So there was this girl I use to run with named Angela. We ran all the time and everywhere. Then at some point we didn’t. I don’t really know why we stopped running together. After a long while another runner friend, Cheryl, told me we need to help motivate Angela because she has lost her way and is talking non-sense about not running a race she had signed up for. I had no clue Angela was thinking of not starting a big race she had paid good money to run. I jumped at the opportunity to help my friend in need, especially a friend who helped me during many of my self-induced-all day- pain enduring feats.
Let me back up a bit. What is cool about this story is the reason Angela committed herself to such a lofty goal of running a hundred miles in the first place. Angela ran her first marathon in 2010; The Ottawa Marathon. We first met while she was training for this 26.2 mile road race. At the time I was conjuring up the nerve to attempt my first hundred by training for The Mohican 100 Mile. As is natural when two people spend hours training together they take an interest in seeing that person succeed at their chosen goal.
Although I did not reach my goal at Mohican, Angela was there to push me the last 25 miles at my first one hundred mile finish line the following spring at Umstead 100M. I believe somewhere between finishing her Ottawa Marathon, watching me train for Mohican and pacing me at Umstead, the seed of running one hundred miles was planted in Angela’s head.
I saw her running transform and her motivation for ultras grow in the couple years that followed. She raced, crewed, and paced many more races as she gained knowledge through experience. She finally signed up for Umstead to give one hundred miles a go. But as fate would have it her body was not ready and foot surgery was inevitable. She would not see the starting line in Umstead, North Carolina. Months would turn to years and her running progress lingered as she healed. Her peak race would be Mohican 50 mile in 2013.
Then late 2016, while visiting a friend who had suffered a devastating accident she had a revelation. As her friend worked hard to recover from losing her leg Angela felt the need to do something since she had all her limbs. On New Year’s Day she signed up for 3 or 4 races including a new one called No Business 100M in Stearns, Kentucky.
She was motivated to get back out there! The year started off good but quickly life things began to compete with the time she needed to prepare for her races.
And that’s where Operation Intervention came in.
After Cheryl & I (and a few other friends) intervened, Angela’s mood quickly brightened. She followed the training plan we built for her and we helped her get those much needed long trail training runs in. She worked very hard balancing day to day life obstacles and getting in adequate training to get to the starting line of her first one hundred mile race.
*****(The end of the story will be written October 15th 2017.)*****