Sunday, 8 November 2015

Sharon's 100k of inspiration

My amazing friend Sharon wrote me an encouraging and inspiring thing and emailed it to me the day I left for the 100k World Championships this year.  I printed it off, and read it on the plane - laughing really hard at times - I think the guy sitting beside me thought I was crazy (and he kept trying to peak over at the paper to see what was so funny).  She wrote 100k of inspiration - which turned out to be one little funny fact for each kilometer that I was going to run in my race.  I LOVED it.  I read the list over and over, and I had some memorized and thought of them as I passed the KM markers in the race.  I remembered the 30k around the bay comment when I began my 4th lap and many more floated into my head throughout the race and made me smile.

It really helped to remember this encouraging piece of writing when I was at a low point during the race.  It reminded me that there are many people back home hoping that I had a good race, and cheering me on.  It reminded me how lucky I am in many ways.

Here's more kilometers of inspiration. I edited out the slightly inappropriate ones, and the inside jokes that would be complete nonsense to anyone but me.  Thanks Sharon, you're the best!

100km of inspiration (…was my goal but less than 10km in I realized it was just going to be random thoughts. Have fun with that.)
Kilometer 1
Who needs inspiration?! Look at you go. Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!
Kilometer 2
Only 98km to go. That’s what you ran at dirty girls, and this time you won’t have to walk home at the end.
Kilometer 3
3 is apparently a magic number. Also, 3km is what midget girls ran in high school cross country. So, if you were a midget girl, you’d already be home. I’d still be running though, because I always just hoped I’d run the whole thing and that not too many walk/sprinters would beat me.
Kilometer 4
Now you’re done the junior girls distance. Look at you go!
Kilometer 5
If you were doing a couch to 5km, you’d be done by now. But, if you were just doing a couch, you would have been done 5km ago. I’m going to google couch to 100km right now and see if it’s a thing…there is not. Unless you’re planning to cycle it, then there is. I also found a guy that ran 100km 4 months into running. Let’s not tell Andrew.
Kilometer 6
Okay, now you’re better than all those people who decide they’re going to run a 5km and then realize that they did hate running all along (oh how I envy those people on some rainy long runs).
Kilometer 7
7 km is the driving distance between our houses. I’d tell you to come in for a coffee break, but we are sleeping as you run. Our sleep should inspire you, because later when we finally wake up, we’re going online to see how you’re doing and the more you get done before we’re even awake, the greater the wow factor (you should have been less awesome…our expectations would be lower and wows would come more easily).
Kilometer 8
Did you ever play that game as a kid where you say “I one a sandbox” and the next person says “I two a sandbox” and so on and so forth until you get to “I eight a sandbox”? Yeah. I’m wondering if it’s supposed to be sandwich actually, except, eating sandboxes seemed much more entertaining as a child. Funny story, I was totally that kid that ate (eight?) all the sand in our sandbox. New sand day was fabulous, that was the real gourmet sand. Also, I once ate a cookie I found on the playground. This is why you should give children oreos once in a while. Oh yeah, keep running, eight is a fun number.

Kilometer 10
Woot! 10% done. Maybe have a drink to celebrate. Let’s turn this into a beer 100km (one every 10km sounds totally doable, right?)
Kilometer 11
Woot again! You’ve officially run an ultra-10km and a quarter marathon (not to mention the 2 eighth marathons you already have under your belt). If you ask, I can make you medals for all of these distances out of things I find lying around the house. I’m just trying to figure out how one could fashion a medal out of old coffee grounds and banana peels.
Kilometer 12
I’m starting to realize exactly how big a number 100 is. My fingers are tired. This is stupid. I’m starting to cry like Nikki Kimball in that Long Trail documentary. The carpal tunnel is setting in. I need a pacer. Can I just have a 5 minute nap, just 5 minutes? I want to die.
…I mean. You totally got this. Or something.
Kilometer 13
Bakers dozen baby!

Kilometer 30
Woot. You just finished the Bay. Hope you’re enjoying a stale pita in the Copp’s Colosseum basement to celebrate. Oh wait. I forgot that this is the 100km. Good news! Instead of a stale pita, you get to run 70km more! Huzzah!
Kilometer 31
Nelson was going to try to write some, but he couldn’t. He said 100 is too many. I tried to explain that that’s the point, because 100 is too many (except right now for you, when it is just enough).
Kilometer 32
This is the point when Nelson gracefully stepped out of Dirty Girls to allow me to be the number 1 Harrier in the 6 hour race. It’s also the point where they all believed I was delusional and yet let me run into the forest alone. I like to imagine how that day would have progressed had I legitimately been hallucinating. I feel like it would have been a good day for me overall, full of fairies and pixie dust. Okay, next time I do 24 hours and aim for hallucination.
Kilometer 33
Nelson just came downstairs and got upset that I already wrote 32. But his frown was turned upside down when he realized he was going to write something similar anyways. Maybe with less pixies and more talk about how he’s such an awesome ultramarathoner.
Kilometer 34
Over 1/3rd! Fractions are the most delicious math subject because of all the pies. Your pie looks like it’s already making you sick. 1/3 of a pie is too much pie.
Kilometer 35
35 is how old you are! You’ve travelled around the sun 35.2219178 times (give or take), which is way further than 100km (google tells me 940 million km…so, multiplied by 35.2219178 it gives me 33.1 billion km…and that’s without all your ultra-runs). To be honest, after all that, you deserve a break (which you can take in just a short 65km).
Kilometer 36
I have one sentence fragment for you: “Forward relentless motion - quickly.”

Kilometer 41
So, you’re 1km into your 4th lap and perhaps the first doubts are creeping into your mind. The first thing you should note is that your watch is falling apart, so you can’t trust it for anything…unless you are way ahead of your planned time, then your watch is perfect and can never fail, so trust it absolutely. The second is that I haven’t actually thought of a second thing, but thought I should put one in since I said “the first thing”.
Kilometer 42
Obviously, marathon. Soon, ultramarathon.

Kilometer 45
Are you thirsty? I’m thirsty. Bet you wish you had a camel back right now. All that sweet refreshing back water. Satisfying.

Kilometer 47
Hungry? I have salt stuffed gummy bears.

Kilometer 49
Just writing this has made me realize that 50km is too long. Let’s just do 49km, then walk and eat ice cream for the last 1km.

Kilometer 51
Time to do exactly what you did in the first half, except this time with more tears and less toenails.
Kilometer 52
Imagine that for each kilometer you are dropping a playing card. You have none left. Except the jokers and any miscellaneous advertisement cards that may be in this particular deck. Keep these cards, they will be important for my next trick (I have no real trick, so I ask that you ask no follow up questions about this kilometer).

Kilometer 55
Maybe you’re feeling down again and need some inspiration. Once, I ate an entire restaurant order of nachos, just to prove that I could. I think that running may be your nachos, that even as you begin to think that there may be such a thing as too much running, you know that if you don’t do it now, you’ll regret all those missed miles later (the same way I’ll miss the cheesy goodness that is the last crispy nacho).
Kilometer 56
Picture Myriam with her fuel belt on for her 1km run. Now picture her stopping to walk and refuel 200m from the finish line.
Kilometer 57
When I feel discouraged, I like to think of the Chipmunk run at the Mill Race and how fun it is to torture children by making them run down a hill and back up for our amusement.
If you’re thinking of quitting, you could always run to Groningen or Emmen or Emden, or better yet, you could take a train if you have a Ticket to Ride™ .
Kilometer 59
Nelson says that he hopes you’re wearing orange, it is the Netherlands after all. (To be fair, if we’re going with that theme, you should also be riding a bike wearing wooden shoes).

Kilometer 62
38km left! You could do that running backwards and juggling…is a thing that I will say in a decade when you finally decide to follow your calling and become the first backwards joggling ultra-runner.
Kilometer 63
37km left! In 20 years there will also be fire and/or knives involved in your act if I have my way.
Kilometer 64
64 is 8 squared and 4 cubed. It’s a wonderful number. If you add 8 squared to 6 squared, you get 10 squared. 10 squared is 100. 100 is time for beer. Therefore, x = run for beer. Mathemagics!
Kilometer 65
35km left! Could we also add in tap shoes?
Kilometer 66
Let’s run Route 66, it’s less than 4000km and I think it has a lot of diners, so we can probably restock our bacon pockets pretty regularly.
Kilometer 67
2/3rds of the way! I don’t know what goes through the mind of a successful runner at this point, but for me I’d probably start thinking about how much I hate running, and yet still keep running for some reason that I can’t quite explain. Then I’d get teary eyed thinking about how delicious water is or how dogs don’t judge my soul (except for Dale’s, apparently).
Kilometer 68
Remember that time that Andrew raced for wine. If that doesn’t inspire you, I don’t know what will.
Kilometer 69
Good songs for running really far: Born to Run Bruce Springsteen, Bob Seeger Against the Wind, Matthew Wilder Break my Stride, Martha Reeves and the Vandellas Nowhere to Run, Tragically Hip Long Time Running, Neil Young Long May You Run, Collective Soul Run
Kilometer 70
Have you noticed that most Disney movies have a song where the female protagonist sings about how she’s more awesome than other people think she is and how she’s going to find her own way in the world? Examples: Little Town from Beauty and the Beast, Part of Your World from the Little Mermaid, Reflection from Mulan. Those songs are also awesome to listen to for motivation as long as you ignore the fact that by the end of the movie, their existential crisis is always solved by the addition of a man.
Kilometer 71
Speaking of feminism, what’s the deal with girl versions of races? Since when can women not do iron mans or tough mudder and need a shorter version? Also, I think pink is awesome, as you can tell by my taste in wine, but I’m not sure why I need pink everything when if all turns out well I’m just going to end up covered in mud, blood, sweat and tears?
Kilometer 72
I suspect at 72km you’re going to have your 4th or 5th second wind. Enjoy it.
Kilometer 73
The latest 2nd wind has passed? Don’t worry, another one is on its way, I swear.
Kilometer 74
Let’s talk about chafing. I really don’t think we’ve fully explored solutions to this problem until I see you running in a flesh toned skin tight body suit. If you’re wondering, the skin tight is for the chafing, the flesh toned is for the blog traffic.
Kilometer 75
Only a single ultra-half-marathon to go! Don’t worry, the “ultra” is just there for people who want to be like you but without all the hard work.
Kilometer 76
This kilometer was brought to you by Sharon Rutledge, ND, exclusive carrier of the Anti-chafe Skin Suit™.
Kilometer 77
23km left! My favorite number again!
Kilometer 78
Dear god, I’m 11 pages in (pre-editing, not sure where this will actually end up). How long is this race anyways?
Kilometer 79
Maybe I should have just made you a mix tape.
Kilometer 80
2 laps left! Do you need motivation? Close your eyes. Wait, open them, you just ran into a marshal (why so many turns?). Now imagine your eyes are closed. Are you there yet? Good. Now imagine you’re a toad. Then imagine Clara has found you. Now you have two choices for motivation: you could imagine the insane amount of pure love for that toad coming out of Clara, or you could imagine the very real fear for your life that you have. Choose whichever keeps you running.
Kilometer 81
“You’re almost there!”…is something I would shout at you right now if I wanted you to “accidentally” smack me in the head as you pass. In case you need to know which spectators have never run long distance, I put it into google translate, which says that “you’re almost there” in Dutch is “Je er bijna bent”. You might want to double check with Greg.
Kilometer 82
Somehow I hadn’t read about your vegetable oil car on your blog before. I’m feeling inspired. I also want Chinese for some reason.
Kilometer 83
Random coincidence: some days I also run on oil from a Chinese restaurant. True story.
Kilometer 84
Hey, 84 is the year that your baby sister Holly was born. Tacosaurus! I should have videotaped her finishing the Pelee half. It was inspiring, and totally would have fueled you through the last 16km.
Kilometer 85
Just a Langdon loop left! (Plus the extra special bonus km.)
Kilometer 86
At this moment Nelson is frantically refreshing his computer to see how you’re doing. I’m still thinking about tacosaurus. Mmm…tacosaurus.
Kilometer 87
Okay, you’re probably getting to that sweet spot now where you are so miserable with running that misery begins to bleed into happiness and it’s hard to tell the two apart. Enjoy it! Not many people can push themselves to the point where this happens. If you’re not there, then maybe stub a toe or something, because what’s the point of running 100km if misery doesn’t blend with happiness?
Kilometer 88
88 is the distance that the top male ran in 12 hours at dirty girls. Your awesomeness amazes me constantly.
Kilometer 89
Oh, by the way, Nelson wants to know if you booked the cottage for Pelee island. Don’t stress about it or anything, just get on it in 11km.
Just kidding! Hopefully that only gave you the helpful kind of stress aneurysm.
Kilometer 90
10km left to go! I recommend you appreciate it, because once you stop moving, it’s going to be at least a few days before you’ll even consider running 10km again. Soak it in baby!

Kilometer 96
Nelson asked if I remembered to use bacon pockets. I did, but I figured I could use it again. Like, I could write something like, “you only have 4km left, might as well empty your bacon pocket and give it all you’ve got”. Or, “Run like you’re being chased by a bear and shedding your bacon greased soaked shorts in pure terror.”
Kilometer 97
Usually 3km left is the worst part of a race for me, because I think “3km really isn’t so far”, except that in experience, it’s still far enough. But, maybe for you, 3km really isn’t so far.
Kilometer 98
2km left. You may feel like you’re falling apart, but if you can keep it together for just 2000m more, you’ll be done. Then you can fall apart in any way that your little overworked heart desires (or should I say your most likely freakishly large runners heart desires).

Kilometer 100

Huzzah! You made it! You’re amazing! Our internet is acting up, but as soon as it’s not acting up, we’re right here celebrating with you! Now let’s all drink heavily while sitting in a bathtub full of ice.

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