I had big aspirations of a 24-26 hour finish at Grindstone 100 this year. It was going to be the grand finale of my incredible season of running and racing! My friend Sue and I drove down to Virginia and had a pretty hilarious drive down there. She is way too much fun!
On race day I had to suck it up because I was going to be facing one of my biggest fears (aside from airplanes, elevators and needles)…THE DARK— We were welcomed by so many friends and it was such a pleasure to Clark and David again! I felt so at home and excited to run! It was very hot out, the hottest ever in the history of the race so my plan was ..HYDRATION..–WAH WAH WAH–Big mistake!
I drank so much water and ate plenty of food. At the start of the race my friend Sue sent me off with a hug and a silly note in my pack to make me smile. There is no better crew person than Sue and she has been my very good friend for so many years! I would see her in about 24 miles.
We were off and I felt good, really good! I ran with a big smile and when the sun set I felt so liberated and so excited to spend the next 12 hours in the dark! I ran with people sometimes and alone sometimes. I didn’t feel afraid and ran with such an incredible feeling of joy and confidence!
I finally saw Sue and was in wonderful spirits! She got me going again and I asked her for some pirate jokes at the next crew stop! About 30 miles in I started to feel off. I had not peed yet and I was getting a headache. When I saw Sue I told her I was not feeling great and that it was just a rough patch.
The next several miles were a struggle. I started to feel sick, my head pounded and I had a hard time picking up my legs. My body did not want to move and I could feel myself swelling. Something was wrong. I tried eating more salt and at each aid station I became more disoriented and more uncomfortable.
By the time I got to mile 51 which was the turnaround I knew I had to stop. Sue had me sit for a long time to make sure it was the right thing to do. She knows me and when she told me it was okay to drop if I felt my health was declining I felt relief. I sat for a few more minutes and still had not peed in over 13 hours at that point. I walked over and called it a day. Strangely I was not upset and I still try to figure out why I was so calm about dropping.
My blood pressure plummeted to 90/38 and I did not pee for almost 24 hours. I was not well. Good Ol’ Hyponaturemia–total rookie mistake! Lesson learned the hard way! When I finally took my first pee I felt so happy! But I was not feeling okay. It was a long drive back to New Hampshire chatting with Sarah Keyes who is a nurse and my teammate about what to do and Sue called her doctor friend. I wanted to make it home instead of going to a strange hospital. I did get home and rested for a while before the peeing happened and I started to feel better. My blood pressure rose to a normal number and I was happy. Then I got a sinus infection from hell! What a week to have off from work!
I stayed i good spirits about being sick and dropping from the race. I honestly believe the Universe has a plan for us and when it is trying to tell us something it does so by forcing us to stop. Tonight I felt a bit better and decided to try a run after work. With the dark season here after work running means running in the dark. Well….I grabbed my headlamp, shoes and pups and headed out the door for a run. I WAS NOT SCARED!!! I did not go to Grindstone to finish, I went to learn how to be brave, to face a fear that has crippled me for years and to become a stronger person! I only ran a couple of miles because I am still sick but I could have run all night..in the dark!
I want to thank my wonderful sponsors La Sportiva, Choucas Hats, JULBO USA and Boom Nutrition for all of their support! I would never run for a company I didn’t absolutely love! I want to thank Andy for being such a fabulous coach and friend! Thank you to my Ryan, Jack Puppy and Bennett for being such great trail buddies! Thank you to my friends for always being there for me on and off the trail. Thank you to Sue for being yourself! I am such a lucky girl and plan to spend the rest of the year dabbling in some local turkey trots or other shorter races and playing my fiddle! I also took up photography and it has been an absolute joy being behind the lens of a camera! Feel free to check out my facebook page https://www.facebook.com/kristinamarienaturephotography/
Or if you are interested in purchasing photo prints/products check out https://kristinamarie.smugmug.com
I donate 10% of my proceeds to local areas that maintain trails near where the photo was taken.
On the other side of fear is freedom