A Weekend Trifecta….oh wait….in Hawaii

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Let’s begin with the fact that I was getting to do something I never thought I would have the opportunity to do or be physically able to do.   It’s hard to believe the distance I have come on my athletic journey to be where I was standing this weekend.

 

Nerves and nerves and nerves are what reigned Saturday morning. I couldn’t believe that I had made the decision to run in an Elite heat.   Why would I do such a thing? Was I in my right mind when I decided to sign up for elite rather than running the opens like I always do. Stick in my comfort zone where I am truly not pushed to my limits.   Where its comfy and not testing in any way.

 

I think for once in my life, I made a decision on a whim and decided to run elite. Ironic considering where I was a year ago when I completed my first trifecta.   Any way back to Saturday morning. I was so nervous, I was sick to my stomach and was almost like I was living a dream, or a nightmare, hadn’t quite decided which one just yet.   Carrie traveled to Hawaii with me for the races, we decided for the Sprint we would run our own race. Do what we do.   Starting out I ran, I run a lot, and wait I was at sea level so it was even better!   I struggled on some of the up hills, let me make a mental note that I need to work on those more. Damn hills. I felt amazing though. Nothing hurt, nothing physically caused me to struggle. That meant it was going to be a good weekend. I didn’t have to feel pain in my leg or any other part of my body.   I pushed myself. I have two advantages going into this race. 1) I love burpees 2) I am running at sea level Played on these advantages and went with it. I pushed and kept going, I actually passed a few girls and was actually thinking to myself that I could be decently placed.   I did the Z Wall by myself!!! Holy crap, I have never once done that wall by myself.   I always had someone to help me.   Always! But this time I didn’t have that someone, I was all alone and needed to see what I could do.   I tried the rope climb and failed but knocked out my burpees like a pro.   Missed the spear throw and did some more burpees.   Almost made it to the rig but slipped on the last bar and barely missed the bell. Did 30 more burpees. Crossed the finish line not even considering that I just had ran the best race of my life.   That I hadn’t just completed something I didn’t even think could.   I was waiting for Carrie to finish so we could take off and run the Super. In the meantime I decided to see how I did placement wise.   Well Holy moly guacamole, I was top 15.   I had to ask the volunteer working the timing station if she was sure that was right.   Who would have thought a girl with lupus, that could barely walk 4 years ago was doing that well on an elite wave!  I am still in astonishment, I didn’t break down in tears until I saw Carrie and told her how I did. That’s when I realized and it hit me hard.   That’s when I accepted what I had done.

 

I didn’t have time to be mushy, we had to get out on the Super course and finish another piece of the trifecta.   We had to get there.   The super course was gorgeous, we saw people zip lining and touring the area since the area is a very big tourist attraction.   The ironic part was that the tourist were taking pictures of us racing.   They had to be thinking what are all these crazy people doing ??? They are definitely not normal, no we aren’t, we are badasses.   Anyway, the super course marched on.   An interesting thing about this race was how rude some of the people were being to their fellow racers.   Yes, we weren’t moving fast, and were encouraging all those racing, saying good job, etc.   So many people just pushed past us and weren’t being nice about it all. Following simple trail etiquite and saying on your left or right when passing. I think that was one of the harder parts of the race.   How can a fellow racer be so rude and not care about the fact that not everyone moves fast or as I kept telling racers who were doing this that “I broke my rearview mirror” can you let me know that you are going to pass me? I know Utah last year was bad in terms of rude racers however this one was much worse. The volunteers didn’t know what they were doing and Carrie and I ended up having to explain to racers how to the obstacle. For example, on the tire DRAG, they were standing in the middle of the tire and carrying it. For the bucket carry they were carrying it on their shoulders.   All incorrect and the bucket carry dangerous and risking injury.

I even ended up emailing them stating that racers were going to get hurt if they didn’t change what they were doing, it didn’t get better on Sunday.

 

We finished the Super and felt like we had ran two races. Go figure we just had.   Carrie had her ankle looked at because she rolled her ankle on one of the walls.   They taped up her ankle and we were off to the hotel to shower….seriously that jungle mud and water smells so bad.   I can still smell it was I am sitting on this airplane on the way home. Kind of nasty. Not sure I want to open my suit case and the Ziploc bags that are in there with my race clothes….its going to be bad…..pass out from the smell bad.

 

Sunday was another race day, the beast. We had talked to some fellow racers about what the beast course was like. We heard mud lots of mud and lots of jungle.   Little did we know what we would be in store for. Norm had cut this part of the trail up the side of the mountain through the jungle.   Jungle mud is slick and sticky and did I mention that it smells? Terribly smells.   So we started on the split up the beast course.   It was going to be brutal you were going straight up in slick mud, it was up to my knees at points. Yes I am well aware that I am short but that’s a lot of mud!   The humidity was taking it toll and my sweat was sweating, I drank 6 liters of water on that course that day.   That’s a lot of water intake on a course but we were sweating so much it was necessary to stay hydrated and not risk injury.   The never ending hill just kept going and going. There was a lot of cussing by everyone and lots of unhappy racers. Why would you cut a course of a jungle mountain, oh it will be fun they said.   I am short and was clocking my head on branches so I can only imagine the taller people. It seriously took about forever to climb the hill, covered in mud and sweating we reached the top of mud hell(not a typo 😉 ) but looking at my watch I knew we still had about 7 miles of racing left.   Through the jungle and the side of the mountain.

 

There were many people struggling and hurting. It was a brutal course in its own sense.

 

Trudging along we did get to see some spectacular views. The view of the ocean and surrounding area from the top of the mountain was stunning and literally took your breath away. I know I was having my ass handed to me on the course however, it was beautiful.   And I am thankful for the experience I was able to have on the course.

 

It was a gorgeous day and I stayed up beat to help Carrie make it through the course. Her ankle was hurting quite a bit and her quad as well. I wouldn’t let her quit because I knew she would be able to do it. She is an amazing indidivual and I had a blast racing with her this weekend.   I don’t care that we went slow, I cherish the fact that we had a great time, even if she wanted to quit and kill that course.   We trudged through river for over a mile, but then came upon the area where they filmed part of Jurassic Park. That was awesome and we took pictures there too.   Ironically that area is a high tour area so there were people on buses and ATVs touring the grounds. Well I don’t know if they thought we were crazy or part of the attraction of the area, but they were taking pictures of us.

 

When we finally reached the exchange point that started the beast course we knew we were close to the finish. About two miles to go and then a medal. And non muddy clothes ( more on that in a minute).   The last two miles were great we started making good progress, chatting with the Aussies that were there racing and had a great time. Lots of pictures were taken and if other racers wanted to judge me then so be it. I was out there to enjoy the course for the second to races.

 

One of the best parts of the race was the fact that people recognized COR on the course.   They knew who we were and knew us to be the group that always helped racers no matter what. People thanked us for helping us at previous races and being a team that was there for everyone.   That alone being part of COR is amazing.

 

We got to the spear throw and Bryce was there cheering us on. A good guy who on a whim decided to run the Ultra Beast course.   And finished fourth might I add. Congrats Bryce you did great out there!! You also gave me a bite of your burrito when I was kind of kidding but not really.

 

Rig then slip wall. Jumping the fire on this course was rewarding it was a brutal course but we didn’t let the course win. We finished.   However disappointment would be at the finish line when they didn’t even have a medal for us of the right one. The staff members at the tent were not very nice about it and said we may not get it, until we made them ask that we would get the correct medal for finishing the beast, not a sprint medal.   I know frustrations were there but staff members need to put themselves in the racers shoes, we raced our hearts out and to not get the medal we earned was going to be very upsetting. The situation however is corrected and we will be getting the medals mailed to us.

 

Overall this weekend was fantastic. Got to go to a luau, got fresh sushi, and amazing Hawaiian cooking.   Dinner after the beast included a 15 oz steak and a 1lb baked potato, yes I ate it all.   I was starving after running as much as we had. Also can’t forget the one or two glasses of wine 😉

 

Overall I can honestly say I am proud of myself. I completed three trifectas this year so far.   I will see what else the season has in store for me, but I am proud of what I have achieved.

 

To some this may not seem like a big accomplishment, that its nothing to be proud of. But for me it is. This is huge no matter what everyone else believes.   I have come down a long journey, I have been knocked down and got back up. God has handed me challenges that I never thought I would over come but I did.   I want to help prove to the rest of the world that just because you are diagnosed as chronically ill doesn’t mean that you can’t do what you want.   Or even what you didn’t know that you wanted.   It’s amazing when you finally realize that you as a human being don’t have limitations. They don’t exist.   They are not there and you don’t have to prove that the limit can be broken when it’s not there. After the airing of the Breckenridge show, it was amazing the out pouring of people who say the fact that I was able to achieve these races inspires them.
Having a co worker tell me his daughters are excited about racing and even started doing burpees during the show, makes me cry. Out of pure joy and excitement. I had him tell his daughters that I would race with them, and their eyes lit up.   Having a great friend that I do cross fit with say she is willing to give racing a try next year, makes every race worth it!

 

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