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Friday, April 18, 2014

It's Official.

I have finally officially OFFICIALLY put myself out there as a personal trainer. Took me over a year to do it, too. Its been a bit of a journey from when I started on this Path, and though I am still and always evolving...I am definitely on the other side of THIS particular mountain.

When I decided to pursue training in Personal Training and Nutrition 3 years ago, I was doing it as much for myself as I was to help others. *I* needed the education as a reminder of the *right* way to do things. Also, as someone who runs ultras I need to be in the best shape my body can be in to do this...and I simply wasn't. So, studying began. I learned a LOT. Actually, the *book* learning caused me to branch out and explore things that were NOT  being taught and I was amazed by what I was learning and couldn't WAIT to put in into practice.

Along the way, unfortunately, I had some health issues slow me down and set me back a bit, but my passion never wavered. I continued to research and study. When I was feeling good, I started to practice what I was going to teach. I spent a year, actually, practicing. I could not, and would not, in good conscience advise people to do something that a) I had not tried, or was not doing myself and b) I didn't know worked. So, what I want to share with people is something that I believe in and actually follow.

I have always wanted to work with empower them in their own skin. Mostly because I KNOW how it feels to not feel strong, to not feel safe, to not feel good about yourself for WHATEVER reason. I know what it feels like to think you need to be a certain size, or a certain way, to be accepted or *perfect*. Well, I am here to tell you its all BS. :) I feel strong and powerful and good RIGHT NOW in the skin I am in. Am I perfect? HELL no. AM I society's idea of beauty/fitness/etc? I doubt it. But you know what? I am strong, I am healthy, I enjoy eating, training, feeling good in the body I have and I am owning it. THAT is what I want to teach and help other women feel. I want to meet people where they are and help them to be the very best they can be WHATEVER that is. I want people to feel good in their bodies, do activities they love, realize that it really ISN'T  that hard to follow a fitness program that will help you strengthen your body AND mind :) I hope to reach people and help them so they NEVER feel *less than* in their skin again.

And this is not to say I wouldn't work with men or that they don't feel this way because sadly, many do. It is much more prevalent with women though. Basically I want to help PEOPLE find their strong body and feel good in their skin, and their life. Its an interesting phenomenon, strength training. When you start to work on strengthening your muscles, having a strong body...your *mind* is not too far behind. You stand a little taller, feel a little more confident, maybe even become a little more assertive. Mind-body connection...its an amazing thing...

Another passion of mine based on my experience is helping people with chronic illnesses find fitness. I can speak from personal experience that exercise DOES play a HUGE roll in healing. Having had Lyme for the better part of my adult life, and Hashimoto's for the last 8+ years I know how hard it can be to maintain an exercise program when you can barely get out of bed. I have spent months on the couch unable to function with basic activities, never mind exercise. The interesting thing was, that when I was healthy enough to exercise, I did. When I was too sick, I didn't. But when I was well enough to go back, it wasn't like starting over from square one, it was more like I simply fell off the wagon and had to get back on. This was VERY comforting to me! It is not easy to be super active AND manage a chronic illness. It requires diligence and knowing your body. It means being extra careful to eat well and enough. Listening to your body signals and knowing when you can push and when to back off...and being ok to work around that. But it can be done, even in small doses.

I think its all about finding something active you love and making it a priority. I love running. LOVE it. I dare say I am a little is my passion. I love helping people train, improve their running strategies, helping them go further, accomplish goals, or even make it around the block. I just love everything about running :) Not everyone is a runner, though. And that is SO ok! You are not going to stick with running if you don't enjoy it. Maybe your passion is hiking, or roller skating, or Zumba, or backwards power-walking...whatever brings you joy, whatever activity that when you finish, you are already thinking about the next time you can get out there and do it. Find your passion and then you train for it! Its not about what will make you lose weight the fastest, or what *everyone else is doing* its about what physical activity will bring YOU joy, while at the same time creating a fit and healthy body for you to live in.

So, now I am out there....hoping to be able to help and empower many people on their Paths, while continuing to improve on mine. Pretty exciting.... :)

Monday, March 17, 2014

Wraps, and pills, and shakes OH MY!

So. I am actually here laughing in my head at the latest *Eat this, don't eat that!* garbage being spouted here on FB. I have MANY years of *dieting* under my belt. Up until about hmmm....a year ago? Maybe a year and a half...I too was on that *quest*...the quest for THE perfect diet. It started when I was a young teen. Dieting to be *thin*...which turned into disordered eating, of course, and carried me int adulthood. Then I was on a quest. I still was buying into diets as the miracle cure for ALL life's problems. And let me tell you, there are not many I haven't tried. But over the last few years I started to slowly have epiphanies. I started to get REALLY annoyed by all the pills/shakes/wraps aka *quick fix* garbage out there promising based on VERY biased studies that THIS was THE thing to make ALL people THIN!!! Glory BE!!! Um...about that...

So, through much reading and a FAR broader slice of people's experiences I realized that it really IS pretty simple...there are no BAD foods, if you are eating minimally processed foods in moderation. Sugar is not evil. Fat is not of the devil. Meat/dairy will not give you cancer. Butter will not give you a heart attack. If you are eating enough food to fuel your lifestyle, and your lifestyle includes daily activity, movement, etc...its all good. I don't care HOW fantabulous those shakes *claim* to be, eating real food is better. Wraps? Please. Water weight you will gain back as soon as you LOOK at a glass of H20. Pills? We aren't even going to go there.

I have run the gamut as far as diets and health/stomach issues go. And oddly enough, I feel the best and have the least problems when I simply eat what my body wants. Pizza? Pasta? Salad? Ice cream? Yep. All of it. I do not look at calorie content, fat content and to be honest I have NO idea how many calories I consume in a day(probably not enough)I eat what I want when I want, and stop when I feel full. I do a lot of training, so I could probably eat a lot more(working on it, lol)

Thing is, all the *health foods* out there or lo fat, lo cal, garbage? When they take out something that is supposed to be there, ie fat/sugar/etc they have to replace it with something so you still want to eat it. Changes are it is some chemical cocktail that, honestly? Your body doesn't know what to do with. Newsflash- your body NEEDS fat and carbs. It knows what to do with a reasonable amount of sugar. REAL sugar not garbage fake sugar. Eat real food. Move your body. Throw in some strengthening exercises and guess what? Your weigh will most likely normalize for what is right for YOU. (and you probably are not a size 2 so move on from that) See how much better you feel. How much better you sleep at night. How much more energy you have. It really is THAT simple. I am a complicated medical hot mess and this works even for ME. I sleep. I have energy. My weight is stable. I just had my second illness of the winter and it could have been worse, AND I am normally one who will catch EVERYTHING.

I am not saying that some of these diets are wrong. Paleo/Raw food/vegan/etc DO work for SOME people. You have to be extremely diligent and committed to doing those diets properly. I do not believe (aside from vegan, which I still do not think is right for everyone) that any of these diets/lifestyles is good for MOST people over the long haul. I do know a SMALL, very small actually, slice of people who are doing well on the above diets. Bot for the average population? No. Could you go paleo/raw/vegan for a period of time to switch things up, lose weight, overhaul your diet? Sure. Probably wouldn't hurt for a month or 3...longer than that, unless you are one of those people who just can really do well with that eating? You are going to fall off that wagon right quick. And why set yourself up for failure?

As a PT I am pretty much against prescribing ANY sort of *diet* for anyone beyond eating real food. Are you going to shed 30lbs in a month(if you even needed to to begin with)? No. However, you add some exercise and strengthening to your lifestyle, eat real foods, all things in moderation(forget about cheat days/meals...really? cheat eating? How foolish). If you are an athlete then yes, how you eat, your ratios, would be of more concern as you need to fuel your life AND your activities. But if you are simply looking to live healthy and feel is a lot easier than the diet industry will have you believe. They have you thinking it needs to be a *sprint*...if you want to make lasting changes, you need to treat it like a marathon.

And, if you need any help on that journey....I am available ;)

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Because Everybody's Doin' it...

My turn to weigh in on Rachel and TBL.

Some have said we should not judge and can't have an opinion, its not our business. Well, I disagree. If you are going to go on national television and show your weight loss journey then guess what? All bets are off.

And before I get people's knickers in a bunch....I WAS overweight when I was younger. I DO know how that feels, to be the *fat girl* and I DID lose my weight in a very unhealthy way and paid the price. I still struggle with body image and weight and have even been told as of late that I am *too thin* (which at 5'6" and 140lbs I don't think so but that is a number and looks are something else) So I do *get it*. I am also an *athlete* and I get the pressure to look the part. However, I also get the health risks vs benefit, and I also know there is NO *perfect* size. And HEALTH is actually a really awesome size.

Now, I don't watch BL. I did not watch this season. I did, however, watch the final reveal clip, and then did a little reading. I was HORRIFIED when I saw Rachel come out. I had to look up her age because that did NOT look like an early 20-something year old woman. In her before pic, yes she is overweight. But she is BEAUTIFUL! Though she may not have felt it, her face was joyful, youthful. She is pretty. I read all the *oh she was an athlete before and she wants to be again so she needs to be that thin with no body fat.* Um, she was a SWIMMER. Have you SEEN Olympic swimmers? Do they look like her? Hell no.

The look on the trainers faces was very telling. She lost 45lbs in the last 90 days. That is at least 3lbs a week for the LAST 3 months. She went from a healthy size 6 to a ZERO...which is NOT a size btw. (Though I do get that a SMALL number of women are actually naturally that small, however I do not think it should be a GOAL to be a non-size.) She is NOT *muscular* she is sinewy. What is seen, to me, is not a strong muscular body, its skin covering bones and what is left of her muscles. She is painfully thin. When I see someone that thin I look at their face. If they are HEALTHY and thin, their face will show it. Their face will have enough fat on it to cover bones and look, well, healthy. Someone who has lost too much weight has a skeletal look about their face, their skin tends to cling tot he bones and they appear much older. Which was what I thought when I saw Rachel. I thought she was mid 30's at LEAST.

I have no idea why no one questioned her, her family etc...apparently the contestants are on their own those last 90 days...What a shame. I have to think maintaining that size will be VERY difficult. You saw her family in the audience...they are not small people. Whenever I talk to people about weight loss/gain I say *take a look at your family. Look at the *average sized person* who does not have a weight problem. THAT is a reasonable goal.* Because we have genetics to work with and someone can diet and exercise their way down to a size 0 and guess what? You won't be there for long...and your life will not be all too pleasant while you are there. I cannot imagine as a trainer, encouraging ANYONE to get down to that size unless they were naturally that size to begin with. And something tells me she wasn't.

So, when the media is over her 5 minutes of fame, I TRULY hope that she works with a GOOD trainer who will help her gain a little weight back and get healthy and strong the right way. I hope she can learn that her worth is SO much more than what she looks like on the outside. I hope she gets the support she needs to feel good about herself, to love herself and take care of herself knowing that her true friends will love her because of WHO she is not what she looks like.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Body Shaming....stop it.

So, over the past few days I have read several posts that have upset me very much and they all involved the OP posting something about someone they saw dressed a certain way and how*gross* it was...followed by a bunch of responses agreeing. Maybe its the people I hang around with, or maybe its my own growth....maybe its the fact that I have my OWN past(and sometimes present) issues with my body...but to say it made my blood boil is an understatement. I am not usually in the habit of starting shit on other people's pages but...I was THISCLOSE to doing so.

Who the everloving f*ck gives YOU the right to comment on ANYONE'S body? (you being the collective you, of course)Unless *you* are perfect(and I dare say you are probably not, is anyone, really?)you have NO right to shame anyone. If some person decides they think it is ok to wear a bikini to the beach, and it FITS(as in, they are wearing clothing the appropriate size for their body....I do take issue with people trying to wear clothing that is FAR too small or horrifically pornographic in can wear that sort of stuff in your own home but please...when you are out, clothes that are the correct size for your body are appropriate.) then who am I to judge? I have seen PLENTY of women(and men) who wear what they want, because they are comfortable in it, and what gives anyone the right to say they shouldn't? I have spent a fair amount of time at the beach so far this year. I have seen women of ALL shapes and sizes show up wearing everything from a  grammy suit to a bikini...not one person was wearing something inappropriate, imo. I have seen larger women sporting bikinis and I say have at it. If you are comfortable in your own skin, then celebrate it! I have to wonder if the people protesting are either jealous, or angry that THEY do not have the confidence to wear such things. Its like anything else in life...if you don't like bikinis, DON'T WEAR ONE!

Its the same thing with workout wear. It is hot as hell 'round these parts and I see many a scantily clad biker/runner out doing their thing. MAD PROPS to those who can go shirtless(men) and just a sports bra(women). I do not have the confidence to do that, (though I wear a 2 piece suit...go own issues, clearly)But I would NEVER think of shaming someone who is out there gettin' it done if they are dressed in appropriately fitting clothes, simply less of them....seriously we not have better things to do? Bigger issues to focus on than what someone looks like in a bathing suit?

One of the MANY reasons I wanted to become a PT was to help women(and men if I go in that direction) accept their bodies and strengthen and LOVE the body they are in. We are NOT all meant to be a size 2. Hell, we aren't all meant to be a size 10! If you are living a healthy life, getting some sort of exercise daily, can wake up in the morning with energy and get through your day feeling good then you are pretty damn lucky and doing ok. If you are doing that in a size 4 body or a size 14 body...what difference does it make? One of the things I love most about ultra running and one of the most HEALING things I have experienced as a result is seeing bodies of ALL sizes out there doing these amazing endurance events. As a runner, I was always *big*...I am FAR from one of those typical marathon runner bodies and always felt some shame about, how could I say I am a runner at MY size? Who would believe me? And since being a runner is such a huge part of who I am....yeah. Now, having done a fair share of Ultras over the years and being beaten regularly by women who are larger than me...I KNOW it has nothing to do with size. That proves to me that you do not need to be 5'6" and 120lbs(which would be impossible for *me*)in order to be a runner. I know some kick-ass women who are in SUPERB shape, with AWESOME muscle that I envy who probably weigh more than me and kick my butt at every race we are in together. And I bet they look damn fine in whatever kind of bathing suit they choose to wear. :)

Now, I will admit that years ago I was just as judgemental. And the reason I was was simple jealousy. I could see a woman TOTALLY comfortable at the beach in a bathing suit and I would *judge* because *I* was NOT comfortable. I felt insecure or whatever. Well, I have learned a thing or 2 over the years and when you know better you do better. :) Now, I look at people with a whole new vision...I am watching to see how confident they look...and when I see the confidence, I smile. Good for them. For all know that same person may have been 100 pounds heavier and is celebrating a weight loss. Maybe she/he was sick for a long time and finally feels well and wants to get out and enjoy life/the beach/etc. Point is, you DON'T know so who are you to judge?

We come in ALL shapes and sizes and that is ok. I truly believe that HEALTH is far more important than the number on the scale. If you are eating well, sleeping well, getting out there and doing something physical every day and feel good....well then that *number* doesn't mean as much.

So the next time you see someone in an outfit YOU don't approve of...stop and consider why...usually when we go to judge others its because of something we need to look at in ourselves. Life has a funny way of providing the exact lessons we need to learn. So stop the body shaming, stop the judgement, and take a look at YOURSELF. Eyes on your OWN mirror, people.

Oh, and this goes for age too....I am not sure when the rule book came out of how one should be at a certain age but...far as I can tell the older you get, the more life you live, the more right you earn to do whatever the heck you want. :)

On that note...I am going to go run around in the heat...then I am going to go put my bikini on and go to the beach. :)

Saturday, June 22, 2013

More Musings...

One week out from the longest race I have EVER run and I feel pretty good. My left ankle is swollen like woah, and I have the most horrific case of poison ivy but aside from that...I feel good. And THAT is good. :) I am BEING good and taking my time getting back up to my prior mileage...given what I was dealing with before the race, I figure I need to be careful and so I am. I am giving myself at least 2 weeks of easy, low mileage(for me, so betw 5-8m) runs. I saw my Immunologist this week as well and he was quite impressed :)   He does believe, though, that I did indeed have a classic herx and wants me to go right back on the abx and just muddle through. Last year when I started the abx, I had the same reaction, and then went on to have 6-8mo of the best health I have had in 5 years. I cannot deny I will suck it up now, when I have nothing coming up, knowing I will be long over this before the next race on tap. I will continue doing everything else I have been doing as it seems to be working,

Its so interesting, and actually quite humorous the way Ultras play out....I was struggling very early on, and had pretty much decided that 50k was my new distance of choice. Maybe an occasional 50 miler. This 100 mile stuff is for the birds. I had other goals, I wanted to run through the suck(done) I wanted to incorporate walk/run, I wanted my gut to behave...I met those goals with flying colors. I got through 75 miles, I ran for 24 hours...and I learned a LOT. Mostly I learned I am FAR stronger than I ever realized and I CAN do whatever I set my mind to.

That being said...
Without my dearest, most badass friend ever, I never would have made it through those first 50 miles. There is something to be said for someone knowing you inside and out, good and bad, logical and crazy parts...when you know someone THAT well, they can probably get you through anything...and she did. She knew what to say to talk me off the ledge(several times) could relate on many levels, and could absolutely sympathize with my medical shit...And there are very few people I can spend 24 solid hours with...mostly because THEY get sick of ME! lol ;) But, we spent that whole time and would have spent more if the cards stacked up right...but they don't always, and that day was just not meant to go past 24 hours for us as a team. I am SO incredibly full of gratitude for having her with me, and having her in my life...she helped me through some dark places last friday night and without realizing it, she is WHY I had the strength to meet my goal of running through the suck. :)

Then there was my pacer.
A guy who I know from our running club, never have run with him, ever...only in passing at other races. He volunteered to pace me with his wife(who I never had the pleasure of running with...maybe July? ;)) I jumped at the chance to secure a pacer as I knew I would need one and wanted to be sure I had all my bases covered *in case*...and I am glad I did. Michelle got me through that first 50 miles. When I was finishing that lap and knew I would not finish within the cut-off bc I could not go fatser in the mud and did not want to face another night out there...I still HAD to do one more lap. I HAD to. For me- because so much of who I am is tied up in running and being a *runner*...I have been a runner over half my life...I don't know how NOT to be one, it is literally part of my identity AND I was NOT going to let this damn disease beat me one more effing time... for my kids- I needed to show them I did not give up because things got hard,  for the people who believed in me and were rooting for me to finish, Enter Michael. He literally bounced into my space, ready to go. His enthusiasm was AMAZING and exactly what I needed. He allowed me to *be* wherever I was, encouraged me to run, and was a constant cheerleader when all I wanted to do was be DONE. He GOT me to 75 miles. I really do not know if I would have made it that far. Emotionally, this was one of THE hardest races I have ever run. There was just so...much. So much emotion that I have not even fully processed and he certainly did NOT know what he was getting himself into, lol. But let me tell you....I would not have wanted to be alone that last lap and am SO happy and grateful he was there with me. (I am also very grateful he pulled me out of the shoe-sucking mud puddle I got stuck in...otherwise I would still be there....)

So...I do not see this as a DNF in the traditional sense. This race was a HUGE win for *me* personally, now that I am looking back. I am very uch looking forward to continuing on my path of healing and weight training, running and training...and my next 100 miler in October where I will have the absolute gut-busting JOY of running along side(not literally as they are both faster than me) 2 people that are just...awesome. :) I really cannot wait for that well as the journey along the way. :)

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Post Race Musings.... one but my sister-from-another-mother REALLY knows what went on during the TARC 100 for me...but to say I was all over the place would probably be an understatement, lol. However, despite that roller coaster of emo I actually am in a very interesting place post-race:

-Despite being on my feet for 75 miles/24 hours I am not that sore. HOKAS!!!! These shoes save my life.
-All the work I did the last 6mo DID pay off...I was far stronger physically so despite having had 2 weeks of sick, I could still pull this off.
-Mentally I am far stronger than I ever gave myself credit for. I could have quit at 25 miles. There would have been no shame in that with conditions what they were. I embraced the suck and kept on going, which I really needed to do *for me*...
-My stomach CAN endure an Ultra. YAY!!!
-I can finish 100 miles. No, I didn't...but based on what I experienced under what were probably the worst conditions for *me*, I made it to 75 miles. Take away the 2 weeks prior and the mud/water...I would have done it.

Though I SWORE never again...within 24 hours I knew that was not true. Having had time to reflect I know I will take another stab at it in October, as the course I will be running is again ideal for a 100, the temps will be cool, very little elevation...and 4 months to prepare. I know I can make it to 75 under duress, so I have it in me. I do not see this race as a failure even though I did not finish. I accomplished SO much and earned a lot about exactly what my body can handle and recover from. It was an amazing experience, and one I will remember for years to come. There is even a rumor for the sister duo to go back for a re-do... time will tell...  :)

Sunday, June 16, 2013

TARC 100...aka my First 75 miler :)

We can all sit around and discuss the logic behind me going to this race in the first place...seeing as how Monday I ws not even able to get off the couch, and this week was not a great week health wise but....ultr-runners are not always a logical bunch. :) Once I actually GOT to the race, and the excitement kicked in...I did not regret my choice. Plus, I knew I would be spending the next 30 hours with my cohort Michelle so...It was all good. I had packed everything I needed, knew the kids would be off having fun, had great pacers set up, pus, TARC races are simply THE best around in terms of aid and support so I had NO worries.

AND, even better, my friend Steve showed up at the beginning! I love this guy :) he and I hve run many a mile together nd to see him pre-race...awesome. Getting to see everyone before the race, so many familiar faces, knowing what we were about to set out to do...yeah, its pretty great this thing we got goin' on... :) say it ws a perfect race...yeah.

Conditions were rough. Brutal at times. This course should have been IDEAL for a first  100 miler. There is not  ton of elevation, the trails are nice, aid well placed...but Mother Nature had other plans...the actual wether for the run could NOT have been better. But the trail conditions themselves...yeah. There was mud. Shoe-sucking, thick, quicksand mud. Long stretches of it some with water, some just mud. There were water crossings that, though they felt great, were calf deep up to mid thigh(and higher on the shorter folks)Basiclly this ment you ran with wet feet almost the entire time. That was tough for me.

But mile 10 I ws struggling. MILE 10! We could not move fast because of the mud. I felt defeated before we even started and really questioned wtf I was doing. Breakdown #1(there were numerous others, trust me...). Michelle, in ALL her awesomeness suggested we power hike. Like, all night. And that is exactly wht we did. We hiked, with a few fits and spurts of running for 40 MILES. We were cranking out 4 miles an hour at some points which was pretty good and honestly I don't know that I would have run/walked much faster. It was a rough night for both of us, but I will say I would not trade it for anything. I spent 15 hours with one of my dearest friends and we got through it together. It was REALLY tough...mentally and physically. Though I really knew I was in the best shape I have been in in a long time, this last 2 weeks of health crap took a LOT out of me.

At some point during that 2nd loop I realized there was no way I was going to be able to finish the 100 miler. With conditions what they were, and me not being fast, I could not make up time. And honestly, the thought of running into my SECOND night with no sleep and all the water and mud to navigate...knowing I would be tired and that's when the BIG mistakes happen...I just decided I would gut out one more loop and be done.

We finished our second loop and my amazing friend needed to be done. She has accomplished some UNBELIEVABE things recently...over 400 MILES Of running a week ago and yet she came out here to run this race and be with me...but her body had  enough and she REALLY needed to be done. It wasn't safe for her to go on. We had an extremely emotionl goodbye as she handed me off to my pacer.

At this point I changed my shoes and socks which made a HUGE difference as my feet had swollen SO much they were tight in my old shoes. Bigger shoes and some food and I was actually able to start running again. SO, off we went.

Conditions were actually WORSE, if that was possible. After hundreds of people traipsed through the mud and water, each person with shoes that needed to drain...the mud was worse and stretched on for longer distnces. Plus, my reflexes were slower and I was more tentative through these spots. Despite that, I ran more on my 3rd loop than any other time. At this point it hurt to walk, it hurt to run, but running hurt less and was faster I did. My Pacer Mike was mazing. Perfect aount of entertainment, encouragement and care taking. :) He got me to run, kept me running, made sure I was eating and drinking, gave me space when I just needed to cry(which I did, often, actually...this was a very emotional event for me)let me complain and was right there to point out the positives to keep my spirits up... He really and truly got me through that last loop. Man, if you EVER need a pacer, this is your guy :) I wanted to stop SO many times and he just made it fun becuse HE was having so much fun, it was great.

Sometime while we were out there they instituted a cut-off time...which by the time I found out, was 10 minutes off and we were still over 5 miles out. I knew I was not going to make even that...and it was really ok. There were a few moments on tht last lap where I thought about trying for the 100 still...but I knew it was probably not the best idea, plus this was something Michelle and I were going to do together and I couldn't do it without her. And honestly? There is no way I could have. When I crossed the finish line with 75 miles done....I was DONE. I could NOT have gone out again.

So, HUGE thanks and love to my super awesome friend Michelle whom I love more than chocolate, my AMAZING pacer Mike, and ll the fabulous volunteers and of course the GREATEST Rd's Bob and Josh...they are good stuff.

There is a lot of good that happened in this race and I need to focus on that... :)
I set a goal for myself to run through the suck. I have always been someone who would run when its fun and when it wasn't I would stop. I trained for this mentally, as really, running 100 miles is NOT fun. At least not all the time. :) I did this, as the whole race was a challenge for me, and I did not give up, quit or stop. I ran 75 miles in 24+ hours which is not only the farthest distance I have eve run but the longest time I have ever run for. I had NO stomach issues whatsoever. This is HUGE. I took one anti-nausea pill when the heat felt like it was making me roll sightly and it was enough. I ate almost every hour, drank the perfect amount, pee'd often(important ultra stuff, lol) I learned that I CAN actually walk/hike fast and incorporate that into my racing without losing time and it is what saved my stomach. And, I really believe that despite my other issues, had there not been so much mud/water, and had I not had the 2 weeks leading up to this race I had had...I woud have finished. I have no doubt.

As difficult as this was, I regret nothing. It was an amazing experience with some equally amazing people in REALLY tough conditions. ONE loop was brutal. Really. Anyone reading this that chose one loop and to be done, NO shame in that. This was the hardest thing I have ever run through, and I have run a lot of races. Races with elevation can be tough because climbing when you are tired is rough, BUT you know you get to go DOWN too! This mud/water...was MENTALLY just mind-numbing (well, and dangerous which explains all the injuries that took place...LOTS of rolled ankles, sprains, hip flexor strains, oh my...)

So overall I feel as I would expect to feel...tired, sore, my feet are HUGELY swollen, and my neck hurts from looking at my feet for 24 hours :) But I am happy.

So....though I told everyone never again...never say never....