I honestly try to see a positive in everything, and sometimes, that's difficult. I recently attempted to run Kettle 100 and Black Hills 100, three weeks apart. Kettle was a cluster of bad news from my period starting race morning, to puking, lack of hydration and nutrition, dizzy spells, and Frankfoot unable to keep up...It just wasn't my day.
On the car ride home from Kettle 100, I decided I was running Black Hills 100. Jeff supported this plan. The three weeks leading up to BH100 I rested my legs, lifted weights, and ran Dizzy Goat VERY safely putting in only 20 miles the week before toeing the start line of BH100. I had a new nutrition plan that I was implementing, a solid spreadsheet created by the one and only Jody, and my crew/pace team of Jeff and Richelle.
Sooooo, we headed to Sturgis!!! Black Hills has a 10:00am start, which is awesome! I slept great, and I got in a solid meal before the race. Gary and I headed out on to the course. It was beautiful! The sky was so blue, and the trees were the most amazing green. At some points of the course, it was almost as though I could reach up and touch the clouds. The flowers were fragrant, and vivid colors. Every once in awhile a tiger lily would be along the way, and I would smile and think of my great grandmother Lora. Tiger lilies were her favorite flower. I also remembered how my grandma Davia had them planted all along the side of her garage. They were scattered sporadically along the course, I felt like my grandmas were with me.
We went along chatting with other runners, and hitting aid stations. About mile 23 or so we got off course, and we weren't the only ones...We ran 3 "bonus" miles and made it into the next aid station over an hour than expected. It was okay, we moved along. I stayed with Gary for most of the first 50 miles. I say most, because I stopped to squat, and got lost. In the dark, and the course was not marked well in the daylight, yet alone in the pitch dark. I ran an extra 2 "bonus" miles. I now was riding a cutoff, but made it into Silver City 50 mile mark in enough time to change my shorts, since I had gotten into some poison ivy. ( Don't do that, it's bad...)
I picked up Jeff and we headed out together. Now, some people have a hard time being paced or crewed by their spouse, and some races that pertains to me. But, this time I was sharing the course with Jeff. I told him how much I loved the difficulty, the beauty, and the smells of the trail. I made it to the next aid station with just about 5 minutes to spare. Richelle got me fed, stretched and onward!
The next cutoff was tight, and we knew that. I was prancing along with Jeff, moving well, but not necessarily what I would call fast. We knew I would miss the cutoff, and I did, by an hour. This section of the course was not going to be easy for me to kick up speed as there was mud that was so deep for most of the 5.6 miles and Frankenfoot doesn't like getting stuck in mud and being beat down. So, I ran smarter, not harder. After I knew I missed the cutoff, I was enjoying the time with Jeff, after all it's still a vacation. When I am running in these places so full of beauty, I take it all in. I am lucky and I am blessed to be capable to be out there.
I made it into Nemo, and Richelle had told me they were lifting the cutoff. I had to get my long sleeves off, cool down, change socks, lube feet, and EAT! I was very hungry! I got my wet shoes and socks off, some grub in my tum, and an ice filled bandanna on my neck...and then I couldn't go back out, because the aid station captain stated I would be pulled at the next station.
Things didn't go as planned. BUT, my nutrition was spot on. The GU Electrolyte Tabs with ginger were fantastic! I dropped Tailwind and started using these tabs instead, and I am glad I did!
My shoes worked great for the first time in a LONG time. I spent time with some great friends, that are more like my family. And while I was covered in mud, sweat, I'm sure some of my own urine, poison ivy, and smelled foul...my husband smiled at me and hugged me with pride even though 70 miles wasn't the 100 I had planned.
Sometimes we need to fall short of goals to remind us where our weaknesses lie within us.
I didn't fail, things just didn't go as planned...