Posted in Writings

Relentless Forward Motion

Relentless. Forward. Motion. Those words carried me through my first 50-mile finish. Ten years earlier, life seemed less complicated. I was younger, married and Mormon.  I thought I was strong then, but life had different plans. One thing is certain. Whatever mental or physical threshold I believed to possess, I learned in the coming years that I could always take it a step further.

With each passing year, my relationship with my husband diminished. He began working long hours at the office. We rarely spoke. My days were filled with driving the kids to and from school and taking them to various extracurricular activities. The kids and religion kept us together. We were going to get through this because divorce was not an option. Running became the way to cope with our deteriorating marriage. I took up marathons as if every passing mile could magically heal what was broken between us, but it did not.

He convinced me that a change of scenery might help. We left family and friends and moved from Washington State to Florida. Perhaps we just needed some sunshine. Instead, he retreated into a world of late night computer gaming and slept the day away only to repeat what he had done the previous night. I took care of our children and lived my life of structure within the confines of the Mormon religion. Sunday? I was at church. Monday? Family Home Evening. Tuesday? Leading Youth Activities. Thursday? Visiting other church members.

One evening, he came to me in tears. “I’m going to lose everything. I knew it was wrong, but the money was too good. I know I should have told you.”

I hugged him close and cried with him, not knowing what his confession meant.

As things began to unfold, I learned that his business partner signed hundreds of fraudulent loan modifications. The FBI had been investigating him for some time, but they had trouble finding my husband. He felt that it didn’t concern him since he only covered the marketing side of the business. He did not take into consideration that since they split profits 50/50, he was just as guilty.  His lawyer gave him three options: 1) Take your family and go to Canada and never come back to the States. 2) Lie, but know they will uncover the truth and you will be forced to spend 20 years in prison or 3) Tell the truth and face the consequences.

He chose the third option. During my birthday weekend in the middle of October, we flew up to Washington, D.C. I watched as my husband of 15 years and father of our children stood helplessly in front of a judge awaiting his sentence. He wore dark blue dress pants, a bright blue long sleeve buttoned-down shirt, and a blazer. He was clean-shaven, and his rust-colored hair took on an orange hue from the courtroom lighting. His six-foot frame hid the weight he gained through the years, and the bags under his eyes showed the internal battles he faced without me. I felt numb inside, while he read an apologetic letter to the judge, pleading to have a reduced sentence. “The real victims are my wife and my children. I am truly sorry for the pain that I have caused.” He tried his best to fight back the tears. Minutes later, he was formally sentenced to five years in Federal Prison for mortgage fraud.

A couple of months after he went away, I filed for divorce. I spent nights awake thinking about the next five years. I couldn’t handle the thought of living life in a sort of limbo waiting for him to get out. The damage he had done to our family was irreversible. I felt that if I didn’t end it now, I might live my life in regret wishing I had. I began running more. This time I ran to heal myself.

One evening my bishop called me in for a meeting. “I have seen a lot of Facebook posts of you running races, and I’m a little concerned that it’s taking you away from your children. They need their mother, especially during a time like this. You may want to consider not running as much.”

I left the meeting, stunned that he would suggest I run less. A bishop’s “suggestions” are regarded as a command, and the more I thought about his words, the angrier I became. I stopped going to church and eventually had my name taken off church records. He knew very little about me and did not understand that running was the thing that held me together. After 20 years, the religion that governed my life was gone. Church member “friends” quickly disappeared.  I was broken, and there wasn’t anyone who could pick up the pieces.

Ultrarunning became my obsession. Participating in races beyond 26.2 miles cleared my head. My mental state became free from long harbored feelings of oppression I felt from my ex-husband and the religion we built our life around. Ultrarunning became my therapy, and the ultra-community were my family. I was no longer alone and broken. The miles shared with friends slowly put me back together. I decided this was the time to tackle something beyond my comfort zone. The goal? To finish The Keys 100-mile ultramarathon under 32 hours. Was I strong enough?

It was around 2 am, no time for a nap. Lani had been awake the same amount of time. Her long brown hair coifed in a tight bun and her clothes smelled of lavender laundry detergent. I took two steps for her one. She had the body of a ballet dancer and made running appear graceful and effortless. Her primary job at this hour was to keep me awake and moving. Kevin was in the van a few miles down the road, waiting for our arrival. They took turns running alongside me, filled my water bottles and provided ice to put around my neck. They fed me when I was hungry and made me eat when I wasn’t, changed my socks, taped up my blisters and kept me moving along. They were like my pit crew, and I was the car.

The race began at 6:30 am the previous day. Awake for nearly 24 hours, my run had turned into a stumbling walk along A1A.  Walking lulled me to sleep. My eyes would open for a few seconds, and then I was dreaming. The sound of waves hitting the shore and the pungent smell of salt water jolted me awake, followed by a heart-pounding realization that I was still walking.

I was through the worst of the race. For most of the day, I was held hostage by the sun. No relief came from the heat and humidity. The mangrove trees hovered by the water’s edge, not close enough to create any shade along the sidewalks and asphalt we ran along. I wore a long sleeve white shirt and a white hat with a flap to protect my neck and deflect the permeating heat. The spandex shorts underneath my shorts provided protection against chaffing, at least the brunt of it.  A handheld water bottle filled with fluids and ice wrapped around my neck kept me from nausea and cramping.

Lani and I walked along a sidewalk in silence, until an oncoming car stopped a few yards abruptly in front of us.  The headlights glared, and we squinted towards the light. Lani jumped in front of me, ready to defend me from a potential attacker.

A middle-aged man hopped out of his car and jogged towards us. He wore a fluorescent orange shirt with the words “Race Marshal” in black written across his chest. Race Marshals are the rule enforcers when the Race Director can’t be everywhere at once. Bob Becker, the Race Director, conducted all the affairs of the race enlisted marshals to ensure the event ran smoothly. “I’m going to have to take your chip.”

“What?! Nope.” I put my hands on my hips and shook my head. Giving up my race chip would mean the end of the race for me. It was a way to track the runners on the course. He scratched his head and looked at Lani with raised eyebrows. She shrugged her shoulders and looked at me.

“You’re not going to make it before the cut-off. I’ve got to pull you out of the race.” Mr. Race Marshall said. He folded his arms and puffed out his chest.

“Can’t you call Bob? CALL BOB!”  My shrill voice filled the night air. I did not know Bob on a personal level, but I was not about to quit now.

“He’s sleeping. He gave me the jurisdiction to take timing chips if I know they aren’t going to make it. At this rate, you’re not going to make it to the aid station in time. Your next checkpoint is five miles away.”

“Just tell me how much time I have left and I will be there.” I began walking away but turned my head slightly to hear what he had to say.

“You have an hour and a half to make it to the next aid station. If you don’t make it, I’m going to have to take your chip for sure.”

I nodded back at him in reply. We met up with Kevin a half mile down the road. He took over as pacer. His lean body was ready for the task that lay before him. He fastened on his headlamp over his short blonde hair and started up his Garmin that calculated our current running speed. He told me when I needed to pick up the pace and when to take a break and speed walk.

The miles ticked by and we arrived at the aid station with an hour to spare. We kept pushing along. I had less than 11 miles to go, and the sun was beginning its descent on us. We passed those that had “the lean.” Their minds had taken over, contorted into a hunchback struggle; their bodies had no choice but to follow.

My lady parts were burning up from the salty sweat and continual friction of spandex shorts. I had to adjust and readjust, but nothing I did could alleviate the rash burn now. I just needed to get to the finish line.  My feet stung from blisters I popped by stomping my feet hard into the asphalt as I ran and walked.

As I approached mile 96, my eyes welled up with tears. It was at this intersection that I decided to quit the year before. I was tired, hurting and crewless. The DNF (Did Not Finish), brought questions from friends and acquaintances that would ask “Why would you stop at mile 96? You only had four more miles to go!” My mind was running on empty, and when the mind decides it’s over, it is over, besides I had missed the cut-off by two hours. But this year was a different story. Today, I would finish what I had started.

A race marshal leaned against a parked car. His grin was infectious. “You’re almost there! Only three more miles. We’ll see you at the finish.” Three more miles? I felt a blister pop and the liquid oozed between my toes.

The scenic route shaped like a bell led us towards Higgs Beach. The crowds of tourists began to thicken as we approached the path leading to there. I looked up ahead and was in between a string of runners making their way to the finish. The onlookers stared in disbelief at our ragged sunburnt faces. I overheard a few say, “You’re only a few yards away!”

A man yelled out, “Runner up!” He ushered me to the left onto a different surface.

The final steps through the cushy sand took the miles of pressure off my aching body. I was only a few feet from the finish line. My knees felt wobbly in the sand, and the thought of collapsing face first crossed my mind. I trudged through the sand and raised my arms in triumph with a smile that hurt my sunburnt face and chapped lips. People beneath the finisher’s tent turned to cheer me on and clap. It was finally over. A race volunteer handed me the coveted buckle. This piece of metal signified all that I had gone through from the past few years to arrive at this moment. Pain, relief, joy, and accomplishment rushed through me.

For six solid months, I dedicated myself to training. I logged 50 or more miles per week and peaked at 100 miles three weeks before the race. Each Saturday was filled with long runs of 20 miles or more, pounding the pavement to get my body accustomed to time on my feet. I imagined the end of the race during those training runs, but all the dreaming paled in comparison to the real thing.

I felt invincible. I overcame my body when I thought that I could not take another step and forced my mind to think beyond the pain I was experiencing throughout the last 30 hours. I staggered over to an empty camping chair surrounded by other participants in a similar state. Someone handed me a hamburger wrapped in tin foil and a beer; neither one sounded appealing.  All I wanted to do was take off my shoes. I unlaced them carefully and slid them off. Then I peeled off my sweat-drenched socks spotted with a tinge of blood. Blisters developed between my toes and on the pads of my feet. A blood blister had formed underneath a toenail. It had burst leaving my toenail tender to the touch. Any small movement I made, spurred on a series of cramps in my buttocks, thighs, and calves. My stomach and shoulders cramped while taking off my shoes. I would have to deal with the blisters later. I slowly leaned back in the chair and propped my feet on a cooler. I closed my eyes and slowly drifted off to sleep to the sound of quiet chatter and waves crashing along the beach. I had finally answered my question. I was strong enough.

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Posted in Races

Keep on Keepin’ on (PLEASE READ to the end)

I have experienced many successes in my short time as runner. I’ve qualified for both Boston and Western States. I still have yet to run either of them. I’ve completed several marathons and ultras (certified and uncertified distances up to 100 miles). I’ve also had some DNS (did not start) and DNF’d (did not finish) because my mental capabilities or finances kept me from the very thing that saved me.

Life happens followed by failure in a nearly 14 year marriage (not counting the year that I filed for divorce) and mental break downs that left me questioning my very existence and my relationship with God. I’ve lost many “friends” when I left the LDS (Mormon) church and through that I’ve found who my true friends are and I thank you from the bottom of my heart (cliché but absolute truth). Ending a marriage, coupled with a religion was devastating, other things (which I’ll discuss another day) were happening through all of this, but by the grace of God I got through it.

I kept running.

God is the ultimate Master of positivity. My strength is powered by Him. He has a way of putting some of the greatest people in my path many of which I have met through running or met through a happy coincidence and for that I am forever grateful.

I haven’t wanted to post until we were there, but I could really use some words of encouragement. I feed off your positive energy and will be carrying a piece of paper with your words in my vest. I don’t like flying, but I like to travel. Terrible, isn’t it?

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There you have it. Comment here or post something to my FB/IG. I need your positive vibes more than you know. Thank you all! Keep on Keepin’ on my friends :).

Posted in Uncategorized

Thoughts on the Run

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Sunrise never gets old. 

4 miles: I’m definitely doing some yoga tomorrow.

4.2 miles: Is that a squirrel? Gummy bears. I need gummy bears!

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4.3 miles: Nope. It’s that plant. Gets me every time!

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4.5 miles: Yes to yoga, but first a 50k today!

5 miles: I really want to get my nose re-pierced. I should call Megan!

5.5 miles: I’m gonna do a 50k!

6 miles: Yeah, I’m only doing 20. This sand sucks!

6.2 miles: I love the sand! Especially on the down hill. I would totally do Wild Sebastian. Sand isn’t that bad.

6.3 miles: That is going to suck going back up. What is that awful smell? Landfill. Note to self: not running out this way again. Stinky and a little sketchy. I should have brought my pepper spray.

6.3-7 miles: What? I’ve only gone how far… C’mon! Ooh someone lost their keys to their four-wheeler. I’ll put that right up here.

7.5 miles: Yep. Definitely just 20 today. Would people just stop dumping their garbage out here!

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8 miles: I’m done with this area. I’m taking the rest of my miles to Suncoast Trail. I miss seeing people. Maybe I’ll finish my run out here and have Oscar pick me up in Brooksville…

10 miles: Yea, Suncoast Trail. Asphalt, I’ve never been this happy to see you!

 

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12 miles: Nope. I’m turning around. I’m tired of these cyclists and I don’t like running on asphalt. I miss my ultra tribe. Okay sand, I’m coming back for you.

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13 miles: Crossing Ponce de Leon is scary business.

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17 miles: Is that Oscar?

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17 miles: Yea, it is Oscar!!!!

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18 miles: Is that L?

18.5 miles: Yep, that’s her!

19 miles: C’mon L, you’ve gotta run! Walking will just keep you out here longer.

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She’s a speck in the background.

19.5 miles: I feel like Frodo running through the neighborhood after a big adventure on the trails.

20 miles: Glad I made the decision not to go run another 10ish miles. I’m good. I think I’ll go pick up L. She was walking a slugs pace out there.

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She was relieved to see me and caught off guard. She had just watched a CSI episode where a girl was kidnapped, because she was test driving some random guys vehicle. I asked her what she would you do in that situation? She says, “I’d kick and scream.” and I said, “How about not get in the car in the first place!”

More notes to self: Didn’t pack enough Skratch or Cytomax. Need to bring more water and pepper spray.

Happy Props: No chaffing (Thanks to Trail Toes), didn’t have to wear long spandex,  knees didn’t give me any grief. Glad I packed the Torins. And R&F sunscreen left me sunburnless. Thank you Megs!!

Posted in Uncategorized

Pain Makes Me Feel Alive…I Beg to Differ

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2014 Zion 

In 2008, I had written about the reason I run long distance. “Running long distances and the pain I experience, make me feel alive.” My current self would think this woman was suffering something short of a mental breakdown.

Let me take you back to my world in 2008, I was a stay at home mom and my girls were 4 and 5 years old (16 mths apart). I was living an entirely different existence. My days were predictable. My marriage was suffering, but I didn’t know how to fix it. My husband was working long hours in his real estate ventures and I would be with the kids. I drove them to school and took them to gymnastics. I wanted to be the “perfect” mom. I fell short every time to my preconceived notion of being the perfect mom. I felt inadequate in everything… but running.

This is only a glimpse of my previous life, but in more times than one, running has saved me or I should really say God gave me running to heal from the unseen pain. My then husband once said, “Ultras are for broken people.” I replied, “But aren’t we all broken?”

Running gives me time to meditate and like I’ve said in my IG posts, it’s like a massage for my soul.

 

 

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Power of 10

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Have you ever gotten to the point at a race, a training run or even a day when you didn’t think you could keep on going? You dig deep, you run to the next trail marker, tree, pebble, bush or blaze, but you somehow find it within yourself to keep on keepin’ on.

 

I wanted to create something that would be right there with me physically, when all hell breaks lose in my brain, body or both. Wear it on your wrist or tie it to your pack. Smiling like a lunatic can only help so much.

10 blue beads– to represent the 10 seconds and to bring you back to mental peace.

Red beads-to remind you of the energy and passion that running brings.

So, when that fury of hell does come, I count to ten by tapping my thumb to each finger on my right hand, until I can get a hold of my mental state. Adapted from one of my ultra tribe sister’s, Nancy, at an 8 Hours of Hell Race Series, which she recalled from The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt:

“I learned a long time ago that a person can stand just about anything for 10 seconds, then you just start on a new 10 seconds. All you’ve got to do is take it 10 seconds at a time.”

Happy Running!

*These bracelets will be available on my Etsy store in the following month or by request. The one shown here is making its way to a friend. I can’t wait for her to get it!

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Rest and Recovery

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Don’t be alarmed when you see me with KT tape. It’s all good. I did a short 2 mile recovery walk today, not even the power walking kind. I’m not in pain, just sore. This is what 50 miles feels like on me. Ultras bring out pains that have healed over the years. I’m not talking about where the KT tape is currently…other ones that spring up the day before a race or during a certain mile.

It hits me in different places like an old scar that says, Remember that? … To that I reply, “Oh yes, yes I do. That was an awesome day!”

Sore spots also tell me where I need to improve, different exercises, and stretches that I need incorporate or get rid of completely. Every body’s different and I just keep learning every day what’s good for mine, not that I always listen ;).

 

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The Itch…

A friend posted a FB post #tbt yesterday of her first 100M two years ago. You’ll see a post on here about the Keys 100 from 2014…the one that I didn’t finish. Fast forward to one year later. My husband and I came back and finished the same race.

Here’s the race report :

Runner #134 – Race Report Keys 100- 100 mile 2015

As I write this, my blisters are still leaking out and I’m still riding high on the wave of FINALLY completing my first 100 mile race with the buckle by my side. American Express says to never leave home without their card…well, I don’t leave home without my buckle. I had felt a similar pride when I received my buckle from the Iron Horse 100k last February, but let’s get back to the real story.
This has been an ambition of mine since 2006. I would go into heavier detail, but what fun would it be if I laid out my entire story now. Another story another time.
You all want to hear about this past weekend’s race. As many of you know, Oscar and I had ran The Keys 100- 100 mile race last year (2014) to fall short after pounding the pavement for 96 miles. We had gone unsupported, but out of the kindness of Christian Stewart and Susan Anger, they had persisted that we keep on keeping on, but we decided to call it quits a mere 4 miles from the finish. We missed cut-off time and another couple of hours in the heat was just not worth it. The next day, we felt like we didn’t give it our all. I wasn’t sure at that point if I was ultramarathon material. My spark had left me.

Fast forward to January of this year, we decided to try again with new tools in our tool belt. We ran Croom just about every weekend, pounded Suncoast Trail and the Withlacoochee Trail. We tried out different hydration belts, clothing and supplements. We listened to Mark Divine’s “Unbeatable Mind” and I listened to Joyce Meyer’s “Change Your World, Change Your Thoughts”. I watched what words came out of my mouth. I’m a firm believer of what you put out in the universe is what you will get. If you want to see some amazing things happen, just give it a try. I dare you 🙂.

I knew we needed a crew for this event, so I posted it on Facebook. I went to F.U.R. and my own wall. I received one response from a lady I had met at Wild Sebastian and then another from a random ultrarunner, but no follow up. It wasn’t until a week before the race, when things began to come together. Lani Scozzari, was the lady I had met at Wild Sebastian this past November. She was all in from the start, but we both knew a one person crew could not help two runners on the course effectively. A miracle happened a week before race day, Bernadette DePerty DuBois heard that we were in need of a crew/pacer. I had met her briefly during that same Wild Sebastian and then again at Whispering Pines. She said she would gladly help us. She had completed four 100 mile races for crying out loud. I was brimming with joy that someone with that much experience would be joining us on this journey. The following day random ultrarunner, Kevin Kevin Flaherty, said he would meet us down in Key Largo at the pre-race meeting and ready to crew/pace. He had nearly gotten lost at a race out by Vegas, I believe it’s called “Ride the Wind” and had just recovered from golf ball sized blisters, but was ready to help us out. Three crew/pacers!!! It was a dream come true. All we needed to do now was complete the race and bring home that blasted buckle!

Our wave started at 6:40am with 6:35 check-in. Weather reports prior to race day were saying 85 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit, but it proved to be about 10 degrees hotter on the actual race days.

I spoke to a few runners around me gave Oscar a kiss and wished him luck. I stayed in the back of the pack. I knew how I was going to play this game and I was going to win. I started out slow. It usually takes a good 6-8 miles for my legs to warm up. My crew met me every 3 or so miles to check on my hydration and keeping me cool. I constantly had a Chica band filled with ice. It was a total lifesaver. Ice became my new best friend and constant companion.

I embraced the miles and the scenery. When the heat would get to me I would say out loud, “I AM STRONG. Through God I can do ANYTHING!” You know what? The strength in me would ALWAYS come back.

30 miles came and went. I had some minor heel blisters, but nothing to whine about. The next 20 miles to Marathon was brutal. The sun was beating down and the shoulder was at a slant. I forget the technical name for it.

By the time I had hit The Tunnel of Hell, we were in full shade, so I now refer to it as The Tunnel of Heaven, because it was such a pleasant stroll 😉. Bernadette and I had some pretty lively conversation for a time. We made it to 50 mile check in with no issues.

3 miles to the 7-mile bridge and shady characters were popping out all over the place. I made it through there as quickly as possible. I had no idea what time it was but I needed some pizza. My crew had it waiting for me right before the 7-mile bridge. I grabbed a couple of pieces and told them I would see them on the other side. A crew for another runner asked how I could do that. I said, “It works for me.”

I could see a blinking red light cresting the bridge. I knew it was Oscar. He was 4 miles ahead of me and I was going to catch him. Throughout most of the day and night, when my crew told me to hold on and wait for them to fill a bottle or my ice pack I would keep going saying out loud, “I need to catch that Chilean!” Then a crew member had to chase me down to hand me my goods, because I was NOT going to stop. We are a competitive couple, so I knew he was gloating in the fact that I was that far behind him.

It was well past midnight when I made it across the bridge. Lani joined me for the night time pumpkin hour (my extra loopy time). We had a fantastic time chatting away about everything that had NOTHING to do with running . We affectionately named this time of night SaturSunday. It makes me giggle every time I see or say it. I told Lani how much I loved Oscar and wished I could see his face that very moment. Did you know that’s how we met? I met Oscar at his very first race ever….a half marathon in November of 2013 in Clermont. Now look at him! Talk about amazing!

A few hours later, a car came heading our way and parked. Out came a Race Marshal Caleb Wilson. He is the Race Director for Ft. Clinch 50/100 mile race. Oscar and I had ran his race last year. That’s my background story on him and oh yeah, we are friends on FB.

Now this is where things got interesting. He told me he had to take my timing chip away because I wasn’t going to make cut-off. Instantly, everything that had gotten me to this race came flooding into my memory. The countless hours putting miles in during the week after work and the many Saturdays and sometimes Sundays Oscar and I would log in long runs or just a short 10 mile. I thought of Brody and then of Faith….and out loud I said, “No!” Caleb was scratching his head. I said, “Call Bob!” (Bob is the Race Director for the Keys 100). Caleb said, “He’s probably asleep and he gave me the right to make the call.” I said, “What do I need to do?” and “How much time do I have?” I was walking away from him at this point, if he wanted to get that timing chip from me he’d have to chase me and tackle me because I wasn’t going to give in that easily. He said I had 7 miles to go and I needed to do that in an hour and 50 minutes. I did the math. I could do that. I was a tenth of mile away when I said, “I can do it!!!”

I ran. We met up with Kevin. He had paced me earlier in the day, but this time he was all business telling me that if I wanted a cushion I needed to keep such and such a pace. I did that and exceeded it. I made it to the 70 mile check in, met up with my crew and kept running. I was going to prove to Caleb, I had what it took to remain on that course, and besides I still needed to catch up to that blasted Chilean!

20 miles to go and I saw Oscar in the not too far distance. I could tell the heat was bothering him. I wasn’t too concerned, because I knew the crew would take care of him. He was going to be just fine and besides, me being ahead of him would give him that extra boost to get him to the Finish. He was shocked to see me. I would be as well. After all, I was between 4-5 miles behind him for 24+ hours.

The heat was picking up again, but I continued to chip away. If you have never seen the ultra shuffle, it looks like a cross between the Hunchback of Notre Dame and a zombie. My feet felt like I had walked through puddles of water. In reality, it was all the blisters that had popped along the way. By the time Bernadette and I made it passed the Naval Air Base we had 6.5 miles left to go. I started getting dizzy, thankfully another crew had helped me out with ice and water. Thanks again Robert Rounsavall. Prior to that we saw Christiañ Stewart! What an uplift to see him. This time I knew I was going to get my buckle.

I had one more check-in before the finish. I remembered where we DNF’d like it was yesterday, but this time I was passing that point. Wa-hoo!!!! That’s what occupied my thoughts at that point. By this point, I had passed about 6 or more people. Lani was by my side again. We made our way around the Bell curve Jamie Woyton another Race Marshall said I had 1.7 miles left to the finish. At that instant I felt a rupture on my right pinkie toe. I was sure that my toenail had popped off. We passed Kathleen Wheeler and George Maxwell and Marilyn Schpbach. Kathleen had been done for hours. It was so good to see their smiling faces. I kept on chipping away. Random people were giving me their guesstimations as to how far away I was to the finish. Other people had a strange look on their face, like they hadn’t ever seen such a sight. It’s alright, I give you permission to tell me I’m crazy and move on. I’m okay with that.

I finally saw the turn for the finish and I was about to cross it. There was a crowd. My eyes welled up. I crossed the finish line with a big smile on my face…the BIGGEST smile. My feet were hurting , but I knew all of it would heal. I had done it. I completed my first 100 mile race in 30:57:34. I had my buckle!

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Last year, “the itch” struck again a month before a Fat Ass event called “Tough Udder” that my friend hosted in her .88 mile driveway (and that was the distance out and back). That was a nice undocumented 100M that I completed because I just wanted to see if I could still do it. I believe I finished in 33 hours. I expected nothing, but was provided with an incredible amount of support from all my friends there…even a buckle ;). By the way, they have since banned that distance ;).

My point to this post, I once again have “the itch,” and have asked my husband, this morning, to upgrade an upcoming race to the 100. More details to come.