Posted by Jen on Jan 27, 2015 in Uncategorized
It’s as if one could tell a runner’s life story with a quick glance at their Ultrasignup results. Â We forecast how a runner will do, we decide what makes someone “elite,” Â we compare, we judge, we examine. Â I am okay with all of these things on a surface level, but as a runner who did not decide to actually be competitive until a few years ago, I feel that there is so much more to the story than a simple finish time, a placing, a ranking or a DNF. Â There’s a journey. Â So it then occurred to me- Ultrasignup should offer a comment line next to each race. Â Not as a source of excuses or finding ways to creatively type out sandbag stories, but as a way to add color to moments in a runner’s life in a summary of a few sentences. Not everyone has a blog! Â I’ve spent over 10 years running- I would love to comment on what each day felt like to me. Â Plus how fun would it be to read someone else’s summary of their day? It would be pure gold.
I thought I would take a few of my races and do exactly that. Â It was like I walked down memory lane for each race, reliving it as I thought about the highs, lows, the pain, the freedom, the perfect race, the worst race. Â It was me, a runner, over a decade of growing, learning, living, loving and my ultrasignup results became more than a number- they told a story about me:
Comment: 70 miles of pure highs and lows with crazy thunderstorms, chasing the leaders, working hard in the middle of the night. Vomiting for a long time at mile 70, a long nap in the car, followed by my crew- Roch Horton telling me- “You can’t quit, you can’t run, but you can walk.” And walk for 30 miles, I did. Â I lived a whole year it felt in those 8 hours. Â One of my top 3 most memorable and proud runs. Â I draw on this run over and over again.
Comment: The most beautiful red mountains, crazy slickrock, totally hard course. Â Being passed by Larisa Dannis, then passing her back and running my best race ever. Â I felt strong at mile 85, which is always my goal. Â To push, to run with fire in my heart and to have so much fun with my crew. Â This stands out as a my best race yet, and I would love to come back here to live this day one more time.
Comment: If you haven’t raced against Jenn Shelton, I highly recommend it. Â What a day. Â What a course. Â Hal puts on a hell of a race and this was so much fun. Â My dad crewed, I flew, than I bonked hard, then I got lost several times. Â I got to see what I was made of with a beast of climb at mile 85. Â Then I cried for the last 10 miles and swore off 100 milers. Â (Yeah right). Â I will definitely be back to try this race again.
This is where I learned how to use my breastpump on the uphills in a race. Â This is also where I lost that same pump on the Bolinas Ridge. What happened after that is hilarious. Â Eva was 7 months old. Â I got to see her in the carseat as JB tried to crew me. Â I felt stronger than I had prior and had a glimpse of a better runner in me. Â A gorgeous day in the hills of the Headlands and I was so stoked to be there.
Comment: My 30th birthday was on this day. Â I celebrated with having JB as my pacer, my parents and I saluting my day with Red Bull at 3am. Â Dancing on the trail, laughing, loving the day. Â I also learned Ensure is a bad thing for me and I also solidified my love for 100 milers here.
Comment: My very first 100 miler. Â David Horton’s race! Not sure I knew what I was doing, but man it was fun and hurt all at the same time. Â The course was quite long- “Horton miles,” I quickly learned. Â Oh yeah, and I beat my hubby here by a few minutes:)
Â Comment: The only 100 mile DNF I’ve ever had. Â I learned what hyponatremia is, what peeing blood looks like and what your mental status does when you know you are done. Â I learned what it’s like to be F11 at Cal 1, just to be derailed by the river. Â A race that taught me so much and a course I hope to make proud in the future.
And with that, comes so many smiles, some tears, some laughs but most of all, it tells more of who I was, who I am and what running is to me. Â That’s a little of what some races looked like for me… What are your memories of your race days if you only had a few sentences?