glasshouse mountains

sometimes in life we do things some people will never understand - this weekend, for me, has been one of them.

for i am seen in my small community as *crazy* *silly* *odd* - in a nice way of course, but, people just dont get how wonderful it feels to run longer distances, to me, it doesnt matter whether an event (since ive only run two, this is good haha) im such a late starter, or out training on my own ... i dont understand why "everyone isnt out doing it."

so, this weekend, i got the opportunity to meet the most amazing and generous people - many whos entries and blogs i had read over the past year on cool runnings - and i have finally found a place i actually belong - alongside others who have the shared joy of challenging that beyond which we are capable of - testing out own boundaries and abilities - i entered into the glasshouse mountains 100miles.

three weeks ago i had the unfortunate mishap of my first foot injury while training on a very steep trail run i do, unable to put any weight on it for a few days, started to concern me but then it semed to slowly get a little better as the swelling and bruising went down, training changed to some easy bike work and upper body weights - not so bad - but closer to this weekend, i eventually had to go face the doc and see what the problem was ... he felt prodded poked squeezed - kaboom ouch ouch - short result - a torn 'anterior talo-fibular ligament' and 'calcaneo-fibular ligament' - egads! telling him i was running 160kms over the weekend and needed it fine for that i asked him was there anything i could do to make it better.
he looked at me in disbelief but said *yeah, pray*
then there was a silence
then he eyeballed me - and said *a lot*
HAHA!!! it really was a very funny moment - i smiled, but then i DID realise he WAS even serious about that - he said its the only thing that is going to give it a chance to be right in three more days.
it would take a miracle - it will take weeks to heal

long story short though from there, i shouldnt run. know how long i have been looking forward to this weekend!? - so, to the glasshouse mountains i came and i did it anyways. i would make it all *ok* - everyone knows the story i am sure from their very own positions for many came in and started injured also - we are a stubborn lot!
much taping, and i knew i would get through it all. BUT - theres naivety for you!

i failed. many would say it wasnt a failure. but that i didnt finish, disheartened me. a few days and the focus on the next challenge i will pick up (hopefully ~)

however, during the time of running - man oh man i had some wonderful moments.

a couple.

for ME, the mud section - pretty incredible - i knew i was bout half way to cp 6 - racing through a section with only a very narrow and craggy trail to run on, many muddy sections, but i was running quite well watching every single foot placement so
cautiously amazed how well my ankle was feeling and ... voila, a wide mud patch, taking the whole width of path - i stopped dead, couldnt see a spot at all i could place my footing, then put my left foot out to what i thought was the hardest patch - a wide stride, sorta figured a few wide strides and i could get over it all with as little wet feet as possible - until that one step!

eeeeeeeeeeek, the mud swallowed my leg!!!!!!!!!!!!! it WAS HILARIOUS!!!!!! well, not at the time, i can only imagine how it looked - got my other leg, but was too stretched out and in the splits, i had to try a mud section to yank my leg out, then the right leg sunk straight down too, so here i was thigh deep in a mud patch and sinking - grabbed my arm out to yet another try at a drier patch - in goes my arm, tug hard on one leg and manage to move it out a little , other arm in, i think i managed to drag myself a couple feet forwards towards the other side, but not close enough to get out and noone was coming and i was sinking - quicksand!!? ive only ever heard of that, wondered if i should use my whistle, or call out
- had images floating around my head of the runner behind me coming through and seeing the top of my head as i disappeared into the depths of the earth! haa!
was pulling on my right leg to try and move forward and could feel the shoe coming off, so curled my toes up like a crowbar inside and did a leg curl to get it up, boy oh boy did i use my stomach muscles - thank goodness for core strength sessions eh! - and somehow, bit by bit, using the same technique with both legs, managed to eventually get myself out of it - pulled out, completely muddy and disgusting, but was ok thinking, well, everyone is gonna be in the same predicament - and took off, knowing i had a pair of shoes (but not new socks, bought some injinji socks friday afternoon - great investment) - in my drop bag at cp6 - went past a couple motorcyclists, one was sitting off his bike, chatted to me and asked had i seen his friend who id already past, and laughed (good naturedly) at my wonderful look - hey, ive got a cheap way of getting a mud bath without going to a day spa hey

arrived at checkpoint 6 - the lady sat me down and washed off my arms and legs, while some others filled my camelback and got me food etc - (they really fuss you at cp's - its wonderful - thank you to EVERY singkle person helping out at a CP for how wonderful you all are) but she said to me i was only the fourth one to come in like that - what the!? HOW ON EARTH did the ones who didnt, get through it clean - ive no idea what i did wrong then - fortunately, i did have a pair of shoes, smart move.

the powerlines - anyone who isnt awed by the thought of running this section - woah to them - however, this, is the section that damaged the ankle the most, though, it wasnt as hard as it appeared or as i had heard of, however, the angles it took my foot were excruciating, under normal circumstances, would have been the best of fun - well, still was the best of fun, just painfully

started it and was slipping and sliding down on my ass - up down in out up around inside out upside down sliding on our backsides, falling in mud, FULL sun, i reckon i was hallucinating at times i am sure - i was having many salt tablets, i had a blast, met up with linda doing the 100km through it - and as we did it together, how quickly it went, i cannot tell you how many times my ankle rolled through it though, and i was SO protective - coming out of it every step from the end of the powerlines into the cp8 had been like a dagger going through my ankle, i was actually getting concerned at this stage, but knew id still do the whole lot, never even considered a dnf

the dr (peter - you ARE also wonderful!) checked and re-taped my foot after the 11ish km 1st loop at cp8, it was very swollen when he took the original taping off, however, he allowed me to, after poking and prodding and re-taping tightly, to continue and do the 2nd loop of cp8, however, coming out after the 5.30 deadline, i was pulled from the race - boy oh boy was i flattened. for those who have dnf'ed before, i guess you get it. i felt so defeated.

but a HELL of a LOTTA FUN - and gosh, getting to meet the likes of blue dog (wow youre amazing and gave me such wise words, thank you, also for sharing your journey with me how you got into running) and bernie (wow how much i admired you, one helluva lady - congrats on 2nd), ben1 (thanks the salt tablets too - woah, without them!?), linda, seris, UCB, taff, skin & bones. fitzy (you are ALL so incredible, and generous - inspirational), eagle (thank you so much sharing such a pesonal story with me and having such great advice), - sooooooo many more - all so wonderful and encouraging to me, both before the race on the friday, during the race and especially after, made, every single moment - every single step taken, and every single second of the weekend, so worthwhile ...

an excellent time. those who dont do it. why not?!

" Perhaps the genius of ultrarunning is its supreme lack of utility. It makes no sense in a world of space ships and supercomputers to run vast distances on foot. There is no money in it and no fame, frequently not even the approval of peers. But as poets, apostles and philosophers have insisted from the dawn of time, there is more to life than logic and common sense. The ultra runners know this instinctively. And they know something else that is lost on the sedentary. They understand, perhaps better than anyone, that the doors to the spirit will swing open with physical effort. In running such long and taxing distances they answer a call from the deepest realms of their being -- a call that asks who they are ..." --David Blaikie


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