Countdown to UTMB: 19 Days
I have to admit, I've been in denial about this race all year. I found out on Jan 11th that I had won a lottery spot, but also knew it would be a long shot to make it happen.
As the year progressed, I set my focus on Vol State. Even with UTMB lurking in the shadows, I had to prepare for the 500K. How would my body hold up after 500K? Could I afford to travel to Chamonix for a race after running in TN?
The answer to my body, so far so good! I'm amazed at the recovery, but still taking my training at a much milder pace than I would normally. The answer to affording it, nope. Totally can't afford it. I have been super creative about the finances and received a very generous gift from a group of parents whose kids I coach in the WeROCK program. Things are falling into place.
With that said, ready or not....here it comes. An opportunity of a lifetime! Travel is booked, my bestie Shana is in the wings ready to crew and in 19 days I will be staring up at the French Alps.
July Miles: 407
Year to Date: 1629.5
July has definalty been a month for the history books. Trained, tapered and ran Vol State. Blew myself away with how I performed during a year with record heat and record drops.
Then, rested for a second until I went to Badwater to crew. Once again in record heat.
Let's just say July was HOT! What I experienced and witnessed at both races was how the human spirit fights when engulfed in flames. Every single person was lining up to battle. Some were victorious and some left with unfinished business. However, everyone learned something new. Lessons that will never be forgotten.
My three biggest takeaways:
1. Take care of yourself first and the race second.
2. Treat those that you love with kindness and attention when they are healthy as much as you would when they are sick. Make the time, make the call and be present.
3. I underestimate my strength. It's time to acknowledge and build on it.
Ran 10 miles tonight to finish out the month of July. At one point the night air reminded me of Tennessee and for a moment I was back at LAVS running the race. I felt comforted being there. When I realized I was actually running around the lake in Mission Viejo I burst into tears. Real life is harder than an ultra and there was great peace in the La La land of Vol State. Coming back to reality as been exceptionally hard this time around and I have a deep longing to smell road kill, sweat profusely, feel the wind from huge semi trucks and even be scared to death by country dogs. What is this pull that makes me want to go back? Will it diminish in time or grow stronger as the next summer approaches? Only time will tell. For now I am thankful for the journey.
Last Annual Vol State 500K: Castle Rock
Hard to believe I completed this race less than 15 days ago because it already feels like an eternity since then.
My mind is still going over each step, each milestone, the many challenges and the countless victories. Vol State is a race within a race and a true test of resilience, strength and determination. I learned so much and yet feel I haven't scratched the surface as to the lessons that are still showing themselves to me.
One thing I know for certain is that my success is hugely in direct relation to the care of my wonderful crew. I joked that LAVS was a relay where I was the baton as my crew would switch out shifts and keep passing me along. They made sure I didn't get lost, stayed cool, was eating, kept moving (and sleeping) and that I was safe from aggressive dogs. My thanks will never be adequate enough to express how deeply I appreciate them.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you Sonja, Jill, David, Mare and Josh. You believed in me when I felt hopeless and celebrated with me when I felt strong. I always knew I could finish, but you ensured my success!