Boy you guys, you are making me tear right up here. To think that my experiences and my writing can inspire? That means so much to me.
When I began to run and was trying to quit drinking I was looking for someone to guide me, someone that had been where I had been. I never did find that person.
I'm glad I can be that person to you.
Phil. You can do the 50 at Catalina. You know, when I did my first 50K at Afton, I almost died. GASP. Well, not really, but oh my gosh! I scared my friends TO DEATH.
There were about 8 of us running the trail. It was the first 50K for I and Bonnie and most of the other runners were there for us, for us to finish our first.
It was March of 02. I had the date wrong in previous post. I'm looking at the plaque Larry made for me , my JULIE BERG completed AFTON 50K 3-3-02, 7 hours, 50 minutes, FIRST ULTRA that hangs on my wall.
The snow was melting, it was wet and muddy and I had never run a trail in my life. Here I was running a 50K. I had listened at all of the meetings. The experienced runners were leading us. I had food in my pockets, had E-Caps (Salt + Potassium), a must if running over 4 hours, had plent of water. BUT I DIDN'T EAT THE FOOD OR TAKE THE E-CAPS. I drank a ton, too much, I know now.
I was coming up one of the last hills and damn, I couldn't make it up. I could not make it up. Don (ultrarunner extrodiannaire) was waiting for me at the top. "Come on Jules...what's up?" "I can't do it Don. I can't get up the hill. My quads are fried." He looked into my eyes and saw that I couldn't focus on him. My eyes were rolling. He was getting a bit nervous. He couldn't carry me out of there. He told me so. "Come on Jules...up a few more steps.." I tried. I finally got to the top. Then I don't remember any more. Don put his arm around my waist and helped me to the parking lot. Thank goodness we were only a 1/4 mile or so from the finish to the parking lot. I then remember sitting in the back of his truck, Bob was feeding me salt tablets and I couldn't talk. I was slurring, my eyes couldn't focus. I think it was hyponitermia. I'm sorry about the spelling. What I should do is write these entries in word then spell check and copy here.
Bonnie wanted to bring me to the hospital. The more experienced runners stated that by going to Toni's home (our original plan), warming me up, getting some salty soup into me, I should be fine.
They changed my clothes for me in the visitor center. I don't even remember it. My next memory is sitting in Toni's home with hot soup in my hand.
Eventually I felt better, I was fine. I sure learned a lot. I learned what NOT to do!
DO NOT forget to eat. DO NOT forget salt tablets.
This never happened to me again. I will not allow it. I eat every hour on the hour and take a salt cap every hour on the hour. I don't allow myself to drink over 24 oz an hour. Ever. I drink a lot. I drink fast. I could drink a case of beer in one night. I can drink a can of Diet Pepsi in 30 seconds.
2 weeks after this run was the Trail Mix 50K. I brought Cliff bars and gels and had one each and every hour. I finished in fine form in 6:15. No problems. I was so relieved.
3 weeks later was the the Ice Age 50 miler. My first. The time limit was 12 hours. Guess when I finished?
11:59:30. I finished!! Bob was at the finish and knew I was coming in..eventually. He ran down the course and found me and said RUN JULIE RUN! You have 4 minutes to finish this thing! RUN. I went as fast as I could and was the second to the last finisher that received a buckle that day.
I and Marie went on to run Voyaguer 50 the following month. It took us 14 freaking hours...the limit was 13. They still let us finish.
I have come in dead last more than once. I figured I could only improve. And improve I have. Last year I ran the Voyaguer 50 in 10:45. Yeah!
Phil, don't worry if your wife can't support you. I would love to have Steve and Tyler and Troy as my crew at every race or working the aid station or being there and just getting into it. They aren't. That is not them and that's OK. At least they aren't UNSUPPORTIVE of me.
Never have they complained at all about the running. They tell their friends that Mom runs 50 miles and a 100. I know they are proud. Steve has never asked me to let up on the running, never. I ask them to attend each race; or at least say 'would you like to come?' Usually they don't want to and that's OK. When they want to come along, I know I got lucky that time around!
I've never had an injury, I don't think I'm over-doing this. It is funny what becomes normal, depending who you are hanging with. I suppose it is my addictive personality coming through in another way. My drinking has been replaced with running. I'm OK with that.
Thank you again for the kind comments. I'm just floored. Truly. I can't believe it.
Today was 15 miles on the trail. It was lovely. Topaz chased up 8 deer and a raccoon! I have never seen one out there before..he was trying to dig up last year's acorns. I was thinking about the Rocky Raccoon 100 miler in Texas, February, as we came upon him. I figured it was a good omen...