“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us” –Hebrews 12:1
Motivation to the Finish
It was the last climb of Hardrock, with night quickly approaching. I was filled with excitement and relief knowing we were getting closer to the finish. The wind was picking up, and sporadic rain drops began to fall as we approached 12,600’. Logan and I had taken out our headlamps when his phone rang unexpectedly.
His wife Caitlin was checking in to see how we were doing and to get an idea of when we thought we might finish. He relayed this to me and I suggested between 12-1am. My estimate was from my watch, which contained a GPX file of the course and suggested an “Estimated Finish Time” of 12:45am. I wasn’t paying attention to his conversation, as I was unsure of where we were on the course and was anxious to begin our final descent. Frustration combined with my other emotions as I had previously scouted out this part of the course and thought we should already be heading down.
The last thing I heard Logan telling Caitlin before he hung up was that we would finish on Saturday night between 11-12am. I asked him why he said that, and Logan told me that he had more confidence in me than I had in myself. He also told me that Matt, who paced me from Grouse to Ouray, told Caitlin that I probably wouldn’t finish until 2-3am….Game ON!
While I have finished strong at other races, I wasn’t sure if I had it in me this time. Fortunately, thanks to a little motivation and confidence from great friends, as well as a ton of faith in the Lord, I went on to have an incredible 6 miles to the finish!
Getting to the Starting Line Wasn’t Easy
My last blog post contains details of my injuries leading up to the Hardrock 100 (HRH) including my MRI report (click here to read). The condensed version is that on April 23rd, 12 weeks before the race, I could barely walk due to pain in my hip. After waiting almost 10 years to get into the race, lining up for Hardrock seemed highly unlikely. I was in denial and rather than worry about my long-term health, all I was concerned with was the fact that the 6-12 weeks prior to a 100 mile race is normally the most important part of training. I wondered if I’d be ready for the race, rather than if I’d be able to walk without pain. After an X-ray and MRI, I didn’t do anything for a couple of weeks. I began my initial recovery by getting massages from Geoffrey and seeing Dr. Johnny King-Marino from Advanced Sports Medicine.
Patience is not a strength of mine, and while I have asked the Lord for help with this before, this injury would help me improve this virtue more than other challenges I have faced. My recovery eventually included riding my Peloton daily, followed by walking on my treadmill, and eventually running on the road to avoid potential re-injury on trails. By mid-June I was hopeful that I would be healthy enough to run, but questioned my endurance. Fortunately, a business meeting took me to Whitefish, MT and after some runs on the Montana Mountains, I was finally confident enough to finalize my plan to head to Colorado.