(OK, enough caps...I just had to get that out)
It is true. My first 29 miles of the Bear 100 were plagued with negative thoughts, break-up calls to my pacers to explain that I wouldn't be needing their services, Facebook DNF posts, and standing in front of my 60 students to tell them that I dropped out of my race. I tried to reason that a 50K would be a good day, and perhaps I could continue to 50, and that is also a hard ultra distance. GOSH, the negative thoughts just flowed and flowed. I believe that this was a product of nerves, freezing cold temperatures, and hard terrain (although I didn't really feel like it was hard...it must have just been taxing on my body).
Let us back up a tad (sorry...) to the night before. Dang, it was cold, but after having shaking hands until 11AM on Thursday I vowed to go zen. So, when I arrived at packet pick-up and put on two down jackets I floated (all zen-like) to grab my t-shirt and race bib. All of the usual suspects were in attendance and some of them were complaining...I stopped listening. I knew it was going to be cold and I was prepared. I woke up extra early, took all of my t-shirts and shorts out of my bag and packed everything warm that I owned (NO JOKE).
|So excited for the big day!|
|Hanging out at the start.|
Enter negative thoughts. I told myself to save my iPod until mile 20 and I was left with my head. Oh, boy. I saw Nick (crew chief awesomeness) at mile 20 and he asked how I was doing. I told him that my legs didn't feel like they had any energy and that my hips were tight...also, that I was waiting to start having fun. He told me to suck it up (nicely) and that he would see me in 9 miles.
|Me, probably laughing at Forrest's jokes.|
|ADORABLE! AND I got a hug!|
|Happy girl with the best crew chief in the world!|
Weather update: Also, BEAR 100 Clutch Moment #4: I thought that it felt warmer. I was moving just fine and only got cold at aid stations. At mile 51, I changed my entire outfit for the second time so that I wouldn't have any sweat on me and this strategy was working well.
Food update: Also my race strategy: Also, BEAR 100 Clutch Moment #5: EAT! I was eating Gu like a super woman! My stomach was strong and only bothered me after eating at aid stations for about 45 minutes.
Running with Ryan was good. I had some tired moments, but Ryan reminded me to eat while I felt good, fed me mints (like an angel), and encouraged me to drink a 5-hour energy. As with the entire race up to this point, I ran the flats and downhills and walked uphills. It wasn't until we started to descend into mile 75 (Beaver Lodge) that my left knee started to bother me. We precariously tip-toed into mile 75.
|Harrison Bootcamp. Where's the whip?!|
So off we go and right away Harrison starts check his watch. Poor guy. Basically, Harrison kept me company and milked every last ounce of desire to run out of me and did a great job motivating. At this point my legs were aching and had some serious general fatigue.
We somehow managed to make it to mile 92, where I picked up Nick, who I love, but I will not pretend like this was the BEAR 100 Clutch Moment... Nope. Nick's time brought tears. We had a brutal climb out of this aid station and then a very hurtful and mean descent into the finish, with one sneak ascent (NOT NICE!). I wasn't very nice to Nick and none of his motivating strategies worked and I lost a lot of time. But this is not his fault. My legs hurt and I reasoned that this could be the worst pain I have ever felt.
I did finally get to the finish where my loved ones awaited and I could lay down. That was awesome!
|Finish line party?|
We pulled over so I could puke on the way home and the ever punctual Jodi and Alyssa pulled over, ran toward me, exclaiming, "We saw your car...we want a hug!" Which I think means, "We saw you yacking, we are not sure if we want a hug anymore..." We went out for water and I relived the story for the first time and it was awesome.
I wore my best buckle to work today and told my students all about my adventure and they think I'm cool.