So remember how I’ve been talking about the Heaven & Hell Relay??
And how terrified I was of getting lost along the trail?
well, I convinced 2 of my relay team members (and my mama-cita) to do a practice run on Tuesday after work.
They decided to take me on leg 11 because it was “easier” than leg 2.
I was originally signed up for leg 3, but that leg is BURIED under snow and because I don’t own any snow gear (like crampons or trekking poles) I got switched to leg 2.
(FYI leg 2 & 11 are the same, since it’s an out and back course)
We met up in Midway and followed my team members up the mountain. I was freaking out a bit because we were going SO far up the mountain on roads that seemed more appropriate for a 4-wheeler than my Mom’s Tahoe. After driving for 45 minutes… we parked our car and hopped into my team member’s truck and drove EVEN further up the mountain.
(to give you a timeline… we left work at 4:45pm and didn’t start running until 6:45pm)
I honestly thought I could run the 10.9 in about 2.5 hours (equivalent to 13:45 pace).
UMMM… I was wrong. so VERY, VERY, VERY wrong.
Let me start by saying that this area is BEAUTIFUL. It’s absolutely gorgeous.
 momma, me and Joy
gorgeous, absolutely gorgeous.
this was the hardest thing I’ve ever done.
I went in to this thinking that I wouldn’t have a problem with the mileage (10.9 miles), knew the elevation climbs would certainly slow me down, but that I could finish the leg.
I felt like all we did was climb, and climb, and climb.
and this was supposed to be the “easier” way?!
there were a few parts of the trail that were covered in snow and had to dig in with our shoes to cross.
(fyi: running shoes and trail shoes are different for a reason…)
I slid and lost my footing (many times) and if Joy hadn’t been there to stop me… who knows how far I would’ve slid!
(and thank God I didn’t knock Joy down! she’s just a tiny thing!)
and then, once I was out of the snow and feel “safe” again, I’d slip on the mud and fall to my hands and knees.
On one section of the trail, appropriately named “The Plunge”, was more like a gulley because of the moisture running down the middle of the trail, it was like running with your ankles inverted. I can’t even remember how many times I fell along this part of the trail. oh… yeah. Ever heard of stinging nettle? Yeah… it stings. Ask my Mom. She found out which plant it was by accident. more than once.
Watching my garmin was depressing. I thought it was losing signal, “there’s no way we’re going this slow”.
wrong again, Ash. Wrong. Again.
And then it started to get dark… and I was getting a little worried. The crazy thing about being up in the mountains is that it’s SO quiet. So when you hear a noise… it’s a little scary. Like when I heard some freaking “wuf-wuf-wuf-wuf” sound. (and not like a dog barking “wuff”) I thought FOR SURE it was a bear. I looked back at Joy and she had this wide-eyed look and I FREAKED OUT. Tried to run… got about 3 steps and started to panic. DAMN elevation and lack of oxygen.
I’ve never had a panic attack… but I came DAMN close. My heart was RACING. I swear it took me a half hour to just get my breathing regulated again. at this point it was dark. like had to get out the head lamp dark. We ended up taking a short cut off the trail to get back to Pole Line Pass to get to our car. Since one of my team members (the Dr I work for) is part mountain goat, he was able to get back to his truck and meet us as we got off the trail.
I was SO relieved to see his truck. We ended up running (well… more like crawling) 9 miles in about 3 hours. I was so exhausted. I felt like such a loser for not living up to my expectations. I knew it was going to be hard. But I had no idea just how tough it would be. It was at this point I was thinking I had made a wrong decision to ru
n this race. No longer was I just questioning whether or not I would get lost… but whether or not I could ACTUALLY complete the run.
It was a long ride off the mountain. then back into provo. My mom and I chatted about whether or not it was a good decision for me to run the race. We talked about the possibility of injury, safety along the course, and just how freaking hard it was. I didn’t even get home until midnight.
 muddy, filthy mess!
 dirty, dirty socks!!
ugh… so muddy and dirty. :/
see the scratch on my shin… I know it looks small.
but it’s progressively gotten more sore today.
running into tree limbs with your legs… hurts.
scraping your leg across a broken tree limb hurts like a motha…
I know they look minor… but I’m being a Waa-Waa cry baby…
it’s my blog and I’ll cry if I want too
I hopped right into the shower and scrubbed the dirt of my legs and arms and from under my toe nails and finger nails.
so gross. Crawled into bed around 12:45am and zonked out.
Woke up the next morning… and surprisingly wasn’t too sore. My mom called me when I was on my way to the gym and convinced me to go run with her. She said, “I just want to make sure my ankles still work”. LOL. She said she only wanted to go 3 or 4… Yeah… we went 6. Six slow and steady miles. Talked about the trail race a ton. I was getting kind of worked up because I knew I didn’t want to run it. We get home and I get ready to leave and look in the mirror. WTF?!!!
 I freaking broke out in HIVES all around my eyes and on my neck. I started to ITCH everywhere.
I’ve never broken out in hives like this. I thought it was a delayed reaction from the trail run and I had come across something I was allergic too.
Wrong again…
I was stressed out about the race and having to tell my Dr that I didn’t want to run…
So… to get to the point of this post…
I’m not running the Heaven & Hell Relay.
I backed out.
I’m quitting.
and it makes me feel like such a punk.
I told A LOT of people that I was running this race.
I told a ton of patients at my office that I was running this race.
I get to explain to everyone now that I couldn’t do it.
I didn’t do it.
AHH! I hate quitting. I’m NOT a quitter.
I hate it. I hate that I’m not strong enough to do it.
It makes me feel bad that I backed out 48 hours prior to the race.
Luckily my team was able to find a sub to take my legs.
I knew I wouldn’t be able to run my legs in the time that we needed to be able to finish within the time allotment. (142.5 miles in 36 hours). I would have probably taken 4 hours for each leg. And because this is the first year the race is happening, only 5 teams signed up. So there’s a good chance my team will do really well (because they are all experienced, fast, trail runners).
And because there are only 5 teams, there’s a good chance I wouldn’t have even seen another runner while running my legs. The more I thought about… the more I freaked out. It was scary enough being there with my Mom and Joy. I can’t imagine being alone on the trails with the “wuf-wuf” noises.
and my last excuse… I don’t want to get injured.
My biggest goal this year is to run a sub 4:00 marathon. St. George marathon is in 11 weeks. If I broke my ankle, or strained/sprained something and couldn’t run or train… it would kill me.
so I’m not running this race.
I’m a quitter.
and I feel really shitty about it.
and I’m still freaking exhausted from the 9 mile “run”.
I feel defeated.

17 thoughts on “Defeated…

  1. Stephanie says:

    Don’t be so hard on yourself. It was an accomplishment to even consider running that terrible race 😉 And guess what you didn’t really quit because you went out there and you tried it. You could have backed out before ever even trying that run but you were a trooper and you did it. I think you are making the right choice, no one wants to get injured and that seems like a sure fire way to an injury. I ran part of Ragnar hill which was only 3 miles and I cried most of the time and hated every second of it. I can’t imagine 10 miles of mountain climbing 🙂 You are awesome!!


  2. Julia says:

    oh ash…first of all…you are a rock star for going out and running that leg. and seriously it takes a lot more guts to know your limits than it does to “quit.” You were being smart and did what was best for you…that is WHAT MATTERS. you are hard core for taking on the challenge, knowing little about it and then tackling that trail. things happen for a reason…maybe its that sub 4 reminding you that it is still waiting??? you are amazing ash…don’t ever forget that. the word quitter never even crossed my mind when i first met you. maybe inspiring, motivated, awesome, determined…but not a quitter. keep your head up girl. I am proud of you—you tried. It didn’t feel right…you took a step back when it mattered most. You can only get stronger and stronger from here 🙂


  3. kara t. says:

    Ash! No! Now that you know what it entails you can do what you need to do to train to run it another year if you want. You are a great runner, a freakin marathoner, you have come SO far. Just because you’re not ready to tear through the mountains doesn’t mean you’re less of a person, or less of a runner!


  4. Christina @ The Athletarian says:

    Ok first of all – a mountain goat?!?! I nearly DIED when I read that. You are SO funny!DO NOT call yourself a quitter. You will run this race at another time. You are just postponing it in favour of being able to do other things. If you’re not ready, you’re NOT READY! Who cares?!?! Your ultimate goal is to run sub 4:00, so that is where your focus should be! Awesome job crawling the mountain! I would have peed myself.


  5. The Hungry Runner Girl says:

    The pictures are gorgeous!! Girl, YOU ARE NOT A QUITTER!! You have put your body through a LOT this year and you need A BREAK and clearly your body is rebelling against it so you are being SMART not to do it!! I LOVE YOU and I want to give you a big hug! We will do a cooler relay another time together!


  6. Ann says:

    Omg, lady, that run sounds absolutely rediculous. Like, impossible hard. And I’m glad you got out and tried to run it. Thank goodness, right?!?? I think you made the right decision. Ultimately, you need to do what’s best for you!! Stop the negative thinking (“quitter”, “defeated”, etc.) And focus on what you DID do!! You put yourself first and did what was right for yoy. Chin up, buttercup.


  7. Jen says:

    Ash – I am going to go ahead and disagree with you. I don’t think you are a quitter. I believe you will run that relay – just not this year. You are an amazing person, athlete, woman! I aspire to be the kind of runner you are! Please don’t be so hard on yourself – we are always our worst critic. I really think you are being smart and waiting on this one – that sub 4:00 is out there for the taking and that’s where your focus should be! Go get em!


  8. Mrs. JM says:

    dude, it’s just a race. i personally think the most important part of running is the joy it brings to my life on so many levels. when the joy-factor is removed, what is the point? i’m applaud you for even considering it and THEN signing up and THEN taking on that mean practice run. you are three steps closer than i will ever be to running the heaven and hell relay!


  9. Becky says:

    That race sounds miserable!!! Wow. I think you made the right decision. It’s not worth risking injury to run a race that won’t be fun for you. You could really end up out for a long time if you were to fall and break an ankle or something. Don’t beat yourself up. You’re not a quitter.


  10. Monica says:

    I don’t know you but am pretty sure you are not a quitter. I think one of the most important things a person can learn is how to take care of herself, physically and mentally. Sounds like you made a decision to do that. There will always be someone bigger, faster, stronger, able to do crazy trail runs, etc., it doesn’t make you or your worth and abilities any less.


  11. Julia @ The Bosky Blog says:

    It takes a lot of self-awareness to know when enough is enough. It also takes a lot of manoges to admit that you can’t do something.I respect you so much more for accepting this than if you were to push yourself, injur yourself and mess yourself up…and for what? To prove a point? Running and racing is about you, and you do it for you. No one else.I am proud of you sista, don’t defeat yourself emotionally.


  12. Jenn says:

    First off…you ARE NOT a quitter!!! I think that you are wise runner. You know your strengths, you know where you have room to grow and most of all you are WISE enough to know when to say when. injuries most often occur when…’we think we have it’ when we blow past that little voice saying…hum, rest a minute. It takes someone strong to back down from something that they wanted and put out there! So I say hold you head high….and commend you for knowing when to say when! Sounds like a race that you simply were not fully prepared for…and backing out…as hard as it is….it the smart thing to do. cause we want to run for lifetime..not to break every goal and rule! Sometimes this means giving up on little goals for the BIG picture. I just spent 2 1/2 months barely logging any miles because I was pushing and pushing and not really any set goal..just enjoying a little speed and some hills I wasn’t fully trained for…..=achilles tendonitis….so I screwed up my goal…which was to go into pregnancy with #2 running smart and 4-5 days a week…I am now 8 weeks and got to run 20 whole minutes of uninterrupted treadmill flat running because I had to sit out and let myself heal!Good job, knowing your limit and taking a bow ….out!Good luck to your GOAL! and knowing how to be smart and achieve it!


  13. Stacey says:

    DO NOT beat yourself up over this!!! You are a ROCKSTAR!!!! I think your being smart not taking a chance getting hurt. Dr. Todd will completely understand 🙂


  14. Kelsey says:

    You are so not a failure…I’ve been reading for a couple of months now and think that all you have accomplished is nothing short of amazing. I have learned to not let myself be defined by one event/race/life happening…hold your head high because you’re a great runner and have a ton of incredible opportunities/races to look forward to!


  15. Jen says:

    I’m sure you’re totally over this by now, but I just wanted to add my two cents. You are the furthest thing from a wuss that I’ve ever known. You are not a quitter either. You just are prioritizing what’s really important to you right now. Trail running is a lot harder than anything else and the dark just adds another element of surprise. You don’t need to be tripping and injuring yourself. But I know that if that trail race was your main goal that you’d go full speed ahead at it regardless of what might happen. You are a freaking strong runner and if it was hard for you I can’t imagine what it would be like for the rest of us!


  16. FoodFaithFitness says:

    I hate quitting too. I think you made the right choice. I can’t believe there’s snow this time of year. That sounds really tough! I’ve never ran trails and wouldn’t be able to run such an intense course.


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