I couldn’t stop crying.
A man at the bottom of the coulee cheered and encouraged runners as they ran into Softball Valley, the second aid station. Meanwhile, I was gingerly navigating the descent, while at the same time, getting out of the way of runners.
This was not how I envisioned my Lost Soul day going.
Raring to go, I had sprung out of bed at 5;30 a.m. sharp Saturday. I was relieved to see the air quality had improved somewhat overnight in Lethbridge. The day/night before was bloody awful. Kudos to the 100 milers and 100K runners who ran Friday.
Smoke had cleared, and I had no excuses. It was time to attack those coulees.
I ran through to the first aid station a couple minutes faster than last year. I was awesome. But somewhere after the first aid station and before the second station, I tripped over something (my feet?, a snake?, a pebble?). I caught myself and I came down hard on my right knee. I’m not sure what the heck I did. I regrouped for a couple minutes before I started running again, but the more I ran, the more my body felt out of whack.
Running down the coulees was not an option. My knee kept buckling. I tried to “walk it off” but I had no luck.
I just wanted to cry so I did.
My race was over. The first two legs (15K) was just the warm up. I knew what was in store. There was no way in heck that I wanted to walk 40 kilometres especially with the threatening smoke from the Waterton fire.
I was done.
Still blubbering like an idiot, I limped into the second aid station, asked for ice and sat down on a bench and cried some more.
I just needed a hug.
I called my pal Rachel, and I cried for about 10 minutes about how clumsy I am, what an idiot I am, etc., etc., etc.
Thankfully, she calmed me down with her tough talk, enough that I was able to get a grip. (Believe me I am a mess when the tears start flowing.)
A special thank you to the volunteer who made me laugh and drove me back to the hotel after I dropped out of the race.
It’s been a few days now. Sure, I am disappointed that all my training over the past year has gone out the window.
But I would have been more upset had I continued and did some serious damage to my knee. (I’m still getting it checked out.)
Thankfully, I got over myself and I was able to enjoy the weekend celebrating others’ successes, meeting fantastic people, and hearing wonderful stories.
I can’t share everything, but I want to highlight two stories that I am taking away from this weekend
My friend Robert Carroll, of Grande Prairie, completed his first race/ultra distance since he adopted a whole food, plant-based diet. Robert has dealt with heart issues for as long as I known him. Doctors told him that he would be on these four medications for the rest of his life. They also advised him to taper his running. In April, he said, screw that and began researching his options.
Today he is off those four medications and running and cycling up to 100 kilometres a week.
Dave Proctor, of Okotoks, smashed a course record in the 100-miler in a time of 19 hours, 27 minutes. What makes it an even more spectacular feat is that Dave ran to Lethbridge from Okotoks (stopping in Charesholm for the night) then raced the Lost Soul 100-miler then home again over two days. That’s crazy and that’s about 170 kms on top of racing 100 miles. On Sunday morning, Dave announced he would run across Canada from Victoria, B.C., to St John’s, N.L., (7,200 kilometres) in 66 days to raise money and awareness about rare diseases. Find out more about the challenge and Dave’s motivation at XCanada4Rare.ca
So, you can see how tripping over a pebble, and missing a race, puts things into perspective.
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