This past weekend a handful of our bada$$ team ran the Skyline 50k. For several of them it was their first ultramarathon (and marathon!). I decided to do my weekend long run along the same course in the hopes I could run with a couple of them.
One teammate in particular I joined around mile 23. She had just started walking a short while before as her right leg had tightened up big time. We tried several things to try and loosen it up – her pounding it with her fist or me driving my elbow into it – but nothing seemed to help. So we walked together, trying to run every so often. But it was soon clear that she would have to walk the rest of the race. I found a couple of solid walking sticks along the way and that’s how we made it in the last 8 miles. I saw every range of emotion under the sun while I walked with her but I never once heard her mention the word ‘quit’.
I saw her cry, saw her laugh at her frustration and pound her walking stick into the ground and also simply casually carry on a conversation. Slowly but surely we knocked out mile after mile, including two long uphills that seemed to never end. She rocked it and finished within the allotted cutoff time. I hope I can find half the grit she had when I run my race in two weeks. It’s gonna be gut check time!