Two years ago, I supported Scott during his first 50 mile adventure at Stone Cat. Last year, I supported once again, while Scott ran “just” the marathon version of the course so he could help friend Andy during his first go at the Stone Cat 50. Each year I supported, I watched and learned. I became increasingly intrigued about what a 50 miler even felt like.... or how one even trains for 50 miles. With a great base and little to no injuries, I took the plunge in June and signed up for my first Stone Cat 50.
In early July, I officially started my training. I found a great training calendar that I felt worked for this normally low mileage kind of girl, I found some new bloggers who were also training for ultras or had ultras under the belt, and I watched this video. Over and over and over again….of Rebecca running her first Stone Cat 50 -
Scott found this video on youtube and, knowing me so well, knew I would find it inspirational. The thing is, I wasn’t inspired to somehow run an 8ish hour 50 miler like Rebecca. And there’s probably a 20 year difference between us (just sayin). What I was most inspired by was her demeanor, her clear command of the trails, and her positive attitude. Every time I watched this segment, I felt inspired. Watching that video became something I did when I was feeling beaten up by a run or feeling unsure of whether I could really finish this thing. It helped me visualize the course and the day I would ultimately run it myself. When Scott and I trained together over the summer, he sometimes encouraged me with “Channel your inner Rebecca!”. And so this youtube became part of my inspiration.
My biggest inspiration, however, comes in the form of Scott himself. When I expressed the desire to run Stone Cat 50 but knew I would be too afraid to do it alone (because I have no internal compass and was terrified of getting myself lost in the woods), Scott offered to run it with me and help me train as well as I could for this huge endeavor. We ran a number of our long runs on trails together including the big 31 miler. If I had a tough day or a particular dramatic fall, Scott encouraged me and helped me see past that difficult moment.
During the actual race this past Saturday, Scott supported me, paced me, pulled me back when needed, reminded me to fuel, and most of all, encouraged me. Just when I needed it, I would suddenly hear him say, “Do you know how proud I am of you?” or “Man, you are gutsy”. It would simultaneously recharge me and just about bring me to tears.
Happy tears. Purely happy tears.
Thank you Scott for always being my rock, for spending all those hours on your feet running at my pace for me, and for believing in me.
Race report coming....soon!!