Friday night my friend Dan and I drove 5 hours to Indiana, to run the IT100 on Saturday. The first 100 miler for both of us. We stopped and picked up our packets, took pics and then went to my friend Lydia's house for the night. She and her hubby cooked us a delicious meal, and we went to bed early, 3:45 would come quickly.
To back up just a little, Thursday morning I woke up with all the symptoms of bronchitis and a sinus infection again. The same thing that had forced me to back out my half marathon just a few weeks ago. I knew that wasn't good, but NOTHING was going to stop me from this race, no matter what. I worked too hard to quit now.
I was hoping by Saturday I would be feeling better, but I wasn't. Friday night I didn't sleep well because I was feeling so sick.
The race started at 6 am, so we wanted to be there by 5:15. I was still coughing and blowing my nose a lot, but it didn't even enter my head that I would DNF. I was determined to do 100. I would just push through it.
The gun goes off at 6, and we begin! We ran in the dark for the first hour, with our headlamps lighting the way. I decided not to wear a hydration pack, instead just using my Lululemon handheld water bottle. I was able to put 3 GU's in it, so I knew I would be fine between aide stations, and I was.
I think it was around mile 10 when I started feeling really bad. I was having a very hard time breathing. My legs and feet felt great, but my lungs were hurting and I couldn't take full breaths. It just kept getting worse until it started to hurt to even drink water, just swallowing hurt.
Each loop was around 16 miles, and coming to the end of the first loop, I realized this might become a 50 miler instead.
Dan was doing excellent, except his shoes were really hurting his feet. After changing them out at the main tent, we started out on lap 2. Just a few miles into it, I told him to go on without me and run his own race. I knew I was slowing him down and that just killed me. It took a little convincing, but I finally talked him into going and he finally ran off. So now it was just me and the trail, alone. Every once in awhile someone would run by me, and they would wave or say hi, or say looking good- or something. Everyone was SO nice and encouraging. They would tell me I'm doing good, and I'd say thanks, but I was thinking "oh, if you only knew!"
By mile 20 I knew this would be my last lap. I went through so many emotions. I would tear up thinking how in the world am I going to tell everyone I quit at 33?? How can I fall so very short of this huge goal I set for myself? Where's the Katie who said NOTHING will stop her? Where's the tough Katie who people say inspire them? At the moment all I could see was a weak girl who couldn't follow through. I was telling myself I would delete my blog and my facebook, and just disappear. I could hardly bear the thought of letting everyone down. I thought I was strong, but I wasn't. Strong is these fast runners on their 3rd and 4th lap, while I'm walking on my 2nd.
I know it might make some of you mad that I entertained those thoughts, but it's just my truth at the moment.
My awesome friend Ray, came down from Virgina just to pace Dan and I on the last 50. He's an awesome runner, who has ran 13 1/2's and 1 full. He's working on running a half in every state. He got there before it was time for him to start running, so he was a HUGE help to us. He was at every aide station, cheering us on, encouraging us. At one point he went and got me some medicine and a diet coke. That diet coke tasted like heaven!!
|Walking through the finishing chute, knowing this was it.|
I turn in my timing chip to this really sweet lady. She gives me a long hug and lets me bawl on her shoulder. Then Mike, the RD gives me a hug. These people were incredibly kind.
I call my husband and he encourages me and tells me how proud he is of me. Then I call my Dad. Sometimes a girl just needs her daddy!
Other than having trouble breathing, I felt great!! My legs felt great, my feet were starting to hurt, but I knew trading out my shoes would've been all I needed. I know without a doubt, I could've done a lot more if I wasn't sick.
Dan did absolutely awesome. He ran 68 miles in 20 hours. He had started falling asleep while he was running, and after the 4th loop (which he ran with Ray), he just had nothing left. I'm so incredibly proud of him!!
The past couple days have been hard for me emotionally. This was such a huge goal for me and to not finish it just devastated me. I know people can't understand how I can be disappointed with 33 miles. But 33 out of the 100 that it was supposed to be, is what makes it hard for me!
I'm in a much better place today. I've had time to process and think about everything, and here's what I've learned. I can't attach my self worth to running. Seems simple, right? It's not for me.
I know it's ok to be disappointed. But I AM strong. I still got out there and ran. I could've stopped at 16 miles, but I didn't. I gave it my ALL. I did my best. For that, I am happy!!
At this point, I have no desire to ever attempt another 100 miler, but that could always change. But I absolutely want to do a 50. On a FLAT course!! I swear, Indiana is an incredibly flat state (I used to live there), but I realized that every single hill is at Chain O Lakes. I don't remember ever running on a hillier course. Wow.
I want to thank all of you guys here, on Instagram, my personal FB and my FICTM FB page for your support and encouragement. At one point Ray showed me my FB page on his phone and I got to read a lot of yall's comments. I can't tell you how reading them kept me going. Thank you with all of my heart. In the past couple of days, I have read every single comment over and over again. You all are amazing.
I got this precious message from my 14 year old stepson. More tears!
Well, this journey is over. I'm a little sore today, but not too bad. I'm still fighting this sinus infection though. I can't wait to get back out there and run again. That is what I absolutely love to do.
This may have gotten me down for a little bit, but not for long. I will absolutely be back. And I cannot wait.
If you have any questions, feel free to ask them. In another post I'll share the things I learned and what I would do different next time.
Thank you all for sharing in this journey with me!