I’m not going to lie, I cried on the loop. I thought about finishing and I cried because I was only 3.5 miles in and in so much pain. I had fallen twice, I had gotten lost and I did not think my legs could take one more uphill switchback. But I kept pushing on.
A look behind the curtain with Cara Baskin at VT100 - 2019. “I can’t help but wonder what else can be discovered in chasing a goal that’s bigger than myself. In taking a trail so rocky and rooty it brings me to the ground, one so windy it hides the peak from view, or one with no certain end.”
Andrea Kooiman refers to herself as an everyday mom. She is not a professional runner, and has no major sponsors – Andrea just loves to run. And this year her goal was to concur the legendary Western States® 100-Mile Endurance Run.
As an endurance athlete I love to push myself to my limits and yearn for days I collapse into bed exhausted and satisfied from the effort of the day. I'd been missing this feeling recently and found myself falling into a downward spiral, feeling sorry for myself, focusing only on the negative, and I was beginning to resent myself for it. The past week I was able to revisit those feelings of exhaustion and satisfaction, albeit with a slightly different approach.
"Far better a wise DNS than a messy DNF" was one of many responses I received from a social media post a couple weeks ago after making the decision not to travel to Chamonix and race the spectacular 106-mile Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc (UTMB). Reading the comments and encouragement from so many inspired me to take you along on my journey over this bump in the road that so many of us experience.
I've always felt a pull to the Northwest. Oregon in particular, despite friend's accounts of the dreary coastal weather given my current roots in sunny Colorado. Its mystical, often forest-lined beaches have always intrigued me. When two film project brought my boyfriend, Austin, and I out to Oregon finally late this May (one of which is about Nathan athlete Stephanie Howe), we quickly seized the opportunity to experience the city and gape at the coastline.
Several years ago when I worked at 9 to 5 job, training was simple. I had certain windows available to me for running, for eating, for hanging out with friends. I had guidelines, predictability ... I had a skeletal structure to work inside.
It's not always easy to navigate the world of race preparation, especially if you're new to running. While you may have your race date circled on your calendar and a spreadsheet of workouts you plan to tackle over the next several months, there are so many key training tips (like nutrition or resting for example) that may go unnoticed.
Hydration has plagued me since I started running trails. Coming from a track and cross-country background, the idea of carrying something to drink water while running was annoying. (I still remember my college cross-country coach asking me to stop during a long run and drink water. I refused).
Given an infinite amount of time and unlimited financial resources, we travelers would have the ability to visit every corner of the globe, every high-altitude summit, and any other destination we fancied. The fact is that neither time nor money is unlimited and these factors seriously restrict our visitations...