Couch to 120 Miles…Transrockies Run 2013 Challenge
Hi all! I know I’ve spent an epic amount of time away from my blog this summer and I have missed you all. As some of you know, I have had some awesome adventures over the summer. For those of you who do not, let me tell you about them. This year my husband Shawn turned the big 4-0, yes I know, we are stepping into middle age territory. It’s a little scary, but a little exciting at the same time. Being that Shawn is always looking for something new, challenging and a little crazy, he asked me to do a little 6 day, 120 mile run (2013 Transrockies Run), for his birthday present. At first, I laughed at him and told him there was no way I would make it, but he continued to persistently research, talk about it, and encourage me to take the plunge, so to speak, on this run with him. After much discussion and debate (especially on my side), we decided to sign up. I did have one requirement though. That was, that after each day of running, I wanted a 30 minute massage. I didn’t think that was too much to ask for, do you?
So the training began. Just a little back story, when we began running, we could barely run a mile. Yes, I said a mile. No seriously, A MILE. We are not runners. On with my story…my husband is quite the researcher, so he did a ton of searches on the best way to train for a run like this. Being that we are not runners, we decided to first get all the different magazines out there on professional runners, how to eat when training, and what kind of gear we needed for this type of race. This was the fun part for me! We got new running shoes (Salomon), new running clothes, headsets, backpacks, you name it, we were all decked out. My favorite was getting those cute running skirts (Patagonia). I say if you look cute, you feel better, and you want to exercise more. Who agrees? I thought so ladies.
Training involved researching trails, blocking out days and times that both Shawn and I had available. Our schedules were packed between family, working full-time, and running. There was not a lot of time for much else. The race was approaching quickly and the highest amount of miles we got up to was 18 miles in one day. We hadn’t even run two days in a row at that distance. Oh well, it was time to head to Colorado, ready or not! We took a few days to try to acclimate because this race was starting at around 8,000 feet above elevation and would climb to over 14,000 feet above elevation. Almost half the oxygen we have here in Georgia!
Game faces on.
All Equipment, checked…..Trail Running Shoes (2 pairs), Running Shorts, Running T-shirts, Running Socks, Running Tights, Compression Calf Sleeves, Hat, Long Sleeve Running Shirt (Patagonia), Insulating Shirt, Hydration Pack, Nutrition (Bars/gels), Pants/Jeans, Cotton Socks, T-Shirts, Sweater , Insulated Jacket for Camp (light down recommended), Beanie Hat, Sleeping Bag (Marmot), Sleeping Mat, Cell Phone and charger, Toiletries, Towel, Headlamp/Flashlight, Small closed “drop bag” for extra clothing at starts, Earplugs.
Music ready. Shawn and I synced up our music on our Iphones so we could be listening to the same music together so if one of us wanted to bust a move on the trails, we would know exactly what we were busting a move to. Yeah, we are kinda crazy like that. It definitely made it more fun that way.
About 2 minutes at the start of each day’s run, AC/DC’s Highway to Hell played to get us going. And off we went!
It seemed that throughout the race, when I was having a tough day, Shawn seemed to be having a good day, and vice versa. which, I guess was a good thing. We plowed through each day, sorer, yet stronger every day. Through each day the Transrockies team had tables with water, and snacks that would give us the calories and energy we needed to get through the day. After almost every day, we sat in an ice cold river, lake, or stream-whatever was available. The ice cold water hurt like you would not believe, however, it brought much quicker healing to our legs, so we could run again the next day.
After each day’s run, it was quite an ordeal. On most days we were bused to our camping site for the night. All tents were set up at camp for us each day, and our bags were brought to the location. We had a shower truck, so we could take warm showers and brush our teeth. But, I tell you, the process of picking up our two bags (over 100 lbs.) before walking, yet more to find a tent, then finding an outfit to wear for both of us. It took us 30 minutes each time! No lie. We are so not organized. Then off to the showers we went. Dinner. Then bed. For those of you who don’t know us very well, we are not campers, nor do we ever want to be. That’s right! Sad, but true, I know. Everything for us took at least ten times longer than the average person, who might have some camping experience under their belts. We most definitely had a good laugh at ourselves each day.
By day six, Shawn and I had a very determined and focused mind set. No matter what it took, broken bones, pulled muscles, or more blisters, we were going to get to the finish line. After a very long day, we did it! We crossed over the finish line and never looked back. What an experience! I wouldn’t have wanted to do this with anyone else. My husband is my best friend and always believes in me. He said I could do this and I didn’t believe him, but I guess he was right! Pushing yourself is tough sometimes, but it’s good for you.
What have I learned, you ask? Dream BIG, try new things, challenge yourself, never underestimate yourself (you are stronger than you think), makes you stronger and expands your book of memories. I am so thankful for my husband!
I wonder what this next year’s challenge is going to be
Pictures taken by: http://www.raveneyephotography.com/2013trrun