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. We forecast how a runner will do, we decide what makes someone “elite,” we compare, we judge, we examine. 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. There’s a journey. So it then occurred to me- Ultrasignup should offer a comment line next to each race. 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! I’ve spent over 10 years running- I would love to comment on what each day felt like to me. 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. 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. 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. I lived a whole year it felt in those 8 hours. One of my top 3 most memorable and proud runs. I draw on this run over and over again.
Comment: The most beautiful red mountains, crazy slickrock, totally hard course. Being passed by Larisa Dannis, then passing her back and running my best race ever. I felt strong at mile 85, which is always my goal. To push, to run with fire in my heart and to have so much fun with my crew. 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. What a day. What a course. Hal puts on a hell of a race and this was so much fun. My dad crewed, I flew, than I bonked hard, then I got lost several times. I got to see what I was made of with a beast of climb at mile 85. Then I cried for the last 10 miles and swore off 100 milers. (Yeah right). 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. This is also where I lost that same pump on the Bolinas Ridge. What happened after that is hilarious. Eva was 7 months old. I got to see her in the carseat as JB tried to crew me. I felt stronger than I had prior and had a glimpse of a better runner in me. 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. I celebrated with having JB as my pacer, my parents and I saluting my day with Red Bull at 3am. Dancing on the trail, laughing, loving the day. 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. David Horton’s race! Not sure I knew what I was doing, but man it was fun and hurt all at the same time. The course was quite long- “Horton miles,” I quickly learned. Oh yeah, and I beat my hubby here by a few minutes:)
Comment: The only 100 mile DNF I’ve ever had. I learned what hyponatremia is, what peeing blood looks like and what your mental status does when you know you are done. I learned what it’s like to be F11 at Cal 1, just to be derailed by the river. 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. 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?