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|
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!!