Hoosier Hundred Race Report

Hoosier Hundred recap

 

So, where does one begin with an event that took them 30 hours? 

First and foremost, I want to thank people. The people who crewed for me (dealt with angry Shannon at mile 54+) and the people who donated.  I would not have made it to the 100k mark had it not been for the people who believed in me when I could no longer believe in myself.

All told over $3,000 was donated to the Ohio House Rabbit Rescue.  All of the proceeds will go directly to the “Be the Voice Campaign” which is meant to help purchase their adoption center, the first of its kind in the state of Ohio.  One of the things I loved most was getting to share my love of house rabbits with people who might not know much about them otherwise.  I had the chance to SHOW people that rabbits are fantastic pets when taken care of properly.

So, how did it all begin?  Well, in 2011 my first pet rabbit, and one that I was closely bonded with, Hoosier, passed away.  Since his passing I have been looking for ways that I might be able to honor him and the love that he shared with his ‘hooman.’  In March I had the idea that maybe I could run in order to raise money for the purchase of the adoption center- and so the Hoosier Hundred was born.

Fast forward to August 30 at 5:30 am and I was greeted by my friend Sunshine (who is very sunny at that time in the morning) and Pat and Bev the two brains behind the adoption center.

I was mentally in such a solid place when I started that run.  I wasn’t thinking about much at all, just that I needed to accomplish that first loop.  My idea was to keep myself within a 1 mile radius of the center so that I could always refuel and check in with people.  Saturday was the second hottest day of the year, so in that way I am glad I was so close by.

Within the first 4 loops I saw so much wildlife it was amazing! There were dozens of deer, a buck, a skunk, wild bunnies, a hawk and squirrels.  I enjoy my surroundings when I run so I immersed myself in that.

At some point in the morning my friend Pat was able to join me for a loop or two.  She is an amazing woman that I had the opportunity to get to know better during a trip to the Flying Pig Half Marathon.  She was kind enough to drive me down and let me stay overnight with her!!! Actually, it is one of my favorite race trips, it was a good time.

Next my high school teacher/ former colleague Jeff joined us.  A speedster who runs like a gazelle, Jeff is the reason I began running in the first place.  My very first run ever was on a two mile loop that started and ended at my high school.  I couldn’t even run the full two miles without having to stop and walk a few times.  I was glad to share this experience with him since he has seen me run since the beginning!

The miles floated by and I was joined by friends Judi, Deirdre, Jay, and Jen on and off throughout the afternoon.  It was certainly a scorcher that day and we ended up altering the loop so that it went through a graveyard. 

 At this point my memory of events gets a little fuzzy.  I really like my sleep, so after a while things begin to blur together.  I know many people came out to visit me and say hello.  Seeing new faces every couple of miles was refreshing and to any one that I gave blank stares to, SORRY!!!

Overnight I had Judi (for a portion) and Melanie, Sunshine, Jimmy and my DH.  We kept on trudging through that same two mile cemetery loop.  At one point I believe there was even a dance party involved in the loop….no further comments on that.

When Sunday rolled around I started to just feel tired.  Honestly, looking back, it had little to do with my body (which was certainly tired), but keeping yourself mentally tough and able to keep moving forward becomes much more difficult when you haven’t had any sleep.

In the early morning I was joined by Karen and Ken who saw me through until the end of the 100k.  I know I was not my nicest Shannon at this point, but I seriously could NOT STAND people by that point.  It was the strangest feeling because the whole time I knew they were all taking time out of the lives to be there, for me, and that I needed them there, but I felt so claustrophobic!!!

Finally at mile 54 I was ready to throw in the towel.  There were a round of thunderstorms that had rolled in and I was ready to go home.  My friend Pat (who stopped by before her race that morning) gave me a hug and told me to ‘listen to Sunshine.”

So…God help me, I listened to Sunshine.  Who said, “We are going 4 miles out and 4 miles back.”

I slogged along; I cried on the OT, I had a temper tantrum.  She was SUCH A TROOPER.  She told me it was OK to feel this way and how proud of me she was.  More importantly she reminded me that what I was embarking on was something very special and something I wouldn’t forget.

Suddenly the tears were gone and at the turn around I found the energy to run/walk the whole way back.  Did I mention it was a freaking torrential downpour?  Yeah…2 hours and 11 minutes of soaking rain.

Once again, I could not have finished had my friends not been there.  I never felt real doubt until that morning, but they were all able to pull me through.

I also need to thank DH.  He never fails to support me no matter what antics I am up to.  He was right there beside me throughout the last 8 miles in that rain, running just because he loves me. 

Random Notes:

Nutrition eludes me.  I ate a nutrition bar early on that made my stomach very upset.  I had the most difficult time finding foods to eat that wouldn’t cause problems (despite taking Gas-X-I know GROSS, but it’s an ultra-runner weapon!) Also, nothing actually sounds good.  You reach a point where food is just kind of yucky, but you have to find a way to keep eating.

Fluids I had NAILED! My technique was two loops with water, two loops with a Gatorade/ water mix.  I only needed one electrolyte tablet the entire time.  Despite it being a hot day.  I drank the occasional coke as well.  Smoothies were good and so was hot coco.  All in all, I was proud of the hydration system I had in place.

 

If I attempt this again, I need to run more.  This was the most consistent I have EVER been in my running career, but it still wasn’t enough.  I needed more time on my feet and I needed time where I was faster.  But these are just notes of things to evaluate for next time.  Mostly, I just want to celebrate this step in my running career.

I leave you all with one picture.  There are other pictures on the Facebook page (or will be).  I thought, although this is a long post, there is only one picture I want to end this with.

shan62

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