Running an Ultra Marathon has been a dream of mine for so long. I signed up for one several years ago hoping to reach this goal but fell short when I broke my ankle just two months before. So, here I was, summer of 17', working through the middle of wedding season, and signing up for the Dead Horse Ultra in Moab, Utah. I don't really like sleep you know, and weekends at weddings with hours spent on my feet just meant extra training in my mind. My peers thought I was insane. My reasoning and my explanation to each of them was that I was dog gone tired of putting off this goal and saying "I'll sign up next year." Next year comes and where does the time go? The older I get the more I realize that this whole procrastinator mentality of my youth is not going to get me anywhere. Life is happening here, now, whether I want it to or not!
So, I began my training, waking up early or running long grueling miles with Miss Kyote after work. She, being a husky and all, absolutely loved this! I swear she never tires out. We once finished a 27 mile loop before meeting up with her lab pal Finley. The two played together with so much energy and Kyote looked like she was fresh off a nap! Training was tougher for me, but thankfully I wasn't starting from ground zero. I've ran consistently since middle school and truly love hitting trails and racking up miles. Running provides a mental break, stress relief, and allows me to eat just about anything I want. Meaning, wedding food/cake is no problem! The food bit is really what kept me running all these years. Can anyone else relate?
I traveled to Moab the night before my race, thinking through and recalling my plan for how my run would go. I had friends running shorter distances the next morning and when I arrived we set up camp together and made hot dinner over propane stoves. We settled for an early evening and I crawled into the bed in my car. There was report of a storm rolling in and I was so glad I didn't try to set up my tent as the weather grew nasty. Pouring rain, chilly temps, and high winds woke me up around midnight. I calmed myself and relaxed, falling back asleep to the sound of the storm raging around me. At 5am I awoke to my friend Alli knocking on my window and shining her headlamp in to make sure I got up and ready for my race. To be honest, it was about the last thing I wanted to do but I had come so far. I shook off the morning slumber and sat up in bed. The November air outside was frigid but it was calm, there was hardly any implication of the storm that had passed hours before. I dressed, ate the breakfast I had prepared in the dark, and got to the start line just as they began the countdown. I ran, watching the sunrise and ran, watching the sun fall. 50 miles took me 11 hours and 44 minutes to finish. Time that I battled with myself, used my training to push past what I felt was physically possible, and took hold of my long standing dream of finishing an ultra.