When I thought about my dig deep story, immediately Woodstock 100k race came to mind. This would be my 5th ultramarathon that year, and my longest distance yet. I had the goal of going from my first ever ultramarathon (50k) and complete the distances of 50k, 50 mile, 100k and 100 mile in the same year 2017 (along with 2,017 miles which I completed).
The 100k started at 4pm, and this would be my first time running from sunset until sunrise. The course was 4 loops of 16 miles.
The first loop was exciting and I had no issues.
The second loop was when I started to form nasty blisters on my feet. I sat in the chair as my feet throbbed at 32 miles completed, knowing I had 32 more miles (2 more loops to complete). Thankfully my crew was able to get me back on my feet.
On the 3rd loop my headlamp died and it was pitch black. I was able to get a small light from a friend.
The next 16 miles felt like they went on forever. The course felt empty and quiet. The hills felt endless. I was starting to get cold and my feet were really bothering me. I came back to the aid station with huge blisters to take care of.
At the start of the 4th loop (mile 48) I picked up my pacer. It was still pitch black and the next 16 miles I had to dig deep to finish. (Another thing to mention, was that I had to deal with my woman monthly visit that many people do not talk about. I had such terrible cramps and chafing).
My pacer was such a great help to me. As daylight came, so did the other runners. The next races were starting (50 mile, marathon, half marathon, and 5 mile). These races were all on the same single track, starting at different times. This means I had speedy runners wanting to pass me. My pacer would yell to me and prepare for the barrage of runners coming behind me. Many times I moved over which caused me to become more exhausted.
The last 4 miles I started having severe quad pains.
The downhill was torturous. I found a stick the perfect size to use to use as a walking stick. I was in so much pain. I was not going to give up. I already completed 60 miles. This was my true dig deep moment.
As I could see the opening to exit the trail and get to the finish line I heard some commotion and someone yelled ‘bees.’ It was too late, I already had pain on my hand. I looked down at my hand that was using the walking stick and I had a bee or wasp stinging me. I pulled it off as another one was stinging my knee.
Then I pulled it off me as another one stung my hand again. I ran as hard as I could and my pacer helped me assess the situation. My hand and knee were already numb. At this point I was in tears. So much pain in my toes, feet, quads and now the areas where I was stung. I had 100 yards to go and I was going to finish this race running. I picked up my walking stick and ran across that finish line. I did it.
I truly had to dig deep and I learned a lot about myself during that race. I don’t give up. I keep pressing on despite the obstacles. I went on to finish 3 more ultramarathons that year (including a 100 mile race).
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Have A Dig Deep Story To Share? All you have to do is think of a particular time in your life when you had to dig deep (it doesn't necessarily have to be about racing or training, it can be about anything). Make your story as long as you want and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org (subject : Your Instagram name if you have one). Don't forget to include a picture :) . I look forward to featuring your story! Cheers, Hugo