Sunday, April 26, 2009

Free State

Showed up for the Free State 100K in a weird state. I had been battling the start of a head cold and no time to rest the week prior, other than reduced mileage, so I was really pretty antsy. After an hour of the usual pre-race chatter we headed off. This was my first time at Lake Clinton, and I was surprised by both the volume of mud and the topsy-turvy terrain. Yes, all of it IS runnable, unless you're me. Anywho, started extremely slow and the first five miles didn't suck so I ramped it up just a bit. Finally caught up with Willie and we rode into the start/finish at around four hours. Quick stop and back out for the second loop, which was markedly slower, around 4:15/20. I had some stomach issues by then, and if I am proud of anything it's that I was asked "Are you sure you want to do this loop (the third)?"
Yes! I was prepared to walk, which I mostly did. Willie and Colleen did a good job of being there for me and later allowing me some time to regroup. I kept repeating to myself one of my favorite quotes: "Do the thing and have the power". I kept this up for awhile while formulating the new plan: make it to KUS aid station, jog/walk to final A/S, save enough to haul ass to the finish. I was still talking to myself when the rain and lightning started to get interesting. I couldn't have been more pleased with the cooling rain, I had been feeling muggy for a bit.
Somewhere around mile 48 I found Willie waiting for me. I knew he had been holding back a bit and we trudged toward the KUS folks. Willie mentioned that they'd probably call the race if the tornado sirens kept going off. I hoped they didn't, namely because I felt like an animal running around in the woods in a hailstorm with severe lightning adding to the fun. About a mile later we see Phil Sheridan running down the trail, game over.
Good call. If my family had been out there I would have pulled them, too.
Couple of quick mentions: the volunteers were outstanding! Thanks so much for your hard work!
Nice work, Dave Wakefield, winner of the 40-miler.

Deb Johnson: "This is my third 100K, and we've had tornado warnings during two of them!"

Lee: "So, are you excited about Leadville, Gary?"
Gary: "Not right now I'm not." (around mile 45).

Willie: "These shoes don't handle mud very well!" (the man who has the most techncial knowledge of gear in our area, said around mile 51. He is a quick study.)

Lee: "I thought you said we were going to take it easy here!" (from around mile 36 to mile 40).
Willie: "And I thought you said we were going to do the first loop in 4:20!" (went under 4:00)

Willie: "Well, do you wanna try run 2/walk 2?"
Lee: "You can if you want." Pitiful.

Berryman is next...


Anonymous said...

Great run buddy. Way too hang in there and not give up til' they came and got you. Theres no shame in that. Good luck at Berryman. Its a fun course.

Anonymous said...

Impressive Lee aka: "Ben Monkey." You did an awesome job... next time we'll get mother nature on our side. Thanks for helping at packet pickup. Was neat to get to know you!


Anonymous said...

Mr. Crane, it was great running with you. I never guessed you were feeling bad, you seemed like such a steady Eddie. Running with you and Willie was my great pleasure of the day (that and the veggie burgers Randy Albrecht made me).


Christy said...

Nice work at Free State - it was tons of fun running with you, see you on the trails again soon!

Anonymous said...

Hey Lee; awesome job in the 'FreeState'. I had heard that the race was called due to tornadaos.... crazy. happy recovery; and keep on truckin. duncan