Finding the Finish at Grindstone 100!by Dawn Lisenby on 11/08/17
into Grindstone I had one goal and one goal only… to get my finish in
order to enter the Hardrock lottery. This was no easy task as the
relentless uphill and downhill of this course tore up my legs! This
made the last 20 miles of the race, over large rock, in the rain and
thick fog death-defying primarily due to my quads not cooperating AT
ALL, which resulted in my nearly going over the ridge line many times.
The only thing to do was to slow down to ensure I got what I came for
and did not end up down the side of a mountain.
For those of you who like stats, the odds were not in my favor. Of 237 starters only 28 were women, showing you not many females take on this course. 183 runners reached the finish, with 46 DNFS. Of the 28 women 22 finished with me being the oldest amongst them by 5 years! I think I am most proud of this. Full results can be found here http://apps.eco-xsports.com/reports.php?race=1&year=2017.
Also not in my favor is the course being 102 miles long with 46,000 feet of elevation change, and me being a flatlander from Florida . Day before the race the cold I had been evading for 1.5 weeks, that my boys had, finally got me...pretty sure I was running a fever during the prerace meeting. This left me unable to sleep the night before the race due to congestion , which meant three nights of no sleep. As a female I was at a place in my monthly cycle not optimal for racing which is not good for performance. I also had a personal family issue weighing on my shoulders, which left me a bit spent emotionally.
I share all of this is to convey the old adage "you are only as good as your crew". LOL While that is VERY true, and I am most indebted to both Omer and Carla for helping me achieve my goal, it is also to say "You can do more than you think you can". And the mind is one HELL of a powerful ally when running 100 miles.I really should not have finished this race. But I never let myself believe, even with all the odds stacked against me, that I could not. I am so thankful to my crew, and strength of mind, to have done so. I really feel I can do anything now if I set my mind to it. Watch out here I come!
Thanks to Omer for keeping me from doing so multiple times through one long night of ups and downs...figuratively and literally. I can not think of a better person to have been by my side those last 35 miles. His quiet assurance gave me confidence and strength when it was sorely needed and my goal looked in doubt. I really had the dynamic duo helping me, with my best gal, Carla, assisting him in keeping me moving for MANY hours strong, and her pacing me from the turn around to 65.
In addition to those two integral components many other thanks are due for my goal coming to fruition. Thanks to Malu for running with me through the night. Congrats to her on her strong finish and masters win! She has always inspired me, but after spending the night running/ talking with her, even more so. What a lady! Thanks to her crew, and my friend, Chris Thompson for assisting mine and his words of encouragement.
Thanks to Chris "G-Money" for meeting me at the 50 mile turn around in THE shirt and his awesome smile. It REALLY lifted my spirits.
Thanks to Eric Can't Stop Law for his words of advice both before, at the start, and on course. That you came back to do this race again AND finished it in the constant rain (whereas I only had it for last 30) last year has me even more in awe of you as an athlete.
Thanks to one of the nicest guys I know, my friend David, for driving not a short time from a family wedding in Va to see me off at the start. Your " warrior women" moniker came to mind several times when I stopped believing in myself. As did those of many of you who gave me advice leading into the race, especially regarding my poles, they were a life saver.
Thanks to my sponsors for products that are second to none. Lemon-Lime Skratch (for 37 hours 30 minutes!) and real food did not let me down. Trail Toes helped my feet look so good that it prompted one AS volunteer to say I had beautiful feet at mile 78. ILOVEULTRARUNNING had me kitted up like a champ, as per usual.
Thanks to my boys for the inspiration and cheers they provide their mom in these CRAZY endeavors she takes on.
Thanks to Clark Zealand, the Grindstone RD for his well done, beast of a race; his awesome volunteers; and old school vibe.
Finally, thanks to all of you for caring about my adventures and sharing yours with me. I really do LOVE ultrarunning! And my SHINY new BOOtiful buckle!! I think I like 100's YES I do.
#ultra #100bucklebaby #grindstone100 #totemkiss #atthefinish #myroadto #hardrock100 #dreambig #seizeitliveit #ultragal #ultrarunner #ultrarace #skratchlabs #trailtoes #tomboyskincare #purultrarunning #iloveultrarunning