Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Year end dealy.

Here we are, cats and kittens, on the brink of a new year. I don't do much in the way of New Year's resolutions, since I'm always struggling with day to day resolutions, but I still have quite an affinity for this time of year. I like the feeling of a fresh start, even if it's only in my mind.
Cats and kittens, ready to party into the new year.
As you may or may not remember, 2015 was the "Year of the Ultra". And it really was. I had set out to run at least one ultra distance per month. At my last count, I think I only missed the mark a couple of months. I ran 5 official ultra races, from 50K to 100K, and DNFd a sixth one. I managed to bang out hours and hours on the treadmill, binge watching Agents of Shield Once Upon a Time, and Supernatural, repeatedly logging 30+ miles in a single go. I avoiding injury all the way up to September, when I somehow pulled a hip muscle at the Little Grand Canyon marathon. I healed up in time to injure myself of the course at the Javelina Jundred. An injury which has healed enough to allow me to run in the Across the Years 24 hour race over New Year's Eve.
Nuff said.
I was pleased to be able to finish off the 2015 racing season with a fantastic event called the Baker's Dozen. This incredibly fun race is put on by ultra runner extraordinaire, Cory Reese. The point of the Baker's Dozen is to eat as many treats/pastries/doughnuts as you possibly can. Oh, and there's some running involved too, I guess.
An accurate representation.
I've run this race twice now, each time signing up thinking of the warmer weather that Southern Utah is known for. Except that both years that I've run this race, the weather has not been so cooperative... Last year, it was cold and rainy, this year was cold and windy. And not a gentle breeze either. Serious wind. It was fitting that the race was held in a town named Hurricane.
Pretending that we're not cold, like at all. Also, that arch in the background wouldn't be up for long. Because wind.
As you can see, I recruited some crazies to join in the fun. Jamie, Desaray, and I were in for the half marathon, Scott was in for the 5K (this will be important to remember later). As we lined up to start the race, Weird Al's "Eat It" was playing. So appropriate.
It's also important to remember that this race isn't officially timed. That's a good thing, because it takes quite a while to stuff your face at the Sugar Shack every 3.whatever miles, a task some took much more seriously than others. The person who ate the most treats ate over 60. Scott ate 10. I ate a whopping 4 treats. Yeah, I'm hard core.
Sugar shack, baby sugar shack. Tin roof. Rusted.
Scott decided he was going to stick with me through his 5K loop. It's always nice to have someone to share the miles with. We knew to look for the photographer to get our race jump picture taken. There's a contest for the best jump, so everyone was giving it their all.
I'm getting hit in the face by my braids. Most epic.
As we were getting through that first loop, I mentioned to Scott that since it wasn't timed, he could always get a little more mileage in and run the second loop with me. He was game. He runs the 10K distance fairly regularly now, so no big deal, right?
They had dirty Dr. Pepper, too. DELICIOUS.
I had lots of time to stand around and drink that Dr. Pepper while Scott ate even more tasty treats. He was so hopped up on sugar, he thought he'd go ahead and run the third lap with me as well. Why not?! On that lap, he ran the farthest he had ever run before. Another stop at the Sugar Shack and he was chomping at the bit to go the last lap with me.

So, I don't know anyone who accidentally runs a half marathon. Well, I mean, now I do. But I didn't before... Since I don't run a blistering pace, it was easy enough for him to keep going along with me. The wind was relentless, adding another element of difficulty to his accidental half. But when you get swept up in the running mania, wind means nothing.

We came in to the finish, where a most epic medal awaited us. We were fortunate enough to talk with Cory afterwards and upgrade Scott to the half so that he could get a medal too. He ran the distance, he deserved the medal! Cory is the nicest guy, and let quite a few people pay the difference and collect the sweet, sweet swag.
Half marathon finishers are so hot. Just look at that attractive group.
There were actually a lot of people that I knew at this race. So many friendly faces added to the party atmosphere. We're planning on an even bigger group for next year (Jill, Wade, we're planning on you being there). With great swag like this, how could you resist?!
That's good stuff, right there.
I can't think of a better race to have had as my 75th half. I highly recommend this party, errrr, I mean, race to anyone who likes a good time. Which I figure is all of you reading this. I don't think that fun haters read this blog... However, if you are a fun hater, feel free to comment and let me know you're out there!

I really need to gather up all of the medals I've earned so far and take one epic swag shot. It would be interesting to find out if I can stay standing under the sheer weight of that many medals... It's amazing what you can accomplish in just over 4 years of running. I've made some fantastic friends, been to some incredible places, and survived things I never thought possible.

I'm going to wrap up this little blogging adventure with a comic from Zen Pencils. It's too epic to try and paraphrase so click that link and enjoy it's awesomeness. No matter what your passion is, take a little bit of time and actually pursue it. You won't be sorry.

I spared you all the super mushy stuff for this year's wrap up. But know it was a good one, one I am incredibly grateful to have had. Here's to a new year of adventuring. Until next year, happy running!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Making bloggity blog efforts left and right.

All of the sudden there are people other than my mom and boyfriend reading this blog. Welcome, guy and gals! I'm happy to see all the wonderful comments and support. Iztok, come back to Daily Mile, man. We miss you.

Any who, it's been requested that I blog a little more often. That's probably not a bad idea, since I run enough races to do so.
Don't worry, people. I'm already signed up for a zillion races for next year.
I've got three more exciting race tales to tell in this blog, so buckle up. I gave myself three whole weeks to heal up from Javelina before jumping back into the race scene. I decided to ease back into it with a 5K. No biggie, right? Oh, I suppose I should mention that the 5K was the day before my next half marathon. But I'm jumping ahead.

My running friend, Geof, had talked me into running the Route 66 races in Tulsa, OK this year. Then he bailed on me. (For totally valid reasons and there's no hard feelings, I swear. For real, Geof. Stop making that face. You know the face I mean.) So anyway, I find myself in an annoying rental car, navigating my way around the vast, flat state of Oklahoma. I make my way to packet pick up without incident, only to be confronted with the longest line of people I have ever seen. I was starting to wonder if there was going to be sweet roller coaster or Star Wars movie premier at the end of the line.
Totally worth the wait. If it would have been there. But noooooooo.
No such luck on the roller coaster/Star Wars front, however. BUT I did finally get my race numbers. Hooray! You can't run without those babies. I was happy to see that I only had to wait behind one other person to pick up the shirt and jacket that were included with my race registration.

By the time I made it back to my hotel, I was completely knackered and promised myself that I would go nowhere else until race morning. Thank goodness there's such a thing as pizza delivery.
Hello, Heather. I am your pizza angel, here to save you from further commuting and/or starving to death alone in the Super 8.
I ordered myself the most giantest pizza they had, since there was a fridge in the hotel. This saved me from having to venture out and spend money on eating alone for most of the weekend. (Geof, seriously, it's fine. Stop with the face already!)
Artist's rendition of Geof reading this blog. I am not the artist... Thank you, random internet drawer for your image. If I find out who you are, you get all the kudos and credit. Because you totally nailed it.
I survive the night, which seemed to be a miracle to me, since the wind shook my hotel door the ENTIRE night, sounding like someone was trying to break in.
My thoughts, ALL night.
I was much relieved to see that I hadn't been murdered in the night and was looking forward to getting to run. I made sure to dress warm, since the temperatures were basically arctic. I had this silly notion that I would get too warm in my jacket after about a half a mile in, like normally happens. NOPE. Big ol' cup of nope.
You're reading this in a British accent.
I did get asked if I was running my first 5K while I was walking to the start line. I was surprised that I could hear the woman over the howl of the gale force winds, I just told her that I was also running the half the next day as well and left it at that. I figured she didn't need to hear about what I had survived three weeks earlier.

I had learned my lesson from last year that I shouldn't start in the back. I put myself in the first third of the crowd. This was ideal placement, meaning I didn't have to spend ages trying to pass the walkers. I could have finished faster than last year because of this smarty pants move, except that the wind was trying to push us all over.
At least we were badass rockstars as we got blown all over the roads.
I made it to the finish line and was hoping to stick around and watch the last finishers. I was able to make it about 10 minutes before I was shaking so hard I could barely stand. I shambled my way back to the rental car, cranked up the seat heater, Googled the nearest Starbucks, drove to the nearest Starbucks, and ordered the biggest cup of peppermint hot chocolate that they had. Once I was able to warm up a bit, I made my way back to the hotel for some sweet, sweet angel pizza.
I have to say, the swag was pretty worth the frigid temperatures. 

I spent most of the day in the hotel room, working on a crafty project that will be a Christmas gift. (You guys had no idea I did anything other than run races all the time. Your whole perception of me has been blown out of the water! But really, I mostly just run races...)

I was able to go out that evening and meet some internet running friends in real life, Chuck and Kim. It was nice to have dinner with some friendly faces after my nearly two days of isolation and hermitude. (Geof, the face again. Like I don't know you're making it.)  Then it was off to bed to rest up for what would be half marathon number 73.

Thankfully, the night was not as windy as the previous and I was able to sleep soundly. I managed to find a parking space in the crowded streets of downtown Tulsa and headed for the corrals. There were so many people. I was in corral C, the second to last corral. I have to say, corrals are a nice system, Again, I didn't have to spend much time trying to pass people, because we were all going about the same pace.
Waiting for the starting gun!
When the countdown hit zero, two giant confetti cannons went off, which is pretty fun, in case you've never had the pleasure. I started off feeling pretty good. I was bundled up in my jacket and gloves, even though the day was warmer than the previous. I started to worry again that I was going to get to warm, but then a gust of chilly wind would remind me that I wanted very much to keep those things on.
We run past this lovely art museum. They made me feel pretty.
I really enjoy being in a race this big. When there are 15,000 other runners, you're never by yourself. That's a big deal to a gal who finds herself alone for the majority of smaller races. Also, with that many people, even having a bad race means I won't finish last. Yay!

So I was cruising along with all my fellow corral C-ers, doing my best to avoid the cracks that are ever present on the Tulsa roads. That's really my only complaint about this race. The roads need some serious repair. I took my eyes off the ground for a moment around mile 6 and was rewarded with an ankle tweak. Of course it was the ankle that I injured during Javelina. I managed to tweak it again just after mile 7. That when things really started to be unpleasant. My pace slowed quite a bit as I could feel my ankle starting to swell. I was on track for a decent finish time until then.
I was walking a lot at this point, so I might as well take a picture of this cool sign. Plus, there was a wizard.
I struggled my way along to the finish, stopping once more to take a picture of my favorite Tulsa thing: the penguin statue. There are quite a few penguin statues scattered throughout the city. Make sure to look for them when you go.
Isn't it neat?!
I finished in barely over three hours; I had wanted a sub three, but considering the ankle, I was okay with it. I made my way through the finish area to Maniac Corner. Let me tell y'all about Maniac Corner. It's a magical place where members of the Marathon Maniacs and Half Fanatics can go to hang out, post race. They give you a special finisher's medal, delicious food, and a front row seat to the finish line. I picked up that special medal, and a delightful pulled pork sandwich, and made my way over to the fence to watch the finishers. I ended up spending nearly two hours watching runners come in. I bawled like a baby off and on while watching the finishers. I had my sunglasses on, so I don't think anyone noticed.

There is something so amazing about watching people finish a race. You'll see some people that are struggling, every step is agony. Some people have the biggest grins on their faces. You see all shapes and sizes. Old and young. People helping each other along. sometimes being the only thing keeping each other standing up and moving forward. They are all accomplishing something incredible. Running is not an easy thing, and running for hours upon hours is certainly no small feat. So I cry. I dare you not to cry when you witness this for yourself.
Me, at the finish line. NOT an exaggeration. 
I was thankful that the weather was much nicer, the sun was out, the wind had died down. I wouldn't have missed watching those finishers for anything. I'm telling you, hang out at finish lines once in a while. Your faith in humanity will grow three sizes.
Not a bad haul, if I do say so myself.
I made it home safely, obviously, since I'm writing this... And it's a good thing, because I had another race to run on Thanksgiving day. It was an especially exciting race because Scott, the boyfriend, would be running the 5K!

So, you know how I said that it was cold in Tulsa? It was MUCH colder here. Whee! Race morning greeted us with subzero temperatures (if we're using Celcius, and we should because subzero sounds way better than sub 32 degrees).
We're trying not to look like we're freezing to death. 
We had matching sweaters, thanks to a mix up in shipping from the lovely folks at Ink n' Burn. I didn't mind, the sweaters are pretty amazing. Too bad it was so cold that we had to wear jackets over the sweaters for the entirety of our races.
Scott, rocking the 5K, freezing his booty off.
It turns out that Scott is actually one hell of a runner and took 4th place in his age group (out of 47 people!) and finished with his best time for the distance, ever. Not bad for a first race. I was only about 5 miles into the half when I received a text with the good news. I was so sad that I wasn't at the finish to see him, but half number 74 wasn't going to run itself...
Hey, look! I'm smiling while running. I guess that means I still like it.
My ankle did start to protest somewhat at mile 10, but that's not too bad, considering it had only been three full days between Route 66 and the Thankful 13. The swelling went down very quickly after the race and my training runs since have been pretty uneventful, so it seems like it won't be too much of a problem in the future.
The shirt has thumb holes. Best shirt ever.
With half marathon 74 successfully completed, I just have a couple more races to finish out the year. I'll be running half number 75 this weekend at the Baker's Dozen. It promises to be most epic. I'll finish off the year with my third timed event, the Across the Years 24 hour race. Which I feel woefully unprepared for, just so you know. Seriously. Since Javelina, there have been no runs longer than half marathon distance. At least with timed events, there's not too much pressure. I do have a mileage goal of 75 miles. We'll see how long it takes for me to throw that goal right out the window... And hey, it's only 9 weeks until my 48 hour race at the Jackpot Ultrarunning Festival. Like that won't kill me with how little I've been training these days. Yeah. Okay.

I'll leave you with that for now, and until next time, happy running!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

It. Is. Time.

I think it's finally time, cats and kittens. Time to talk about what happened to me during the Javelina Jundred. Here's a picture of a javelina to get you in the mood.
The babies! I die from their cuteness. 
The day is October 30, 2015. I arrive in sunny Fountain Hills, Arizona to await my fate on the Pemberton trail system of the McDowell Mountain Resort.
A thoroughly marked course means I didn't get lost. Hooray!
We went out to the race start/finish to check out the area and get a feel for the place. This trip to the venue the night before was also to (hopefully) allay my fears for the coming day. Spoiler alert: it did nothing of the sort.
Oh good. This looks promising.
While the desert was stunning, what with the giant saguaros looming over their domain, it did not quiet the screaming in the back of my mind.
Me. In my mind.
I tried to focus on the beauty of my surroundings and not the fact that I would be spending 61.2 miles in the desolate desert. 
This is not my beautiful house, this is not my beautiful wife. How did I get here?!
My face in the picture above conveys the cluelessness and confusion that comes with realizing that I  paid money to be here and do this. 
I only had to do 4 laps, not 7 like those suckers in the hundred miler. Pictured with the lap signs is a former Javelina participant. 
After sufficiently exploring the area and doing nothing to calm my nerves about the adventure of the next day, we headed back to the hotel. We decided to just have dinner at the restaurant that was connected to the hotel. It was a wise choice. They had a most delightful beef stroganoff. I made sure to finish off dinner with an ice cream sundae. For all I knew, it was my last meal and I was going to make the most of it. 

Despite all of my expectations, I slept fairly soundly and didn't have any pre-race nightmares. I had meticulously arranged my gear for the morning and just had to focus on getting dressed and eating breakfast. In this case, breakfast was two strawberry Poptarts. I'm pretty sure those are the breakfast of champions, or something.
Yeah, that's totally a breakfast that champions eat. I mean, look at those sprinkley bits! 
I made it to the shuttle bus without incident and we headed off to the start, Javelina Jeadquarters. I noticed that Mirna of Fat Girl Running was on my bus. I geeked out a bit, because I love her blog. I didn't dare say anything to her then, I waited until we were lined up at the starting line. Because by that point, I was so freaked out, I couldn't even string together coherent sentences. It was the perfect time to try and and talk to someone I admire. 
The desert sunrise is worth waking up for. And then going back to bed instead of running 100K. That would have been the wise thing to do.
Anywho, the countdown went way too quickly and the race began. What I love about these longer distances, is the way that everyone starts out at a nice leisurely pace, e.g. walking. We're going to be out there for a long freaking time! Better take it easy, amiright?!

That pretty much sums up my ultra running strategy. 
The course at Javelina is a 15.3 mile loop. This is important, so remember it. There may be a quiz at the end. After leaving Jeadquarters, we came to our first aid station at only 2 miles in. Hmmm. This seems like odd placement for an aid station, I thought to myself. This theme of odd aid station placement would plague me throughout the run. 
Pffffffft. That's not even that far. I'LL BE FINE.
On that first lap, 6.5 miles didn't even seem that bad. But trust me, it got progressively farther as each lap progressed. But I digress. The first lap was actually quite pleasant. I tried to just soak up the scenery, take pictures, and chat with other runners. 
Hey look! Scenery! 

It was seriously pretty out there. So here's a bunch of pictures to prove my point. 

Whoa, that's some scenery! 

Holy cow! Would you look at that!

And here I am, in the scenery!

Okay, that there? That's just cool.
Lap one went as planned. I completed it in about four and a half hours. I wasn't breaking any land speed records, but I was on track for the 18 hour finish that had been predicted for my by Ultra Signup. 

I fueled up at Jeadquarters and while there was helped by a very nice gentleman. He filled my pack with ice water and even offered me some ice for my bra. In the Arizona heat during an ultramarathon, that's not even weird. It's quite welcome.

So I headed out for my second lap, all iced up and ready for action. Or so I thought. It was getting pretty darn warm out there. And all the ice in the world couldn't change that. I had to slow my pace dramatically in order to avoid heat stroke. At least I had the good sense to do so. I heard that others were not so sensible. 
I was really starting to dislike the heat, however, and by the time I rolled into Jeadquarters for the second time, I was mostly looking like death.
Artist's rendition of me at the end of lap 2.

The heat had been making it difficult for me to stay on top of my nutrition. Basically, that means that I hadn't been eating enough. And that equals bonking, big time. At least there was a friendly face to greet me when I came in from lap 2. Turd'l (of the Capitol Reef 50K DNF  debacle) was there and gave me an encouraging pep talk.

I made myself eat some pizza at Jeadquarters. It was the pizza of angels. I drank an enormous amount of Coke. It was the Coke of angels. I refilled my pack with, you guessed it, the ice of angels. Once I had been fortified by the foods of the heavenly host, I felt much better about heading out for my third lap. Extra bonus, lap three is where the sun went down! Woot! 

Here's where things get crazy, y'all. My third lap was absolutely incredible. "How can it be incredible when you've already gone 31 miles?!" you ask. The answer is: I have no friggin' idea. But it was! The temperature went down and my pep level went sky high. Pep, guys. I was irritatingly cheerful. I was totally stoked about the rattle snake that was crossing the trail in front of me. (It was far enough away I was in no danger, but a dude coming the other way was having a bit of a fit about it.) We let the snake pass and kept on keeping on. 
They're really kind of beautiful... When they're far enough away not to bite you.
That was pretty much the only wildlife encounter that I had. Unless we count the coyotes that I heard howling as the moon came up. Which I thought was pretty incredible. The moon was rising at the same time as Orion was, the coyotes were whooping it up. And everything was the most magical that it could possibly be. Until mile 42,

Mile 42. The place where the magic ended and the pain took hold in a vicious, unrelenting vice grip. Here's what happened. The trail had some seriously rocky sections. Rocky sections equal ankle tweaking, right? Right. So after a that many miles of slightly tweaking my right ankle, an injury occurred. 

My ankle, and more specifically, my Achilles' tendon had begun to swell, pushing against my shoe in a most uncomfortable manner. It slowed my pace to a crawl, almost literally. The only reason that I didn't actually resort to crawling was the numerous cacti along the course. Those spiny bastards will get you. They don't mess around. 
Yeah, we don't mess around!
I hobble into Jeadquarters to find my mom waiting for me. She can tell I'm not doing so hot. But she also knows better than to try and talk me into quitting. I sat with her awhile, eating Ramen noodles, which were basically the only thing that I could get down any more. I tried to eat some more pizza at the end of lap three, but two bites in I knew that was NOT going to be okay.
This NEEDS to be my new ultra running hat.
I spent far too long trying to psych myself up to head out for that last lap. Another 15.3 miles wouldn't be too bad, if I could walk as well as a teetering toddler. Alas, my walk was not nearly so graceful and quick as that. I came up with a mantra while I was slurping down those Ramen noodles. "I didn't come here to quit." And I hadn't! I didn't spend two days in drive time, all the money on gas, hotel, and race entry, and I didn't spend my entire year training just so I could quit. The time limit for the 100K is 29 hours. I could make it. 

I said my farewells, and slowly hobbled back out onto the course for my fourth and final lap. I knew that the 18 hour goal was not going to happen. Not. At. All. It was 17 hours and change when I headed out on that last lap. I desperately wanted to beat the sunrise. So I adopted this really awkward shuffle that I would do off and on. It at least made me feel like I was moving along slightly faster than a lame sloth. 

And then, my watch died. This is where things got to be the worst. I had nothing to tell me how far I had gone, how fast I had gone. How long until the next aid station?! I'll never know! It's dark. All the cactus look the same in the dark, in case you were wondering. They're lousy at helping you get your bearings in the middle of the night, in the desert of Arizona. I was probably clocking 25-30 minute miles at this point. Every uneven step that I took with my right foot sent agonizing pain shooting up my leg. 

I thought I would never reach Jackass Junction, the aid station halfway through the loop. I kept asking passing runners how far it was and not getting the answers I was hoping for. When I finally made it, I wasn't sure I was ever going to leave. They had a warming tent and grilled cheese sandwiches. Do you know how amazing a grilled cheese sandwich is in the wee hours of the morning on a cold desert night? It's downright mind blowing.
I am the sandwich of your salvation.
I eventually pried myself from the bench I had been occupying and continued to hobble my way down the trail. The runners that I did see were all very encouraging and friendly. They could tell I wasn't doing well and most asked if there was anything that they could do. Runners look out for each other, and that's pretty great.
In the middle of the desert, running an ultra.

After I was a couple of miles out of Jackass, I couldn't take the pressure on my ankle any more. I began to look for, what I decided to call them, sitting rocks. Rocks that were just enough off of the ground and flat enough to sit on. I would do a thorough snake and scorpion check before lowering myself down onto each sitting rock I found. I spent many a minute sitting on rocks during that last lap. I knew that sitting every couple of minutes wouldn't get me to the finish any faster, but I was too tired and hurt to care. 

I knew if I could just make it to the Coyote Camp aid station, the finish would only be two miles away (at the rate I was going, that was still another hour, but hey). It took an eternity to get there. I could see Coyote Camp gleaming in the distance, mocking me with their ever receding lights. I swear, it kept getting farther away the more I moved toward it. 

An awful thing happened as I finally trudged my way into Coyote. The sun came up. I wasn't supposed to see the second sunrise! I was supposed to be snuggled in my comfy hotel bed when the sun came up again, with my belt buckle of victory resting on the nightstand. But nooooooooo. I had been out there long enough that the earth had made a full rotation around the sun. WTF.

I was now a meager two miles from the finish line. I spent those two miles intermittently sobbing. And I mean sobbing. It wasn't some gentle tears running down my cheeks. It was full blown, chest heaving, noise making, sobbing. It really impressed the other runners still out on the trail with me (all but two of whom were running the 100 miler). But I could hear the announcer at Jeadquaters. I was so close! All I had to do was keep moving. 

I gave everything I had to do a limping shuffle jog into the finish, I tried to hide how much it hurt. I don't think I was very successful...
I am in sooooo much pain right now.

I had done it. It was over. 
Please, let me sit down forever and never move again! 
Except for the part where one of the volunteer ladies tried to get me to go out on another lap because she thought I was in the hundred mile race. I told her to check my bib, that I was in the 100k, and to give me my buckle now, please. I wanted that damn buckle so bad. I was pleased to see that it was quite hefty. I would have been a bit sad if it were some flimsy little thing.
The Precious.
It took me 24 hours and 34 minutes to finish this race. The last lap alone took nearly 8 hours. But I did it. I finished. There were 33 people in the 100k who did not finish. And I completely understand it. That course is not to be trifled with. I don't hate it, though. 
The swag was pretty great, you guys. Totally a good reason to do it again.

I would go back and do it again, but only if I could have someone do it with me. The long, lonely stretches in the dark were almost too much to handle. 

This quote sums it up. It was the toughest thing I have done so far in my life, and still I rise. 

There's nothing quite like accomplishing something that you never thought you could. I encourage everyone that reads this (Hi mom!) to go after those things that linger in the back of your mind. The goals and aspirations that hang on, despite your best efforts to subdue them with a "normal" life. The negative thoughts that tell you that you can't. That tell you you're not good enough. Don't listen to them any more. Frances Bacon said "It's all so meaningless, we may as well be extraordinary.". And how can you argue with a man with such a delicious name? 

I'll leave you with that for now, and until next time, happy running!