I loved this race! The course was one of the prettiest courses I have ever run. The entire way had a view. Each place I found myself so happy to be. There was lots of climbing and wonderful downhill. Plenty of straight paths to stretch out the legs. Technical and runnable all in one. I hope life finds me there again. Brian, the race director did a wonderful job, as well as all the people who helped along the way. Thank you all for cheering us along!
After Western States this year I found myself questioning why do I do this? It has been 21 years since my first ultra. I have always found such happiness in it but these past few months I wonder why? I have lost my life to running, Western broke my heart, and now I wondered if I had just wasted so much time. It has never been about winning to me. It is who I become because of it all. I wanted to do No Business to find my why again. I wanted to do it my way, just run. I wanted to see if I found the love and joy I have always had in running long again. Was there a reason or not…
I had thought on and off about training and I asked Todd to help me. He is good and knows me well. For a week or two I followed what he said, working on whatever, then my sister’s husband died. I then spent the next several weeks with her. The running took a back seat. Eventually, I realized so much time passed with my long runs being only 10 miles I just did not sign up for the race. I did keep thinking about it in the back of my mind. Could I do it? Could memory of a few months back carry me?
As race week came I never signed up. I sent Brian a text about signing up race day just in case. Some one dropped out and I could. I still debated what to do. I work nights in an ER so I just worked and decided I would decide when I had a day off. Friday, the day before the race came,+ at noon I decided to go. Todd and I loaded up the van and headed out. By 6pm I signed up. We ate Mexican food then slept in the van in the parking lot. I woke up by 4 or so and we started at 5 am.
From the beginning I was so happy! I met some wonderful people along the way and had some great conversations. I had no expectations and just ran however I felt. I do not have a watch and did not bring my phone so whatever time and pace it was perfect. Each aid station Todd greeted me and it made me so happy. I know how crazy he is and how lucky I am. He could care less what my pace is. He really cares more about me enjoying the experience. I think he enjoyed crewing!
After the first 20, 30 or so miles I ran mostly by myself. It is here I found my why. Lately, I have been thinking of what is important in life. Number one is always be kind. Secondly, always do what is right. Thirdly, do your best. At everything, always try your best. I always try to be kind. I love talking and meeting new people on the trail and hearing their stories. I felt I was doing my best and I thought of this along the way.
In the beginning I ran well, not all out but a strong pace that I could build upon. I felt really good. By mile 40 to 45 I noticed I had a hard time breathing. I was gasping each step. I thought, this is strange, I am not in altitude, what is the problem. I eventually noticed so many people passing me. I had to let them go, I knew I was doing my best. I eventually became dizzy, notice swelling all over, and heard the water in my lungs. I knew I was in pulmonary edema either due to hypo/ hypernatremia. I carried on, I knew I was doing my best at that moment even if it was slow. I finished a good 10 pounds heavier than I started and gasping all the way.
What I learned from this experience is the reason I love to run long. I live in a busy world and I am always going. Yet, what inspires me and makes me happy is something deep inside or perhaps outside of me. It takes so long for me to strip away all the layers and come face to face with all that scares and excites me at the same time. I need this, I need to be stripped down and be honest with myself, God, and all those I have loved. Someday, maybe, I will emerge as the person I was created to be.
I found my why. I am ready for the next adventure!