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Pumpkin Holler Hunnerd

October 21, 2023

63rd hundred

Did we holler at the pumpkin holler, yes we did!  At the idiot driving too fast on the dirt roads to dust up the runners, karma will get ‘em. 

What a great race, beautiful course,  wonderful aid stations, and fun supportive people.  They smashed a pumpkin to start the race.

The course is a dirt road in the country (middle of nowhere) where you run a thirty mile loop three times with a 10 mile out and back on the first loop to get to a hundred miles.  They describe it as a relatively flat course and on the first two loops it is.  On the third loop there appears to be hills around every corner, up up up is all I saw, sheesh.  Pretty views of farm country and a spectacular second sunrise.  Jess missed the second sunrise because she was too fast and finished in the dark.  She had an excellent race.  I on the other hand got my moneys worth and used almost all the time.  For some moments I was wondering whether I would finish under the cutoff of 30 hours. It was a bit stressful but a good kind of stress.

Lately I have been feeling off.  Not sure what is wrong but running has been slow and my jaw has been sore.  I think I’m experiencing some stress and am holding it in my jaw.  Weird.  During the first 15-20 miles I wanted to quit and cry and just didn’t want to do this race.  I saw my super peppy positive friend, Jess on the out and back, she was in second place and gave me a hug.  Another runner wanted to give me a gel as I was about to cry.  I thanked her and said it was more emotional than physical and thanked her again for the offer of a gel, so sweet. Then I got my shit together.  I started the self talk process and basically talked myself into running a hundred.  These events are definitely more about the mental aspect than the physical. 

A couple days ago I was coaching a principal and reminded her to put her big girl pants on and get to work with confronting some of the issues she was dealing with at her school.  So now it was my turn to put my big girl pants on and focus on doing what I love, which is to run. This helped me let go of the outside issues regarding my parents which I have no control over and forced me to focus on the mile I was on, one mile at a time, one aid station at a time, be in the now and just run, this is your bliss and it worked.  Kind of like teaching yourself how to run again.  I missed this.

Later I called my husband and we talked.  He is always so supportive and lately when I talk with him my stress goes away.  He is good medicine and the love of my life. I’m so So grateful.

Our race started on Saturday and the bike race started on Sunday morning.  On the same course, cyclists would ride 30, 60, 70 miles.  They passed me during the last ten miles of my race.  Almost every one of them had some nice encouraging comments.  It made me smile.  There were a couple who said you are almost there. I told them or really myself, don’t lie to me, I still have 8-10 miles to go which is a loooong time at the end of a hundred.  I still got a chuckle out it and kept on keeping on.

It got hot again the second day, into the 80s.  There was some shade on the course but lots of sun and heat made me drink a lot on the first and second day.  Had to stop at every porta pottie on the last loop to pee and pee and pee.  Probably too much information but you know it’s ultra running.

Glad to have finished and glad to have my running bliss back.  Emotions are a strong impetus.  They can get you even when you are not looking.  Usually I put on a happy face and smile myself to a hundred.  This one was more about letting go and counteracting the stress that comes with elder parental care.  I found it challenging and hopefully will see my way through.

On the drive back from the middle of nowhere Oklahoma to the airport Jess and I listened to a podcast from Hidden Brain which was about the science of savoring and how to make the most of the good things in our lives. Every time we stepped down a step or walked down a ramp we were savoring the soreness in our quads from the Pumpkin Holler, very memorable, running a hundred and savoring the soreness, silly girls.

6200 ft gain
Temps in the 80s
First lap, 40 miles, 10:17
Second lap, 30 miles, 9:28
Third lap, 30 miles, 9:50
No blisters, no chafing, I ate all the food!


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