…I had signed up for the 5K
…I had my real camera with me
…I had worn a neck cooler-wrap thingy
…I had finished… but I didn’t.
And guess what, I’m pretty okay with it. I will have a funny story for the rest of my life about the time I decided to run/walk 6.2 miles on a cow trail through the badlands without preparing one tiny bit.
Some people say it was not the smartest thing I have ever done and have no sympathy for me. I am not looking for sympathy and I am fine with them thinking I am dumb.
Some people are super proud of me for trying in the first place.
So… here it is… the story of “The time I tried to run a 10K on a cow trail in The Badlands of ND and had to quit.”
The title “I Wish…” is much shorter (…I Wish the run had been shorter)
My dear friend, Jodi, from www.touchingyourheart.net asked if I wanted to do another run/walk and I agreed. Sign me up for the 10K. Why not? I have done one before. No big deal. Right?
Jodi was stressing about the run and wondering if she had trained properly… I was not training at all. I can do it. I have done it before. It is only 6.2 miles. I will manage. I may be the last person, but I will manage. Wrong again!
…the person who didn’t finish
…the person who needed to get a ride back to the start/finish area by vehicle
…the person who signed a piece of paper presented by an EMT saying I was fine
…the person who took my picture on a strangers phone while I was delirious (or just to be funny)
…the person who forgot her lipstick in the car for her before pictures
Wearing my “No White Flags” shirt to support Team Gleason. And… sad that I gave up… but I was out there trying and that was important. At one point… I wish I would have had some sort of white flag to fly. I was that ‘done’ with the race.
I won’t go into extensive details of the run/walk. I started out running with my plan to be the same as the Fargo 10K. Turn on my Couch to 5K running app, listen to music and see where I end up. I even built a new playlist for myself. Well, guess what… as I said in the post about the Fargo run, it is important to train with your ‘equipment’ as well. I didn’t have my new playlist and the music that played was all sorts of messed up. But… I did get to hear “One Day at a Time” and saw two butterflies fluttering by as it played. Which was perfect. Made me think of my Grandma and Jodi’s Mother-In-Law looking over us from Heaven.
I grabbed a small, warm bottle of water at the 5K turn around and held onto it in case Jodi needed some later. By the time I met her she had water… so I held onto it even longer. I knew I was having a rough time when my hands started to tingle and go a bit numb so to speak. But, I must keep going and do this thing.
I made it to the 10K turnaround,
made the following video and moved on.
I walked down the trail a bit and waited for the runner behind me (the last person to cross the finish line) so I could walk with her. I had seen her as we started and sort of knew in my mind that she was behind me. I confirmed that with a race official and decided to wait for her. I walked until I saw her and stopped to ask her if I could join her. I walked back with her to the 10K turnaround and kept moving. We picked up the sign, the remaining 3 bottles of water, and took them to the officials waiting by the cattle gate. We moved onward and came to the spot I had already been to and kept moving along. It was difficult to visit for 2 reasons… 1st, we had just walked three miles and were in 90 degree heat, and 2nd… cow trails only have room for one cow at a time. So walking side by side was not an option.
We moved along together for a bit and had the race officials cheering us on while they road their bikes and picked up signs and water bottles from the ground… it bothered me that people just tossed the bottles. I wanted to pick them up and put them in my shorts or shirt to get them to the trash.
Anyway… we kept moving along and at some point I stopped for a moment (while climbing a hill) and was dizzy. The race officials asked if I was okay and I was honest and said I was dizzy, but kept going. They said to rest whenever I needed and they would be with us the whole way. A mile later, I decided I needed to keep moving at my own pace and left my friend behind. I needed to get out of the heat, I needed to keep moving, I needed to worry only about myself. At this point, I was praying that Jodi and Dixie would come back when they finished to ‘cheer me on’ or to walk with me.
I had asked Jodi to text me if there were any other runners behind me when we met. She forgot… but then remembered. It was so nice to get the text even though I already had the answer. The next text from her was the most important…
At 11:10am (1 hour and 40 minutes into this thing)…
…Coming to see you!!
…Bringing vitamin water
I knew she was out there and I knew I could find her soon. Amen to the prayers being answered!
She met me somewhere between mile 4 and mile 5. I know this because I took a picture of Mile Marker 4 but had her take the one of Mile Marker 5 because my hands were not working.
We kept moving and I explained to her that there were so many times I wanted to quit along the way. I didn’t know how many times. I stopped and rested a few times as we walked… then I looked up and saw it.
The trail ahead of me…winding and twisting and then going up, up, up…
I knew in my head that after the up, up, up which was probably 1/2 mile away I had to go another 1/2 mile to finish… (these are rough estimates of a delirious person).
So, I said… “That’s is. I am done. I quit. I can’t do it.”
I sat down and explained that Jodi needed to find a way to get me off this trail. I knew the race people were behind us so I was okay with waiting. She text (texted???) Dixie (who didn’t have her phone… duh). Then the race guy on the bike came and asked if we were okay. Clearly I was not okay.
My hands were swollen and I could not get them to stretch to a normal posture and they hurt like hell.
It was hot,
I was thirsty,
I had to pee (I considered peeing out there but knew I wouldn’t get my underwear adjusted back to normal and would have major chaffing issues so I held it…)
Jodi did what she could to help me. She offered me water, she poured water on my head, she gave me vitamin water to drink, she rubbed my hands, she took off my shoes (my hands didn’t work so I couldn’t do it), she tried to make shade for me (she has lost too much weight to be very effective).
The guy on the bike called ahead for help.
The girl I left behind stopped to see what she could do… I told her to keep going. To finish!
The lady on the bike kept going with her. I was so glad she kept going. The guy on the bike took off as well to see if he could get a vehicle to bring me out of the mess I was in. May I just say… there is not really a road or path for vehicles. It is THE Badlands Trailrun I was a participant in.
I was lying (or is it laying…) on the ground with my head on my shoes, socks off and suggested she take my picture. Right now? Yes… Right Now. We have to document this. We are bloggers and Instagram people… we must have a picture of this. So… she did… and it was TERRIBLE… so I cropped it a bit. I am pretty sure I was thinking a helicopter ride would have been nice about this point.
Jodi and I eventually got me up to find a slim bit of shade under a cedar bush. (I really do not like cedar at all… but I appreciated this bush for its shade.) I sang a little song for Jodi… Don’t sit under the cedar tree… with anyone else but me… no no no… anyone else but me. I don’t think she found my humor since she was thinking I could pass out from heat stroke at any given moment.
We could hear a vehicle coming. It was not a 4-wheeler. It was the pickup that I had passed on the trail about 3/4 mile back. Damn… should have climbed in then. I wish…
Jodi could see he would not be able to reach us, so she started getting me geared up for more walking to get to the pick up. MY finish line… The guy from the bike arrived… we walked to the pickup which looked very STUCK in a ravine or something. We climbed into the AC cab, he handed us two apples, and we were ready to wait for help to pull us out. I grabbed the apples and nearly cried from the relief. The apples held my hands open… it felt so good! Here is a close up of my hand from the great pic of me lying on the ground…
The guy from the bike…now in a pickup told us to hold on as he gave the pickup some gas… in reverse! We were making our way out of this hell hole (a beautiful place but at the time… it was hell). Then POP… a gunshot. Nope… the backglass popped. We stopped for a second looked at the glass and moved on. While the guy in the bike (now in a pickup) was grabbing some markers from the trail, I grabbed his phone and snapped a picture (was not easy with my hands the way they were)… but I did it. He jumped back in… and off we went. He got us off the trail and back to the first gate we went through. Of course as we are driving that direction he explains the medical team was called for precautionary measures. I totally understood and just prayed they didn’t make me ride in the ambulance somewhere because I was a quitter.
So… who was this masked man in the pickup from the bike… The CFO of the Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation. Yep… the money man for the whole damn show. Could I ever repay him for getting me out of there… of course… he has a picture of me. What more could a man want!
The EMT let me go with nothing more than a signature. Dixie and Brenda were waiting at the gate. As we were sitting waiting for the EMT to check me out, my friend… the one I left behind… was making her way to the finish line. I told Jodi to get out of the pickup and catch her. She needed someone to finish with her. She was alone and she DID IT! Jodi and Dixie both took off and Brenda (Dixie’s mom) rode with me to the car. We hopped out of the pickup and waited for the others with the AC blasting and apples in my hands. I kept the apples until about an hour after getting off the trail. My hands were starting to feel better, but were still very speckled at the finger tips.
I have had two full days to recover and while I regret not doing the 5K with my ‘real’ camera for the pure beauty of it all… I am still glad I did the 10K. I know with all certainty what my limits are now and more importantly…
I know that no matter what… the girl in the picture with me… has got my back. Love you Jodi!
Thank you for picking up the pieces so many times!!!