GEAR UP, FUEL UP, SPIKE UP!!! Yeah I'm crazy... this was portrayed through my act of jumping in the car and driving 14 hours south to Bandera TX to run in the 100k National Trail Championships at the last minute this past weekend. I couldn't help myself. It sounded fun to hit some technical dry trails (Colorado is pretty much mud or snow covered), camp out, and hang out with some friends. So why not? Well lack of training would be the deal breaker there. After struggling all year with my thyroid in 2015 (every time I thought I was good, my races ended up in disaster), I finally pulled the plug after my marathon in Brazil mid November. TIME OFF! .. That is absolutely what I needed. SO,I took a month off from any structured running, training, etc.. Once I felt like getting back on the horse, I executed lower mileage very nicely, until a gnarly sinus and respiratory struck me. Uhg! Bad news was, I was off for another week, good news was.. it only lasted a week. It just so happened to be the week before Bandera 100k. Although the thought of racing it was totally out of my mind at that point, as the race drew closer in the week, and some friends expressed interest in going too, my heart was made up. My friend Karen and I quickly set up the campsite just beyond the start and finish of the race course. The field would host numerous runners who took advantage of the onsite camping to avoid the long traffic line in the morning. As night fell upon us, so did our tent! The wind kicked up like there was going to be a tornado! The tent kept whipping around sinking down in and out on us. I still managed to fall asleep, after all, a night off from the baby is like heaven and to me the aggressive tent was like angels singing me to sleep! I awoke just before my alarm went off. 10 hours of sleep was awfully nice given the cool night. The wind had not died down much yet, as I fumbled around in the dark to cook up some oats and get some hot water to bathe in. I kept in mind the cold weather would cause me to burn up more calories so I continued to eat even after breakfast was over. Gluten free granola with blueberries was actually wonderful tasting! I hit the trees for one last bathroom break, only to find that there were several people behind my tent trying to do the same thing! It was kind of comical since there was only a few people actually camping near us and even when I went to squat, yet another person comes bush wacking out! haha.. Gearing up with the sun coming up, there was no sign that the wind was going to die out anytime soon if at all. I made the choice to keep my thick arm warmers and beanie on as I made my way through the tall grass to the start. Upon arrival, I was greeted with familiar faces and long time friends. Bam! We started and all I could think of was BE CONSERVATIVE MICHELE. This wasn't going to be the true Yates style race. As a matter of fact, I wasn't "racing." I knew I did not have the training to back up a feet like this, and if I wasn't smart, I'd die sooner than I even expected. My main goals for this race were 1. Have fun 2. Test the thryoid 3. get some technical trail miles in. I danced over the rocks with the exceptionally talented Cassie Scallon and Liza Howard. I figured I'd have to still run my strengths (technical downhill) but I should walk when they walk and anytime I felt like pushing, I made myself walk. Somehow, I was still in the lead. I didn't expect to be, nor did I want to be but I was enjoying myself with not pushing the pace or my body so I continued on. Soon enough (towards the end of the first loop) , Cassie would come rolling on by. Her strength and steadiness would be uncontested the rest of the day. Delightfully making the turnaround at the half way point, I was happy with the result, 4:25 for a 50k isn't too shabby given the lack of training and terrain. Before long (like right after Nachos the first aid station), I could really feel my pelvis tightening up. By the time I made it to Chapas I had walked most of that section with no light in sight to even finish. My pelvis felt like it was going to shatter! Every single inch of it including my tail bone, I could feel to the 100th degree! My thought was, well that is what I get for not training! So convinced there was no way I could even finish this race (even if I walked the whole time), I strolled into Chapas where I was met by crew Karen. I explained to her what was going on and how I was really happy with the result today- I had NO THYROID ISSUES a huge step for me as well as felt really strong except for my pelvis. I was content with the mileage I put in but should only keep going if there is still a shot at getting my Western States entry. Being the wonderful lady she is, she talked me through it, encouraged me to just keep walking and we would see where everyone was at at the next aid station. I was cool with that ;) I really didn't want to stop, I was truly having fun, but memories of Liza getting a stress fracture in her pelvis haunted me. Needless to say, one foot in front of the other until I made cross roads the next aid station. During that section, I could only run very little, walking was what got me there. Another women would pass me, to my surprise it was not Liza.. yet another talented female. This would mean my chances of earning a WS spot were slim. I decided to throw it all in. I ate like a pig at the next aid station and didn't waste any more time.. I literally carried my cup of ramen soup for o
ne mile AS I WAS RUNNING (I think I deserve some time off for that :) It was much too hot to even sip. Soon after, I felt my pelvis loosening. Wondering if this has something to do with hydration.. I hammered down. I got faster and faster, resorting to ramen, coke, and gels for the rest of the race. I made up 8 minutes in 9 miles on the second place women. Although I ran the last 5 (with two steep 300 foot climbs) around 7:30 mile pace, it was not enough to overcome 2nd place. I would have to settle for 3rd. Fine with that, happy with that, more importantly happy I felt like ME AGAIN, I was giddy like a school girl when the medical team rushed me off (I was bleeding on my legs from the plants and got some whip lash in the last 12 miles from a tree branch which caused me to get a killer nose bleed!).. Now at home recovering, patiently awaiting Cassie's decision to accept her WS entry or not, I shift my mind set to duke it out at Black Canyon (in Feb) for my Western States entry just in case Cassie excepts. Also in the distance is the great opportunity I was blessed with to compete in the Australia 100k in May (my Birthday is just so happens!).. I couldn't do any of it without my awesome supporters like YOU!, GU Energy,Ultimate Direction, Sundog Eyewear, Barnes Chiropractic, Icespikes, Eldorado Springs Water, and MOJOfit.