Saturday, November 17, 2012

Recovering from my first 100

Recovering from my first 100 is certainly a lot different than when I recovered from my other smaller distances, including the 50. It’s been 3 weeks and I’m still in recovery mode.

It actually took quite awhile to acknowledge that I just had a huge victory, I ran a 100 mile race, I actually accomplished what I set out to do. Sitting in the airport, my husband was wearing his Javelina shirt that he purchased. I remember staring at the shirt and the only emotion I felt was thinking, "I just ran that" It wasn't until 4 days after the race when the impact of finishing started to set in.  I went and re-read all the wonderful comments that people wrote on my FB wall and I was filled with emotion. I had initially read all the comments, but the second time around, when I had snapped out of it was bitter sweet. It was then that I wrote in my blog and had the interview with the sports editor from my town, a story about to be published. I also wrote up for my own personal memories "Javelina Memoirs" Javelina is my first 100 and I don't want to ever forget how I felt and the memories from the race. I try and explain all the physical challenges that I experienced at the race and how hard it was to overcome my obstacles. I remember hearing my friend’s voice in my head. He told me prior to leaving for the race, “now Jeannie, it’s going to get tough and you will want to quit, but you have to fight for it.”

The physical recovery was challenging. The first few days were the roughest. My right leg and knee was very swollen, yet the left leg wasn't as bad. It would take about 10 minutes to get up and walk to the bathroom. It hurt horribly bad and I was taking more than suggested on the bottle of Naproxen and Tylenol, it was rough. I experienced some dizziness and some headaches. I thought for sure that my period was going to come late, but it wasn’t, however it didn’t know when to quit, constantly spotting. I was also extremely tired for the first week, needing some kind of nap each day. After a week, I quit taking naps, but was still tired. I was starving for about a week and drank a lot of water.  Today, my feet are still peeling, blisters are peeling and I feel like a snake.

I ran 6 days after the 100, just 2 miles and it was uncomfortable. I kept the mileage short for quite awhile due to aches and pains, but I knew there was nothing seriously injured. I started training my oldest daughter to run and we kept it at 2 miles, sometimes I would head out again and I would run when the kids were in school.

Now, since I no longer have any aches and pains as of the 13th of November, I am increasing my mileage slowly. 10 miles is currently the most I've run since Javelina, a few days ago and I was back up on the trail for the first time since before the race.   I plan on running 4-5 days a week, keeping the back to back long runs. I have also started swimming again, once a week and I will start Crossfit again on the 26th, looking forward to it. 

So what is next? Initially, I had the normal reaction, "this is stupid, what is the point?" However, that feeling has gone away and I really like 100's, the distance is extremely challenging and a lot of fun.  I'm still deciding on which 100 to do for 2013 and there may be two scheduled. I have entered a few lotteries, so I'll see if I get into those. The 100 (s) I choose will determine all my other races of smaller amounts.

One last thing, when I was walking out of the parking lot after Javelina, a man stopped me and simply said, "Welcome to the club!"

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Why running 100 miles is not crazy

“I can do anything I set my mind to and absolutely nothing will get in my way of achieving that goal.” This quote is rooted deep within me. I truly believe in it.

Recently I ran my first 100 miles, Javelina Jundred. Running Javelina has become the greatest physical and mental accomplishment that I have encountered. I ran it in 29:07. I faced swelling, blisters, exhaustion, dizziness, nausea, diarrhea, pain and doubt. I ran through the night, never sleeping, only sitting to use the restroom, only stopping at the aid stations and it was brief. I also found out what I am made of and found that I’m strong. The longest distance prior to Javelina was 50. I wanted to quit at mile 62, when it hurt, when it was cold, when I was offered a 100K belt buckle, tempting. Yet, I pushed doubt and fear away and continued on for another 39 miles (Javelina is 101.40 miles). I pushed myself past the point of pure exhaustion to accomplish a dream that I had for over a year. I told any physical and mental pain where to shove it to make this dream come true. I just kept on visualizing my success, so walking away from the aid stations was easy.  

Running 100 miles was a dream of mine that I saw months out, a dream that I put a date on and one that I trained with extreme enthusiasm, even on days that I did not want to. Even during the weeks when I got injured and was worried about a successful recovery in time to run the race.

Running 100 miles takes a lot of belief in yourself. I saw myself finishing the race the day that I made the decision to run Javelina and this belief in myself continued all the way up to the finish line. I never let doubt or fear control me.
When I was training for it and after, I was constantly told how crazy I am, in one form of another. It seemed these people that took little jabs at me really were being critical, instead of realizing the amazing feat that I participated in. “You’re crazy easily poured off their lips.”

Crazy? I don’t think so. Crazy is never fulfilling a dream. Crazy is not taking action. The majority of the population merely thinks about their goals and dreams and does not take action, only to feel regret later on.  The majority of the population only wishes and some even criticize others, even if they say they are only joking. It’s not funny. I don’t think unfilled dreams are funny. I think it is sad.

I am extremely proud of myself. I just did something that is extremely rare. How many can say they’ve run a 100 miles? I am excited about where my running will take me over the next few years. Not only with my own accomplishments, but in helping others reach their potential and fulfill their own dreams.

So look at yourself in the mirror and ask yourself if you are indeed fulfilling a dream that you’ve always wanted to accomplish?


Keep your dreams alive. Understand to achieve anything requires faith and belief in yourself, vision, hard work, determination, and dedication. Remember all things are possible for those who believe. - Gail Devers

Other tips on fulfilling a dream: