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A different breed...that's what my new friend Dan Vega says to me (and about me) on the long drive to the Hill Country (Bandera TX). It's not the 1st time I've heard someone describe me as that, although I still wonder what it really means and if I really am. It took a long time for me to understand that some people just run in races for fun. That most of my high school xc teammates just participated for fun. Maybe about the time I understood people did that (and it was okay), is about the time I realized I as different...possibly a different "breed." My goal in life have always been to live life to the fullest. That God could take it all away at anytime and that I should use what he blessed me with, not to be just another waist of talent, or to settle for less than I dreamed of, or to lose my fight- as so many do. I also wanted to help motivate others to reach their goals. So when Dan, (Josh-another new friend who housed us) and I pulled up to the starting line of the USA 100k Trail Championships, I once again would see my opportunity in a new light. With Dan's motivational talk in the back of my mind, I gave the hill country trails all I had (even though I knew-due to illness) it wouldn't be competing at my best potential. I wanted to run this one for me. My legs fumbled up and down the hills as I tried to munch on a Simply Bar. I was only about a few miles in and I could feel every muscle screaming at me. Negative thoughts tried to creep in as I took a squirt of my Island Nectar GU Roctane to help fight them off. Somehow, I just kept going. I must have repeated "With God all things are possible" a 100 times! Shortly after the start I had already found myself in he lead (of the women's field). Normally I would panic ( especially because I have never raced this long of distance before)...but my mind was focused and I would push myself as hard as I could for as long as I could. If I died, I died. It's about time I feel that pain again. The aid station stops were quick, but it would have helped if I had crew. Through out the race, my stride would ebb and flow. but I never experienced the low energy bonk or negative frustration you hear so many ultra runners talking about. This was a good thing! :) Not only did my confidence rise with each step, but excitement grew for my future in ultas as well! I'm sure there will be bad races, but for now I was going to ride this one out...all the way to the finish line in 1st place. I tore through the last few aid stations (only to resupply my water bottle, take a shot of coke, grab a Simply Bar, and some GU gels). The multi colored, flagged finish line was in sight. My emotions would almost get me as I fought back the tears crossing the finish line. My time of 10:08 was somewhat disappointing, but I knew I left some hard work out there on the rugged, muddy trail...after all, I had only trained (mostly on bike) for 2 weeks in the last 5. Once again, I learned a lot from this experience and I was so blessed to meet my new favorite travel race buddy Dan Vega (talk motivator extraordinaire). Thanks to Joe , Tejas Trails, the volunteers, The Simply Bar, Icespike, Petzl, Body Armor Super Drink, and GU ENERGY, and my supportive hubby Wyatt Yates! TIME: 10:08:48 OVERALL: 9th 1st FEMALE!!! USA World Championships Qualifier- Wales July 7th Western States Qualifier

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