On the drive back to SoCal post race I started a note in my phone. It began: “ Initial feelings: Holy shit, this is the raddest thing I’ve ever experienced.”
I plopped my bottom in the dusty center of the vacant spot while Jason jogged off to grab our tent and officially stake our ground.
Within five minutes of proudly holding down the fort, a runner came by and retched violently at the homebase setup next to us. I would be lying if it didn’t scare me a little. And then I remembered where I was, and what I was about to be doing. The memory of hiking and skiing Tuckerman’s Ravine in college came to mind. A snowshoer had broken their leg and was being transported by rescue. My first 50K a gentleman slipped on the dewy grass of the black diamond trail we were running down, he screamed in agony waiting for medics as I tiptoed by him. The unpredictable can go very wrong when you’re adventuring outdoors-- or while sitting on your couch for that matter. You can’t let the fear of unknown potential mishap hold you back from exploring your personal limits. I got over the retching man.
Once camp was made and my packet was securely in my possession, I was able to shift my focus back to my mental and physical preparation. This included eating some cold leftover home cooked salmon (yum << and that’s not a sarcastic yum), and forcing myself to hop on the foam roller and stretch.
I watched the 6 a.m. elite runners blast off. They looked fast, and they were carrying significantly less than me. Off they went. Fuck. I’m next. Back to getting ready…
I pretended I took a time machine to Thanksgiving, and gleefully snacked my way through the first 22.3 miles. The highlights being a banana, half a big-ass pickle, two Oreos, a goopy fruity baby food packet, clementine, and a bunch of Floyd’s of Leadville CBD gems. I took selfies and continued to drill in the intention of having fun. The first twelve miles were a warm-up, the next ten were my time to start dialing in the rhythm of the day.
Oh and no caffeine or music, yet-- those were rewards for later.
HOLY SHIT LOOP FOUR:
LAST LOOP! LOOP FIVE:
Finally a hallucination! I felt it happening, as if I was lucid dreaming. A gorgeously ornate wrought iron fence appeared in the trail in front of me. Standing freely. It was stunning. So much detail. I knew as the vision materialized I was hallucinating. I took a picture of it with my mind and it morphed back into a prickly bush in the shadows. It felt like I officially became an ultra runner at that moment. I was proud.
Jason and I took off. All seemed promising, until mile 97. The nausea hit hard. I puked a black death, unlike anything I had ever experienced. I thought about the retching man from our arrival. His race concluded with a DNF. I knew even if I was puking non-stop the last three miles, I’d crawl to the f’ing finish. Thankfully it was another baller breakthrough. A boot and rally for the record books. I dropped a 9:43 followed by a 9:07 minute mile to bring me home.
I didn’t cry, there was no champagne shower, but there was a feeling of insane satisfaction. I had done it. I put this race on the calendar to give myself a goal to focus on during perhaps the strangest year in American history. If it was cancelled like so many events were, I was going to run 100 miles somewhere, no matter what. I am so grateful to have had Javelina Jundred as my first hundo experience. The vibez were high.
I guess this is where I mention that I finished fifth place for females with a time of 21:02:33.
HOW’D YA FEEL?
Idk, that all might be a wee bit dramatic, but it honestly isn’t far off. It’s the pride-- the runner’s high that is still sparking between synapses that powers you through the aftermath.
And when I was ready to eat again, I ate like an asshole. My body absorbed a venti Starbucks’ Mocha Cookie Crumble Frappuccino with all the fixings like a Shamwow.