Follow my journey from being overweight and addicted to ice cream, to running marathon's!

Monday, March 24, 2014

35 mile snowy, icy, muddy run!

Well, actually it wasn't a run at all!
Saturday Dan and I went to Chain O Lakes campground, in Indiana, to run the same trail that we'll be running for our 100 mile race in April. We had no idea what we were in for! Our plan was to do the 16 mile loop 3 times. We got started at 10 a.m., that way we would also get some night running in .

It was COLD. The temp was in the low 30's.
 Once we got on the trails, we discovered they were covered with at least 8" of snow in most places. That is no exaggeration either! They were not marked very well at all, and even with our map, we got off the trail a few times because you couldn't even see it! After going over 3 miles in the wrong direction, we found where we should've started.
 So, now we're going in the right direction. We're on the IT 100 trail.

Still trudging through tons of snow. I would say about 90% of it was snow covered. What wasn't covered in snow was a few inches of mud, water crossings and ice. Fun times!!

Of course my phone died before we even began, so I didn't get to take any pictures. Dan took a few.

One of the few clear sections
At one point we were going over a water crossing that had frozen over. Dan is skinny, so had no problem walking across. Me, not so much. I fell right through the ice. It was deep water too! I lost my balance and fell in up to my knees. This tells ya what a great guy he is, he walked back across the ice and pulled me out, falling through the ice himself. Just picture that.
  Through all of this I could not stop laughing!! It was so miserable and funny at the same time!
You can imagine how cold that water was. It was absolutely shocking. Once we both got out, we stopped and changed into dry socks. My toes were totally numb. It felt like I was walking on sticks, I couldn't even feel my feet!

 We had agreed ahead of time that we would take turns being the cheerleader. Poor Dan had to be the cheerleader the whole time. So many times I said this is it!! It's impossible! I was never mad, I seriously laughed all day long. I just knew this could not be done!
 He told me several times I chose the wrong person to do this with. Because he does NOT give up. As much as I hated it at the moment, I knew I chose the right person though. He's been through a lot at 18 years old, so I knew he would be tough mentally and was exactly what I needed!

So we kept on. 20 miles of that stuff. It was CRAZY!!
We get back to the car after that and fill up on more drinks and food, and head out again. That was torture. It was the hardest thing I've ever done. I mean, I just felt so overwhelmed. I shed a few tears, screamed a few times, and kept walking. (We didn't see even 1 other person all day long!) Dan said a few times I was scaring him. Haha! Poor guy!
 My legs and body actually felt fine, but my mind just couldn't go on. I couldn't put myself through anymore of this.
 And Dan said that's exactly where I needed to be. That's when the true test starts. That's when you push yourself and find out how strong you are. That's what will get me through 100 miles. Pushing past the point of breaking down. As he said a hundred times, you just keep putting one foot in front of the other.

 And believe it or not, it got better! It seemed to actually warm up (although I'm sure it didn't really), and we decided to stay on the roads for the rest of it.
 So we did 15 more miles. A mistake I made was not putting my running shoes on for the roads. Wearing trail shoes on pavement is painful!
 Our last hour was done in the dark, which was fun! We forgot to get batteries for Dan's headlamp, so he just wore mine and we stayed right together. That worked out fine.
 The last hour was very hard because it felt like I was walking on spikes. The bottoms of my feet felt raw and bloody, although they weren't. But my legs felt great!

Finally, after 11 hours, we get back to the car. I just wanted to kiss my car, I was so happy to see it!! 

We stayed the weekend with my Aunt, Uncle and cousins, so we headed back to their house.
Once I got out of the car and into the house, I started shaking and my teeth were chattering so bad. I didn't feel cold though, so it was strange. I decided to take a shower before eating anything- another mistake! I almost passed out a few times. I know I didn't eat enough throughout the day. A mistake I won't make again.

 Today my legs are a little sore, but not too bad. I got blisters on the bottom of both feet, probably from being wet and cold for 11 hours. And wearing trail shoes on the pavement. 

 I am disappointed it didn't go as planned. I have no doubt that if the trails had been clear, we definitely would've done 50 miles. I can tell you, after all that, it felt like we ran 100 miles. 

 And I did get to break 2 of my previous records; my farthest distance to this point was only 26.2, and the most hours on my feet was 6. I am proud to have broken both of those!

I was seriously doubting my ability to run 100 in 5 weeks from now. I was trying to convince Dan to switch to the 50, but of course he wouldn't listen. He says we can do it and he'll be DANGED if we DNF. If we can do 35 miles of this stuff, we can do anything. So I believe him. We're gonna do it. And I can't wait!!

 Tomorrow I'll share what I ate and drank, and what I brought with me, and other tidbits I learned along the way. 

 Thank you all, more than I can say, for your support and encouragement. You guys keep me going!!




  1. WOWOWOWOW! I am in awe of ultra runners. GREAT job to you both!!!!!

  2. Wow! Great job! I can't wait to hear about your next adventure! Hope to see you this weekend at Run the Bluegrass! :-)

  3. Wow! I cried while reading this! (Pregnancy hormones, maybe?!) I am so, so proud of you! Like... I have no words! I am so glad that you found someone to help keep you going! The whole paragraph about where the true test starts had me in tears! I just KNOW that you're going to finish your 100 miler! I have no doubt in my mind. I believe in you THAT much! You are an inspiration and give me the courage to someday run a 100 miler, too! :D

    1. Carie!!! I cried at your reply, and I'm not even pregnant!! You are so sweet. Thank you for believing in me. You know I'll run it with you, when you're ready. Love you girl!

  4. Wow! I'm amazed and inspired by ultrarunners like you and Dan!! Way to go on an amazing adventure! I have no doubt that you will be victorious at your 100 miler!!

    1. Wow, I didn't even realize I'm an ultrarunner until you said that!! Thank you so much Jen. I'm still scared out of my mind, but I will do it!

  5. Awesome job Katie!!! Those challenges make us stronger on race day!!!

  6. You are so amazing! I was cold just reading that. You will rock that race. WTG Katie and Dan!!

  7. You are ONE TOUGH COOKIE. Seriously, I would've given up as soon as my feet got soaked with ice cold water. I HATE being wet and cold. Way to make it through such a hard run!

  8. Oh man you're really my HERO Katie! Really! and here I am feeling so proud to do a 5K on a Treadmill! haha! It must've really taken some mental strength to keep going! Wow! Congrats on that :)

    1. Thank you so much Sheetal. You should absolutely feel proud for doing 5k on a treadmill! You're awesome!

  9. Great job Katie! Im so proud of you! That weather is rough and a lot of people including me would've been done after falling in the water! Way to keep going!
    Sounds like you have a great partner! Dan is super supportive and you both can sooo do this!! Way to go girl!

  10. OH.MY.GOSH!! I woulda looked at that trail & seen the snow & said, OK, I'll catch you at Starbucks. That's why you are more awesome then me &any other person I know!!!!!
    So fantastic to have someone there to push you when you were doubting you could go on...

    1. Haha! Believe me, it took everything in me to NOT say that!! Thanks chick!

  11. You are so amazing 35 miles through that seems like 100!

    1. Thank you Abby!! My legs still feel like they ran 100!


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