.  About 1/2 mile from the finish, I saw my daughter Alyxis and my sister Em with her son Griff coming towards me.  It was great to see them, but I told them I couldn't stop to talk...as I was afraid that if I stopped, I wouldn't be able to start running again.  My body was pretty numb at this point.  So, I continued to run while they ran along (in their sandels and flip flops).  I felt bad and waited for them so that I could run with them towards the finish line.  It was great to see Suzette and Havyn along with my Mom... I picked up Havyn and ran with her... only to realize the finish line was further away than I thought it would be... but I made it anyways.  I made it!   Relief!  It was a great feeling and a great experience.  My final time was like 15 hrs 55 minutes.

Lace 'em Up!  Chainsaw

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