A few years ago as I was working our very first booth as SAGE NUTRITION at the April F.I.T Challenge. I was introduced to this young lady named Taylor by Ma (Myrna) Velez. Ma seems to be a common denominator in many of my OCR/FITNESS friendships/partnerships. We chatted, took a picture together and went about the rest of our day. Taylor was very nice, inquisitive, supportive and a great competitor! Fast forward to a few more events running into one another, FB messages and visits to the shop for classes and supplies and I can honestly say I had no idea WHO I had met that day. I didn't realize then how much was inside this young lady. Taylor is truly a force to be reckoned with. Behind that sweet smile and soft spoken voice is a FIERCE competitor who does not quit. She takes on endurance events with a great attitude and a determination so strong that she is always in the front of the pack.
This one particular event she told me about was a 250 miler....250 MILES people!!! That is NOT a typo! TWO HUNDRED FIFTY MILES, on her feet, over the course of days with minimal sleep.....THIS was her next event. I was blown away! This was the next thing she wanted to see if she could do, this is what this story is about. A little while after the event had passed and she had some time to tend to the damage control that is often needed after these endurance events I asked Taylor to write out her experience so we could share it here.
This is her story, unedited and in her own words! Take the time to read it, she is amazing, motivational, funny, smart and incredible!!!!
Here is a quick look at what one might need for SUCH an incredible journey!
~*~ Trying to gather my thoughts after my biggest event to date...
The journey started last year after INFINITUS 2017, 100 miler, and crew and then it blossomed into INFINITUS 2018, 250 miler, this past week:
Tues 8:08 am to Sun 2:30-ish am (cutoff at 8:08 am)
First off I could not have done this event never mind finish it without the love and support I've been given everywhere from family, to race family, to gym family and new and old friends as family, the 2 amazing RDs Andy Weinberg and Will Bradley. Mother Nature, and my buddy Muna
So Tuesday morning at 8:08 am I began the physical, mental and emotional journey I'll never forget...or at least the parts I do remember, I'll explain. The race utilizes a 7mi loop and 20 mi loop ♾ of which the 250 miler needs to cover 9 full ♾ rotations plus another 7 mi loop.
Day 1: 61 miles (7, 20, 7, 20, & the extra 7) to start Day 2 on the 10 mi loop (mental game plan) with J.T. Hardy and Prem. The plan was, in miles per day: 61, 54, 54, 54, and 27...
J.T. and I started an animal discovery list to pass the time (dead or alive made it), which we constantly updated to recount towards the end of the race. We saw frogs, bright orange salamanders (warning: don't touch them because the oils on our hands will burn them), a snake eww, tons of chipmunks 🐿 (it was like they were VT's squirrels), 1 or 2 squirrels (red?), a family of yellow butterflies (reminded me of my late pups, my M&M's, Monte & Muna). I saw a porcupine in the evening! It was off to the side of the trail but didn't know if/how far their needles would shoot so I creeped up and "sprinted" (maybe day 3) by...There was an owl, which, at first I thought was a hawk from its wings, that landed on a tree ahead of me, hooted and flew away, one morning at 7:00 am! I thought these guys were nocturnal?! I guess they were just as confused as some of us racers LOL. Later, Chris informed me that you can tell it's an owl because they fly/soar silent. Well, there was one bird not so silent (featured later in this write up) in the field, trying to dive bomb me 2-3 times, squawking. Thought I got away but it came into part of the piney woodsie area, briefly--I still don't know the type of bird it was, but it was bluish grey, I believe, with a definitive tail: 2 white stripes across the bottom...At the beginning of one 20 mile loop, Vicky pointed out a big turtle (snapper?), super cool after J.T. Thought every rock that was round and wet were turtles LMAO. The two animals I did not have the pleasure of sighting, of whom the 1st female 888k winner/finisher, spotted were a lynx and a bear. But she did teach J.T. and I a bear-warning call that I used! Whoo hoo, Whoo hoo!!! I was a little worried because the heat had started to get to me and I had a good 3 bloody noses in 2 days...I didn't know if any land animals were like sharks and could sense the smell in like a 50mi radius...guess not.
2. Yellow butterfly family (road friends)
3. Frog--big--Chris spotted him staring at us during our nighttime 7mi loop adventure on the muddy path
4. Big turtle (beginning of a 20mi loop, mid-trail)
5. Chipmunk everywhere
6. 1 or 2 squirrels
7. Snake (slithering in the back left of a trail)
8. Owl (7:00 am)
9. Evil Bird (from the field)
11. Small orange frog??
12. Dead field mouse
13. Dogs @ base camp
Day 2: (54 miles = 115mi): woke up 1 hr late, slept through my alarm, but feeling refreshed and surprisingly good and I hit the trails. I was so tired but still wanting to end on the 7 as planned, found my buddy Christopher King and we made our wobbling (left ITB started using a stick/poles) way through the trails...some quick cleanup and foot care topped off with Epsom salt lotion...about 2 hrs sleep and on to...
Day 3: (54 miles = 169 mi) onward with poles, oh well angry stripper pose, hello waddle that Mt climb
Day 4: plan 54 mi to allow 27 day 5...things get a lil crazy... Sarah Van Dyk Barnes came for round 2 after a couple hours nap in a chair!!!???
Day 5: 20 mile loop got loopy and the team came together for the 7...more details to come bc confusion lol
P.S. hoping work-wise and financially to be able to run the INFINITUS 2019 Deca challenge...if not maybe the marathon so I get to run both loops (if it's a similar setup) and volunteer a bit...til next time "happy trails" (anonymous)