Monday, January 14, 2013


Suffer Well….
This is what Rachel and I tell each other and others before races. There will always be suffering at points whether in a race or in life. You have two options. Handle it like crap (which is understandable and I’ll admit to doing this for most of my life) or handle it well, which is what I’ve become “decent” at now.
I realize the more bad races I have, the less people read my blog, but that’s okay. One day I’ll look back on this and be able to show it to someone who could use a little hope.
If you do actually follow my blog, or even look at my fb page, you’ll know racing has led to a lot of frustration within a year and even some tears.  I’ve been down way more than I’ve been up when it comes to racing (this does not go for training). A huge part of this was due to the fact my iron was ridiculously low, possibly among other things since it looks like I most likely not only have a gluten allergy but celiac’s disease (most celiac’s have trouble not only with iron, but also other vitamins like b12, k, etc).  Energy has come back with heme iron pills, and it feels good not to be tired all the time. Honestly, it was a great “real” excuse to run like crap. Now I have only myself to blame.
I wasn’t going to write a blog. I really had nothing good to say about this race. I started the race, I felt great, and for 20 miles I felt like I was almost effortlessly in 2nd/3rd place, not wanting to push harder till the 2nd half. Then my stomach started hurting. Those of you who know me know that even if I didn’t have celiac’s disease my stomach is very sensitive. I can run through most things, but my stomach is different. It hurt worse and worse, I couldn’t eat or drink anymore, and my energy was slipping away. I got passed twice at mile 29 or 30 to put me in 4th. Between miles 29-30 I puked 4 times. Still, I completed the first loop and prayed my stomach pain would pass and I could run again. I made it a quarter mile from the turn around. It was about time I hit rock bottom.
Rock Bottom:
I already thought I hit rock bottom getting lost at RRR100. I was really mad at myself for being an idiot at TNF50 for not eating enough, but I still figured I was on my way up. I guess not yet. As I walked down the trail I felt nauseous and dizzy, I knew I wasn’t going to make it.  I walked into the woods, out of sight from those on the trail, laid on the ground, and puked on and off the next half hour. When I knew I was done, I started walking back, and then puked another 3 times.  (I’m pretty sure I know why this happened)
I felt a little broken. Racing never used to come this hard. The sacrifices I have made to run and travel can be a little ridiculous, especially when they have gotten me nowhere lately. I went from talking to Montrail about a sponsorship to being scared to even ask for one within a year.
In reflection yesterday though, I remembered I hit rock bottom 4-5 winters back in my personal life, and that was much worse. Similarly, I was lying on the floor that night and puked as well, but for much uglier reasons. That was suffering badly. There was no beauty in that solitary night. No, hitting rock bottom in running sucks, but I could handle it.
I knew I had to keep in together till I was alone from the weekend. (There’s an amazing guy in my life who I wanted to celebrate with after his USA 100k win and CR and it’s almost impossible not to smile around him.) I was sure the tears would come making the long drive back to Buena Vista from the Denver airport. Instead, I had a voice telling me in my head, the surest voice I’ve heard in a long time, that this struggle was (just about) over. Who knows if that’s actually true, but I actually really believe things with running are going to begin to work out. I’ve been so unsure and indecisive on so many things most of my life, but I’ve never felt so sure that I was meant (and can) reach my goals with this beautiful sport/ lifestyle.
So I’ve hit rock bottom for running. Some goals have to be put on delay. I still have to suck it up and work 2-3 work shifts a day. BUT I know I’m going to do this. It’s about time I not only try to convince myself that I believe in me, but that I actually do BELIEVE in me.

"Each man is questioned by life; and he can only answer to life by answering for his own life; to life he can only respond by being responsible.”


  1. Bummer! I feel for your pain and deficiencies and throwing up (my last race was 4 times as well, all in second half). But somehow we figure things out and dust off? Or run for different reasons? Hold on!

  2. Sandi, I'm so sorry miles 20-62 didn't feel like miles 1-20. I felt like I was reading my own blog for a couple of paragraphs there -- except there weren't any "look at my kid" pictures plastered everywhere. I wonder if we were lying on the ground at the same time or maybe just behind trees that were close to one another. There aren't a lot of comfortable places to lie down and feel/be sick on that course. Let me know if you ever want to brainstorm sensitive stomach race nutrition. And it was really great to meet you briefly. Liza

  3. Sorry to hear that it was a rough day. I have a friend in Denver that has been battling similar problems, diabetic/gluten/soy tolerances. Extra battles like that can make running hard but he got through it so I know you can as well!

    Keep up the good fight and you'll get to where you want to be! SC's race was insane btw. Congrats to him!

  4. Dude! Is there anyone tougher?! I think not!


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