“If you fall short, you don’t cross that arbitrary line, it doesn’t mean you suck. It just means that you have ambition, that you try to do big heroic things. That’s what matters. A DNF should be a badge of honor. It means your dreams are boundless.
Thank you to my friend Andrea for messaging me this above quote after my DNF at Pinelands……really meant a lot….
Memorial Day weekend is best spent with family, friends, and remembering the veterans who have given us the freedom we know today. Driving up to Maine, hubs, the boys and I were super pumped. We couldn’t wait to get there, the drive was smooth, except for the car in front of us on I93 hitting a deer….so sad. I couldn’t wait to see friends and hang out at our little pre race potluck BBQ together, before race day. I have to say, the running community is really special. So much camaraderie and encouragement between everyone. So happy to be part of such a great group of people.
We went to L.L. Bean and picked up our bibs before heading over to the venue for dinner. Great to see Jen (who is an Inknburn addict, like me) for the first time. So proud of her for running her first 50k!! She smashed it, I think she’s hooked!!! Also got to hang out with my BFF, Julie and her family, and got to meet her lovely friends….So fun hanging with our four running buddies, Jim and Amanda and their adorable boys and Jon and Astrid..it was like VT moved to Maine…
We settled in for the night, and the boys had the movie “Vacation” playing on the boob tube…I heard giggling and reciting of the movie (mostly from the big kid….aka Hubs) as I packed my gear and got stuff ready for the morning. Amanda was sweet to offer to bring our boys to the start of their 25k around 9:30am, since hubs and I had to be there at 5:40am.
It was super foggy at the start. We settled towards the back of the pack, got the chance to see Heather who was running her VT 100 qualifier!! (She by the way, rocked the friggin course!! Congrats Heather!!) The start was calm and relaxed….we settled into a nice pace around 10 minute miles and then we were doing about 5 miles an hour, for the first 15 miles. It’s nice to bank some time in the beginning when you’re fresh, yet still run smart, which we were. Then the wheels fell off…….. I dropped at mile 20, finishing just the first loop of the 50. I had to stop and use the “forest” bathroom at least seven times (TMI..I know) on the last five miles of that loop, thank you to my hubs for hanging in there with me…our time was really dogging by that point…..I knew at about mile 15 something wasn’t right. I was taking in my appropriate tailwind and bars, but couldn’t keep anything in. My stomach would gurgle, and sharp pains ensued. I tried Rolaids with no relief. My body wasn’t digesting correctly like it normally does. I’ve run lots of 20+ mile runs this year in training, nothing like this has ever happened. Hubs was really worried about me, I could see it in his face. We ran into the aid station where our team tent was. Hubs loaded up with more tailwind and headed out on his second loop, after making sure I was ok. I told him I would sit and rest and see if I could keep fluids/food in. If I could, I would get back out on the course. I had plenty of time. The weather was near perfect (it was the mud that everyone kept talking about, the fields were saturated by the immense rain we’d had). So I sat, ran to the bathroom, sat, ran to the bathroom. Ate and sipped…..I felt like I lived in the gross porta-potties all day…..ewwwwwww. I decided it would be a no go, and made my way to the timer to turn in my bib….wah, wah. I knew my boys were somewhere on the 25k course…..they were flying and it took hubs nearly ten miles to catch them. (The 25k loop is done twice by the 50k and three times by the 50)
It was nice having friends/family come off loops and see the determination and happiness on their faces. It was a nice distraction for me. One point in particular was when Julie and Naia came off their fist loop on their 50k..both looking to finish their first ultra!!!!!!! I helped Julie with her blisters…and tailwind refilling. I got the nicest message from her after I got back to my hotel room (I was feeling a wee bit sorry for myself….) She wrote…… “For what it’s worth, having you at the tent my first lap made my day and I am eternally grateful for your help and support at that point. Maybe you were meant to be there at that moment…I sure needed you.” This is why I run, this is what it’s all about. Connections, people, friends helping each other, encouraging one another. That really brightened my spirits, when I needed it the most. So Jules (and Naia) way to epically ROCK your first Ultra together, I can’t wait to see where the trails lead you…….love you to the moon and back girlies…..
So thank you to all my friends and family who reached out with encouraging words about VT100. Somedays, the fairytale in your head doesn’t play out. But, I live to run another day with these beautiful people in my life.. and I’m thankful for that!!!!
Congrats to all who ran Pinelands, we will certainly be back next year, celebrating Memorial Day weekend in running fashion with friends and family…..
Follow Up Since the 50 debacle
After Pinelands, I went to see my Chiropractor, Dr. Beth (who is a complete Goddess and Savior to me and my family) She felt my stomach had not recovered fully from the stomach GI thing I had 5 days before Pinelands (the stomach I learned from her takes 10 days to regenerate…I’m learning so much about how the body works)and that she feels my bloating in my everyday life is from a lack of acid in my stomach…who knew!? The whole time, I’ve been feeding myself Tums, Rolaids, anything to help…which in turn was hurting me worse. I’ve been following her advice: take 1 tbsp of Bragg’s Organic Apple Cider Vinegar with a bit of water before each meal. I’ve felt wonderful this week…
I decided to map out 50 miles on my Strava map and run my own “Brownsville Redemption 50 miler” …as I affectionally named it. I awoke Friday morning a little nervous…I didn’t know how of would feel and I was still a bit worn out from the weekend. Thankfully hubs was going to crew for me out there, bringing me tailwind, extra food, grilled cheese and of course his smile and positive attitude……As I laced up my shoes and headed out the door, I was thinking of my Grandpa Blitt, who had passed away the morning before. He was 95 and lived such a full and exciting life. He fought in WWII, was an incredible artist, some of his paintings would blow your mind……His spirit was with me all day…….I’m forever grateful for that.
There was no fanfare, no accolades, no cowbells….just me, my breath, my every foot fall. The backroads of VT were so peaceful that day, I never saw a runner, biker or horseback rider. I felt as if I were all alone, yet had so much strength wrapped around me. Thank you Guy and Justin who helped and encouraged me throughout the miles…….I’m so grateful for my family always………
I’m also excited and humbled to be a RunFar Athlete
This is what they stand for and was taken from their website:
“We believe that the brave men and women who have protected our country respectfully deserve to have their families protected as well. Through the Sergeant Sean Northcutt Scholarship, we will provide educational benefits to the children of these fallen service members who have lost the battle at home. Founder of Run Far, CJ Schneider III, veteran of the United States Marine Corps, is an Ultra Marathon runner whose goal is to bring people together through fitness to raise awareness for Veteran suicide and PTSD”
“Run Far is all about inspiring runners to reach goals that before seemed nearly impossible. It’s for those with dreams of adventure & successes, and for those who want to put a little more good back into this world.”
Sergeant Sean D. Northcutt Scholarship
Sergeant Sean Northcutt, Proud Veteran of the United States Marine Corps, served multiple deployments in both Iraq and Afghanistan. After honorably giving 8 years of his life to his country, Sergeant Northcutt was diagnosed with PTSD and depression prior to transitioning into civilian life. After a long fight with these horrible illnesses, Northcutt took his own life on July 20, 2015 at the age of 31, leaving behind a widowed wife and two children.
Sergeant Northcutt lived a life filled with immense pride and discipline in everything he did. He carried himself with the love of his family, country and fellow service members. Northcutt affected many lives in a positive way in his short time on earth. Ideally, those who benefit from this scholarship will emulate the principles by which Northcutt lived, thereby keeping alive the legacy of our fallen Hero, Brother, and Friend.
I’m so excited to be part of the #teamrunfar. Together we can help veterans and their families……every dollar counts….Thank you.
100% of every purchase and donation goes towards the Sergeant Sean D. Northcutt Scholarship fund.
The moral is…..do not give up, do not let thoughts/or failures tear you down. Get back up and fight another day…….
Happy Trails….and thanks for following my running journey….
Krista 🙂 xoxoxoxoxoxoxo