Weather plays a large part in a race, namely heat. You know what I was missing more than anything Friday at 2:00pm- winter, snow, hail, icy trails, a freezer to stick my head in. ICE and Popsicle at aid stations were like, like, like I don't know ice in the desert- oh, right. It was EXACTLY like having ice in a desert.
The discomfort of running in a furnace is not only not fun, but it takes endurance running to a different level that involves more thinking, which the ability to do such a thing as think oozes out your ears and pores with hydration- or maybe when you confirm your registration for these types of events. It's an all day, every half hour, at least, body check and re-up of something- salt, water, food, sugar, salt, water, tums, sugar, salt, water, I cant eat that GU , Cheryl!, salt, water, food..run?! Shit. No, like I have to shit. can't stop. cut offs, salt, watch, how many miles to Big mountain?! Salt, water, foo-ewww-d. cow bells. sit, re-up, back out.
The sun certainly depleted me faster than usual, and I did my very best to keep my self upright and moving. I did pretty well, I went very slow, as I had no other choice.
Pacers: I had 3 pacers for Wasatch. Nancy 39-53. She had me as I really began to struggle with food. EVERYTHING tasted like vomit and shit. There's just no other way to explain it. Ive said this a few times over the last few training runs- the hardest part of an ultra for me is having to eat.You can't get around it, Ive tried- you will never win that battle- or it wont be pretty if you do. Thank you Nancy for getting small bites in me often.
Pacer 2: Betsy. Betsy got me at Lambs Canyon, late...11:00pm, 17 hours in, 2 hours after my conservative estimation. 53-75, I met the sleepy monster and the mental demon. I know she didn't think I could or should go on. Shit, I was beginning to doubt my ability. But a man told me, as I was contemplating her making the phone call that I was done, "don't quit, it will get better, keep going". I don't know who you were kind man, but thank you, thank you so much. I was talking nonsense and wobbling off trail. Betsy, Thank you for the poles, and for making me drink and eat your gross Mozzarella and pastrami;) It was a slow march to Brighton, but I just kept going- If I wasn't going to succeed, I was certainly going to go out fighting.. Thank you for the help, the time, the laughs- (although, those were pretty much due to my extraordinary humor that comes with downtrodden pain)-see, how I do that? ;) It was slow and long, but we got there.
Pacer 3: My Partner in crime- stuck in traffic from a road marathon! Of all the things to hold her up it was roadies;) We busted it like I was on fresh legs, like I was racing. The climbs hurt, hitting the highest part of the race, 10,400 at Sunset pass. I could feel the energy and oxygen coming back to me as we dropped, dropped, dropped, and then the heat started to suck it out, out, out. But, we were running! 25 miles, we ran! It was awesome. It hurt like hell. At one point , maybe 8 miles from the finish I thought run, it's all going to fucking hurt anyway! . Cheryl was reading me texts from my sister, Go Nat Go! Texts that my dad was following, my family cheering me on from Baltimore,Texts from her husband and my friend, Karl Meltzer, the Speedgoat; gogogogogogo! A text from Scott, my husband a video from my kids, "Push!!!!" There were no low points the last stretch, just determination, focus, and lots of cold water poured on my head and down my shirt, heart stopping cold water that felt so damn good.
THE ROAD- 3/4 of a mile up the black top to Soldier Hollow. Jill was following in the car, "You've got time, but you have to trot!" Me: ok. Then beeping behind me, my husband, my babies! Yelling out the window, just making it to the finish, cheering me on as I gave everything I had to that last bit of running! "Cheryl, what's our time, can I walk?" "we have time, but you can't walk, we can slow down". Me: Ok. Christian, Betsy J's husband, ran up to give us ice, the road was ending, the grass was getting closer! My kids, I reached out and touched Livy's hand, and I ran, I ran in and I finished the Wasatch 100! So many smiling faces and hugs, and I finished the last 25 miles in 7 and 1/2 hours!? How did I do that?? How?? I just did. Why? Because I wanted it so badly. I could see the light when the sun came up Saturday morning, I could see it, and I had such a slow hard night, that after I ate a big breakfast of sausage, hashrowns, and red bull at Brighton I knew I could do it! My stomach was solid, my legs showed up, My pacer and friend made it her job to get me there, and most importantly my heart swelled with desire to get there, feel what it felt like to run, hike, slog, and then run the 100 miles of the infamous Wasatch 100. Deep Breath. Deep Breaths...Sit, Reflect, Cheers, sleeeeeeep.