Posts Tagged With: 100 miles

Across the Years

I know I say it all the time, but my kids are amazing. Going into Across the Years they all had different goals, the littlest Littles mostly just being excited for cookies. Tea had hopes of finishing 100 miles in less then 72 hours since she “played too much” ( her words) last year. So I settled in to help as I could and roll with whatever happened.

Tea finished 25 the first day and was a little upset with herself. She wasn’t focused and when I broke down the numbers she was upset with herself. With a promise from me to help push her more the next couple of days she was able to sleep well that first night. The next day the goal was rough, 40 miles. I knew I had to call in reinforcements to help her along the way. My poor sisters boyfriend got roped in and ran more miles (and more time) then he ever had before. Fifteen miles with a 9-year-old that was in pure heaven watching him suffer! She can be a little evil at times… Tea joined other friends along the course and we even did a family loop. She stopped at 39 for the day knowing she had one more big day ahead…. 36 miles before dark. While most of the finally day she cruised with big people friends (thank you all for the help!), at times she was alone and that was rough. I was able to join her for the last couple and we held on to each other while we walked through the cold evening. She wanted to be finished so badly at miles 97 and 98 (who doesn’t) and there were tears. The morning was not an option for her to finish (I didn’t have them in the morning) so we had to keep pushing on if she wanted to finish. She sat before her last loop and suddenly she was alive! Tajh and +1 joined us on the last loop and Tea spent time making fun of them both and slapping Tajh with her long sleeves, because at mile 99 you can hit your brother as long as you are both laughing! And she finished. 100 miles in 61 hours and 45 minutes WITH at least 18 hours of sleeping. This girl… How awesome is she? Her goofy “100 mile I’m a crazy little girl” attitude always makes me smile. She pushed through the rough moments and as always finished with a smile on her face. True badass.

Waking up in the cold on day 2. No one was happy to leave the tent!

Waking up in the cold on day 2. No one was happy to leave the tent!

"hey Tea I'm going to take a bathroom selfie" "NO" I win!

“hey Tea I’m going to take a bathroom selfie” “NO” I win!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Getting a normal picture of a 9-year-old hopped up on a 100 mile high is just never going to happen.

Getting a normal picture of a 9-year-old hopped up on a 100 mile high is just never going to happen.

 

Little Tay loves being free to run off into the desert at this race. The kids found the perfect area and had their own little fort. They were gone doing their thing and every so often came in to get food and run a lap. He had no real goal along the way, but when he realized a 50k was possible over the 72 hours he got a little more serious. He’s my fast kid and has just recently started showing interest in racing. His little feet were pounded and painful, but every now and then he set out to add some miles.  I’m somewhat sad I did have a GPS on him to know how many extra miles he did while playing! My very proud Little Buddy finished his first 50k in 3 days (And he may have eaten more then his fair share of cookies along the way).

Crazy Boys at night!

Crazy Boys at night!

Tenny wanted to race, she wanted to go alone on loops from the get go! She ran with whoever she could each day (never enough for her) and played the rest of the time. Cookies were exciting for her, but she probably would have ran just to run. Competition is a big motivator for her and she was happy to run ahead then stop and wait for Tru and I to catch up while doing hand stands in the grass. Tenny finished with 13 miles over the 3 days. A PR for her for sure.

Because you just have to hold hands before the start of your big race.

Because you just have to hold hands before the start of your big race.

So fast!

So fast!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finishing a loop with Tajh.

Finishing a loop with Tajh.

There may have been a little 6 day zombie shuffling going on...

There may have been a little 6 day zombie shuffling going on…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tru was stoked to run. If you remember, the last time he had a bib on the refused to move from the starting line and gave me a stern “NO” when I even suggested it. This was the perfect race for him, no pressure, no time he actually had to start, and all his siblings were out there somewhere. The race began and he was moving! and then he stopped, threw his hat, and yelled “NO”….. Thanks Tru. We walked that loop and he played the rest of the day. The next day he asked to run again and this time seemed much more motivated, he’s getting it! The final day we walked most the loop together but as we came into the finish he told me he wanted to run. I began trotting along and he stopped dead in his tracks, told me I wasn’t allowed to run, and sprinted to the finish. JERK! Fine, I let him win… Tru finished 3 miles, I’m very proud of my Little Bug.

Tantrums 1/4 mile in.

Tantrums 1/4 mile in.

He is lucky he is so cute!

He is lucky he is so cute!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some pretty cute sleepers cuddling for warmth!

Some pretty cute sleepers cuddling for warmth!

 

 

Tajh may have made me the most proud at the race. He told me he didn’t want to race and I offered having him help me with the Littles so I could be there for those that needed me. Surprisingly he agreed and even promised to run with some if they needed it. He was a great babysitter, I love watching him play with little Tenny and Tru and I know how special that time is for all of them. At some point Tru came up to me and I noticed cookie on his face… “hey buddy did you steal a cookie” “No Tajhie gave it to me”… umm…. Apparently, like any good babysitter, he was using cookies to get them to behave. Well played Tajh… well played… I couldn’t be angry and just asked that we slow down on the bribery for a while. While it warmed my heart to just see him play with his siblings, I was truly impressed with how caring he was to Tea. Multiple times he asked if he could run with her (to which she adamantly refused since apparently he talks too much as a pacer and only talks about minecraft) and on day 3 I kept finding him with food and drinks for her. I told him how proud I was and asked why he was trying to help her so much “well because I’ve run 100 miles over 6 days and know how much it hurt, I can’t imagine how much she hurts right now” AWWWW!! I am beyond proud of Tajh. His kind heart is hard to find some days, and his nose is always so deep in a book he can’t hear his siblings, but when he comes back to the real world I am thankful.

Little People running free.

Little People running free.

Between the pride in my heart, the long days with my Littles outside and their little rosy cheeks from days of sun, my world is pretty awesome. I do have to say how insanely excited I was to see so many kids out there. So many people telling us how my Little inspired theirs, so many kids pushing their limits with a smile on their face, how rad is that? To top it off getting to spend so much time with all our Big People friends? Man did my Littles and I have a great time!

Family Lap selfie.

Family Lap selfie.

All my Peeps.

All my Peeps.

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Categories: Running | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Why Crewing is Harder Than Running 100 miles.

Crewing is harder than running 100 miles. That’s right, I said it.  Look, you train for 100 miles (in theory). It’s you goal to finish, to PR, to win, whatever, but it’s yours. Then you rope in friends, family, whoever to spend day and night (and maybe day again) taking care of you. There is no training to crew (unless you count daily life with children). We are thrown into this crazy world that YOU chose and we play the hurry up and wait game. All the while you run, that’s it! You just have to put on foot in front of the other! How nice that must be…

I have 5 kids, I know how to handle little people, this makes me a great crew person. Every ultra runner pulls a Benjamin Button at some point in 100 (even front runners to a degree). They forget to eat and drink, can’t speak, and possibly have soiled their pants. They need a Mom. They need someone to think for them. They need help. As the crew person it is your job to know your runner. To know when they will make mistakes. To know when they need help. To brief their pacer even after they have, “now he said he won’t want you to tell him to drink more, but do it anyway”. So Mom you become, and being a Mom is hard.

Now lets add in the driving all over the place. Directions are great in theory, but when you are in the middle of nowhere with no cell service and directions that the race director came up with, “yeah that’s good enough, everyone knows where mount Timmy is and they will totally understand the aid station is to the left most corner of the right face”,  it’s stressful. What if you are late? You have everything they need! What if this messes up their entire race? It’s a lottery race they will never get in again! YOUR race lies in MY hands and I’m in the middle of nowhere…. Heart attack time.

And now it’s dark. Yay. I really don’t like the dark as it is, and I’m tired. A little nap? No time for that. All those splits they gave you? yeah they are totally off them now. You have been trying your best all day to predict when they will come in and they screw with you every time. Don’t they know this is messing with your game? No nap, push through, light will come, shit I haven’t ate or drank anything all day…

Eventually they finish. You are elated for them. Now they want to relive EVERY second of the race with you. While you try and pin your eyelids open and convince then you aren’t sleeping through their exciting tales they decide they need EVERYTHING from the care parked nearly 20 miles away (or 50 yards, whichever). You feed them, change them (maybe just bring them a change of clothes but it’s all the same), and get them warm. Sleep? I would love some… Then they ask about your day, how everything when for you ALL day long. The moment you begin sharing they beginning snoring… Sigh…

Now if your runner drops it’s even worse! All you will hear about for the next 2 months is the “shoulda”, “coulda”, “woulda”… There is no winning. You will agree they shouldn’t have quit and they will be upset that you didn’t push them. You will tell them they could have kept going and they will convince you they couldn’t have walked another step (although they did walk down to the car to leave, but who’s counting).

Alas, the panic attack, Mothering, stressing, multiple runs to the car, driving, getting lost, lugging huge bags, planning stuff, overthinking, organizing, reorganizing, life of a crew person is hard. You silly runners putting one foot in front of the other for 100 miles have it pretty darn easy.

Categories: Running | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Crewing for 5.

What did I do this weekend? Well crewed my +1 at a 100 mile race with my four littlest Littles of course!

Let me just say here, my +1 is a very talented runner. Not only is he talented, he has a no quit attitude everyone should be jealous of. I often spend my “free” time crewing telling people how wonderful he really is. Watching him race is always a mixture of pride, admiration, stress, anxiety, and joy. I love every minute of it! But enough about him (he can write his own report!) this is about ME!

We left Friday, late. Now mind you, we had ZERO plan, but I like leaving early in the morning and that just didn’t happen. We honestly just decided to head out around 10:45, with zero snacks, toys, music, or any other “keep the kids busy” activities. I am the Queen of road trips so this is very unlike me. Between leaving late and overall feeling terrible, I was off my game. I spent the ride sleeping, sternly informing the children of how I WAS trying to sleep, and passing them snacks when they refused to say quiet. Oh and freaking out at them to not make a mess since we were not in our van. Yup, I am a clean nazi at times. We arrived at the end of the pre-race briefing and headed to our camping spot.

Like I had thought, camping was way too close for comfort for me. I wouldn’t normally mind, but a bunch of people trying to get to bed early while my little hoodlums who have been trapped in a car or hours throw a tent party did not seem like a good idea to me.  I sent +1 to the tent for the night and the Littles and I took the car (no big deal really). We listened to music and chatted until way too late and finally fell asleep.  You know what is awesome? Being awoken at midnight to a toddler SLEEPING ON TOP OF YOU POOPING IN HIS PANTS. Yup, fully asleep and having terribly sick poop in his pants… perfect. Life? yeah, couldn’t be better. So I grab some paper towels and get to cleaning. Ugh… who needs sleep before crewing all day?

It sure was a pretty view to wake up to though.

It sure was a pretty view to wake up to though.

We awake and head to the start. Nothing too exciting here… just a bunch of people heading out for 100 miles

+1 is there somewhere. Photo by a 9-year-old that clearly is still asleep.

+1 is there somewhere. Photo by a 9-year-old that clearly is still asleep.

 

And off we headed back to camp. A spot the runners would come through but we could not crew from this time. The kids hung with friends, well except Tru… He got exiled to the car for a much-needed nap. See, here’s where I am a genius (actually not just here, I am a flipping genius always),  I bought an awesome baby monitor. Before our trip last summer I needed a way to leave the children in a place (car, tent) and walk a short distance away (locking said car AND with them strapped in their car seats). If anyone wants in (or out!) I will hear the car AND I can hear if someone in the car wakes up and needs something. So Tru napped, Bigs played, and I watched across the lake for +1. He rolled in, I waved, he didn’t wave back, and we headed to the next spot we could crew from.

Kids and new friends. Life is good. so far...

Kids and new friends. Life is good. so far…

I tried to nap, kids made a mess, I cleaned it up, gave +1 his two new bottles, he ran off, headed to the next spot. My head hurts… Oh the crew life.

Honestly, things were working alright.

The kids passed the time-

IMG_0930

A little racing up mountains.

Oh and playing with nasty horse water. SAVE THE BUGS!

Oh and playing with nasty horse water. SAVE THE BUGS!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I should have offered him his ultimate direction pack with ice in it here, but I didn’t. I promised it at the next crew spot and sent him along. Moving on.

Now +1 can usually be found in the front of the pack at a race. I count on him being near the same people he has been so I can usually judge when he is coming in. Not only that, I can usually look at the distance and elevation (guessing terrain) and guess pretty well when he will be coming in. So when he was late, the kids were pissed. The questions, interrogations really, of when +1 was coming in, where is he, what happened, and WHY oh WHY is he not here yet?!?! began flooding in.

“Snacks, we need snacks lady!”

“No, I need to watch for +1. He can come in any minute!”

Tru falls asleep on my back

IMG_0937

Tenny falls asleep on the pavement, basically in the runners way.

yeah...

yeah…

Tru wakes up.

“SNACKS”

Tay who has been holding +1’s pack with ice like a diligent little crew man gives up, hands me the pack, and heads to play.

Finally get word +1 missed a little out and back section and went back to check in at the aid station… Oh goodness this is no good…

Tenny wakes up.

“SNACKS!”

Me- Watching…watching… watching… not +1 not +1 not +1

Oh shit I haven’t seen Tay in a while…send Tea to check on him… OH! There is +1! Tea come help!

He isn’t in the best of moods but also isn’t a disaster like I would have expected. I give him some caffeine, his pack, and food and send him on his way. Tay apparently was building an awesome fort with a friend he had met and was having a great time, thank goodness someone had fun on this stop! On to the next one, and some snacks., lots and lots of snacks.

More fun was had! Apparently sticks and pine cones make for a great crew game of baseball!

Creativity makes the time go by.

Creativity makes the time go by.

Next stop the kids saw their friends from camp and were super stoked to play for a few minutes. I started to notice +1 was making a move up but tried to not show my extreme excitement. The kids had a ton of snacks but were definitely showing signs of the long day.

Somehow shoes became an issue. Crew lady and baby mover, I'm on it.

Somehow shoes became an issue. Crew lady and baby mover, I’m on it.

Back to our horse water/running up a mountain spot from before. We met some nice people who offered my kids a warm shower. Should I be offended or not? The Ladies decided to clean up their hands and feet a little and Tay checked out an awesome conversion van with a pop up. Tru wrecked himself-

"It's blood"

“It’s blood”

PLEASE don't clean it!

PLEASE don’t clean it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tenny wrecked herself, and in all the waiting Tru fell asleep on me and +1 came in. Crewing with a sleeping baby in your arms is not so easy. Luckily he isn’t too needy and headed off.

One sleeping kid stayed sleeping, another fell asleep in my arms while waiting in the dark at the next aid station. Said Little Lady who shall remain nameless decided to awake from the dead (asleep) to scream, since clearly she needed to crew +1 and not sleep in the car. Look, it was dark and she fell asleep, I needed hands free. +1 had been slowly moving up and I knew that would only continue. Tea join her in the car, I spotted +1’s light coming in, Tay and I gave him what he needed and set him moving again as fast as we could. I was giddy inside with how well he was doing and that brought a new but of wind to my tired sails.

Now the drive to put everyone to sleep. I had one more spot (campsite) where I could crew him before the finish. For once this crewing journey I was alone and so happy to see my +1 roll in. He had an amazing couple miles and I could tell he was ready to race to the finish. I sent him off again, excited to have my day of crewing with kids coming to and end, and excited to see him finish!

I hoped back in the car…Oh shit, what’s that smell?? Oh yeah.. shit… So Tru and his *poop in him pants while sleeping* last night was special, but again tonight?!? Then it all makes sense, he REFUSED to use a non real bathroom all day AND refused to go outside. Ugh… does he know what family he is a part of?!?! Pooping outside is what we do! So now I find myself at a boat dock restroom in the middle of the night cleaning poop off a toddler I had to stir awake… luckily he was someone cooperative. Off we went to the finish!

Watching +1 finish was amazing. Not only did he wreck the second half (I told you he was talented), but I also managed to pull off crewing with 4 Little People in tow. YAY! Although exhausted from the day, they did (mostly) enjoy spending their day crewing (or is that just the promise of a beach day?).We all survived! With some cuts and bruises maybe, but we survived!

Let me just say it here, Crewing IS harder than racing. Yup that’s right, and I’ll say it to your face! I am tired, sore, and I’m pretty sure I could eat my weight in food. So now I’ll get back to letting the children watch TV while I *try to nap.

My life currently in a panoramic photo.

My life currently, in a panoramic photo.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: My world as a Single Mom of 5 kids | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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