Friday, October 21, 2016


When one of my nephews was about 2 or 3, he was playing in a fountain. He was so overwhelmed with pure joy and that all he do was scream

That’s kind of how I felt for most of the race I did on Saturday.

I had a plan of running 31 miles during my 12 hour race and calling it a day. I had planned on using the race as a test to remind myself what a race felt like, to test nutrition, to figure out shoes, to get a training run in at a different location, and to see if I had any interest in running a 50 mile race in a month. What hadn’t planned on was having so much fun.
I don’t have a play by play to describe the race. It was a three mile course that had a little bit of everything. A little uphill, a little downhill, a little grass, a little pavement. It was good. The food at the aid station was great. The weather was perfectly overcast. The participants were wonderfully supportive.

It was freaking magic. And it freaking hurt. Holy crap I haven’t run that far in a while and my feet were killing me. But I felt so content. I was/am so grateful I was able to get to this point healthy and be able to enjoy it. It’s been two years since I’ve run that far and although it hurt it felt amazing.
And I don’t want to run 50 miles in a few weeks. Like, at all. I thought that after twenty some odd miles but I told myself I can’t make that decision while I’m hurting in the middle of a run. But I’ve been rolling it around it my head ever since.

Am I just scared?

Am I just tired?

Am I just ready for a taper?

Am I just worn out from a long training run?

Well, yes, to all of those. But the other factor is. I just don’t want to do it. Why would I show up at a starting line when my heart isn’t at least 90% interested in the race?
I’ve worked really hard at finding a balance between my health and my love of ultra running. I’ve worked hard at actually trying to listen to my body and what my head is trying to tell me. And I’ve worked really hard at finding out that I just like to run and I don’t need lots of races a year to prove that. There’s nothing wrong with lots of races a year if that’s your thing, but there’s nothing wrong with no races a year. And I think I had to convince myself that there’s nothing wrong with saying… Screw that, I don’t want to do that race I signed up for anymore. I think I’d rather just take my victory and move on to the next thing. Whatever that is.
So, I think I’m out for a 50 miler this year. But it was super fun training for it.
Here’s some other tidbits on the weekend.

1.       Animals spotted during/after the race: 2 snakes, 1 woodchuck, 1 opossum
2.       Sleeping in my car was genius and surprisingly cozy. And the moonlight was amazing.

3.       I seriously need to figure out a shoe solution. Cause dang my feet hurt.

4.       I stood at the aid station for what felt like 10 minutes eating bacon and pickles at one point. I think that ultra running might be the closest I ever get to understanding pregnancy food cravings.

5.       Fall is an awesome time to be a runner (also a minefield for those of us with puny ankles).

6.    Leaves caught: 2

7.    Only music on my iPod that I liked: The Ramones.

8.      Sometimes making peace with grown up decisions feels like garbage. But other times it feels like a win.  

Monday, October 10, 2016

Ready Set..... GO!!!!!

It’s been a weird year. Due to some hypothyroid stuff, the last race I ran was in July 2015 and it was a half marathon that I knew I shouldn’t be doing, but it was a great excuse to hang out with a friend on some new trails for a few hours. Shortly after that race I finally found a doctor that agreed that there was something wrong and we set about treatment.
In December, we looked at some new bloodwork and saw that everything was WORKING! I wasn’t out of the woods, but the things I had been doing had made a huge impact. We were both thrilled, well cautiously thrilled.
Then I told him my plan/dream/possibly stupid idea for the year:
I want to run a 50 miler in November.
Here’s why I love my functional medicine doc, he didn’t laugh. Ok, he might have rolled his eyes, but he listened to my proposal.
We think that part of the reason my thyroid went to sh!t was because of over-racing (of course there were other factors too). So, I sat down and asked myself, if I could only do one race this year, what would it be? And the answer was the Tunnel Hill 50 miler.
This will be the third year I’ve signed up for this race. Year one, I DNF’d. Year two, my thyroid hated me and I went with a friend to crew for her/hang out. Third time’s a charm?
I signed up and didn’t really tell anyone. Maybe because I was/am scared. Maybe because I couldn’t handle all the supportive Facebook style rah rah stuff (what a jerk right? I just couldn’t handle feeling like I might let these supportive people down). Most likely because I needed to convince myself that this was a worthwhile project.

So here I am.

This weekend I'm doing a 12 hour race. Not because I want to run for 12 hours, but I wanted a 30ish mile run (I hope that doesn’t take me 12 hours) and I thought it might be good to remember what a starting line feels like before I show up for a starting line of a 50 miler.
I’m at this place that’s somewhere between terror and excitement. And considering it’s been over two years since I have lined up for an ultra I’m having a difficult time remembering if that’s normal. But then again when have my reactions and emotions been normal?