January 3, 2019. That is a day to rival all days.
In the history of days,
January 3 is THE day.
It is a badass day.
It is almost as cool as April 1 (my anniversary)… it is THAT GOOD.
Yes, I know that was 2 days ago…. But it was such a BIG day that it took me a little time to digest and to be able to write about it. For so many reasons…
First, January 3 was my paternal grandma’s birthday. She was my “mamaw” (for you Big Bang Theory fans, she was my “Memaw”). She died years ago after she spent several miserable years in an old folks’ home. I hated visiting her because every time she would cry and beg me to take her home… but I miss those visits. She was my dad’s mom (my “dad” was not my biological dad but I don’t think she knew that). When I was little, she would take care of me when mom and dad worked. She spoiled me. She bought me Calvin Klein jeans in the 1980s when my parents could not afford it. I loved her as much as my parents. And I miss her. Happy belated birthday, Mamaw…. I so wish you were still here.
This is my Mamaw and my dad (her son) and my 4 kids…
But January 3 was also a big day… a HUGE day…. For other reasons.
January 3, 2019 was a day I struck the ultramarathon lottery! This is seriously awesome stuff. Like the stuff that dreams are made of.
OK – as you now, my biggest scariest race this year is the Leadville 100 miler.
I’s not my first scary race. That would be the Outlaw 100 that is just 42 days away. 42 days!! OMG! I am going to die…..
But assuming I do not die, Leadville is my “goal” race for 2019. It has strict time cut-offs. It is run at “heavenly” elevations. It scares the shit out of me.
Leadville is one of those races that requires help. I have other 100-mile races that I can do on my own… I mean, I want friends and family there, but I believe I could survive them without a pacer….. without someone running by my side and telling me I CAN finish and I CAN do this and I BETTER do this.
Leadville is not that race. Leadville is a bitch. Leadville requires timing, and dedication, and perseverance, and preparation. Leadville requires a pacer.
This is Leadville: https://www.leadvilleraceseries.com/run/
Leadville requires a pacer who can run at elevation and can deal with a lot of climbing. Hope Pass is 3,000 feet of elevation gain at miles 45 and 55. It requires focus and attention and determination when you are tired. It requires a pacer.
My ultra-running BFFs are Brandi and Tracie… and they committed to helping me at Leadville. They want me to beat that bitch! They are coming to crew me, to take care of me, to kick my ass when I need it. But they did not want to pace me. I don’t blame them. I would not want to pace me. I will be tired, I will be hurting, and I will need to push. I WILL be unhappy and I WILL be a bitch. They know this. But they love me. And this is why January 3 is so special….
On January 3 they told me that they had contacted an ultra-running superstar and she would be pacing me for the ENTIRETY of my last 5o miles of Leadville. They had contacted Jenna Powers…. Jenna Powers is going to be pacing ME! Wtf?!?!?!?
I knew of Jenna through Run the Year 2018 because she had done 40 races for her 40th birthday. Check it out here – https://40bibs.com/
This was the same Jenna Powers who conquered the Bigfoot 200, the Pigtails challenge 150 miler (in which she was 1st female) and the Umstead 100, as well as other ultramarathon races…
Brandi and Tracie had contacted her and asked her if she would be available to pace me for Leadville. On January 3, 2019 I learned that Jenna would be there in August, and that she WILL pace me for the last 50 miles of that Leadville dream.
I was in disbelief.
I still am!
I am a nobody. I am a 52-year-old woman who started running in 2017. But here I am, living the ultramarathoner’s dream, and preparing for the iconic Leadville 100 with Jenna Powers at my side.
OMG, people this is epic! This is amazing! I feel like I have won the lottery and I am over-the-moon excited!
Between now and then I have my first100 miler, the Outlaw 100, and Brandi and Tracie and my awesome hubby Corey will be there to help and to cheer me on and do whatever it takes to get me across that finish line (I expect lots of yelling and telling me to get may lazy ass in gear). Did I mention that is just 42 days away? <gulp>
Then there is the Little Rock Marathon with a bunch of friends from Run the Year, and then March 16 is the Pistol 100, which is supposed to be a ton of fun and where a lot of Run the Year runners will also be chasing dreams (and it is close to my daughter Liz and her kids (3 grandbabies) so I get to race and visit family). I am excited about those races. I am.
I am excited about February and March and the upcoming challenges … but more than anything I am excited about Leadville. I can’t believe that Jenna will be pacing me. And I am so amazed and in awe and totally in love with my running friends, Tracie and Brandi (who decided they would crew and pace me for Outlaw before I even knew I would do it) and who will be there for me at Leadville as crew and who contacted Jenna about being my pacer. They are amazing. They are the BEST. They are the stuff that friend fantasies are made of!
I started running in January 2017. It changed my life. I have made friends who believe in me more than I believe n myself. And it is awesome beyond words.
2019 is a year to look forward to for so many reasons… I will finish my first 100-mile race and I will run this year with friends, and I will watch them achieve their own awesome goals, and for the first time, ever, I am starting to believe I can finish the Leadville 100 within its strict time cut-offs.
January 3 is the day it all happened. January 3 is the day I think of my Mamaw and miss her more than any other day of the year. She loved me and she spoiled me and she believed in me…. she would have told me I could run (and finish) Leadville, or any other race, if I wanted it bad enough.
But she was not my only supporter. She is not the only one who believed in me. January 3, 2019 is the day that I learned I WILL finish Leadville 2019 within it’s 30-hour time limits because I have the best friends in the world and they made sure I have the best pacer, ever.
In 42 days, I run (and hopefully finish) my first 100-mile race.
But in 224 days I start (and definitely finish) one of the most iconic 100-mile races in the nation – the Leadville 100.
This. Is. Epic. And I am excited!!!