"Happiness does not come from doing easy work but from the afterglow of satisfaction that comes after the achievement of a difficult task that demanded our best." - Theodore I. Rubin

Monday, December 6, 2010

XTERRA Trail Run World Champion!! :):)

Laying here on my big bed relaxing after the XTERRA after party, with the sliding glass door open and gorgeous breezy weather blowing in has me feeling pretty good. However my body hurts and I think my calves grew by an inch today after the crazy terrain we raced on! I have my unbelievably beautiful handmade flower wreath, leafy green boa and yummy smelling real flower lei, layed out on my bed ready to try and make the journey home to AZ tomorrow :) My huge awesome metal sculpture trophy is waiting to break my back in my backpack on the way home as well, lol. There will be a video made my XTERRA on their website soon but we got to see it tonight and me flying off the side of the cliff and down a ravine left everyone laughing and me sitting in my chair grinning and laughing so hard my eyes were watering. I can laugh about the race now, yet let me tell you in great detail about this race this morning...

The bus ride to Kualoa Ranch was stunning. The gorgeous green cliffs and the beautiful ocean on the other side made me smile on the inside and I felt so happy to be racing in such a pretty place! I almost moved here two years ago when I was accepted to Teach For America yet declined due to the quarantine rules for animals and the cost involved, yet seeing it now for the first time makes me wonder how my life would be if I had taken that path instead...I guess I'll never know :) Anyway, I hung out sitting on the grass and eventually did an easy 1.5 mile warm up and light stretch since the temps outside were pretty warm. Due to the large amount of people still coming into the ranch and registering they moved the start of the race back 15 minutes...so more waiting around as the temperature climbed.

Gun went off and everyone got going on the course. Almost immediately the hills welcomed our already burning quads. There were two loops and the first shorter loop was not horrible and the hills were tough but not killer. The turn to start the second loop greeted us with a strong headwind and lots of hard hills, steep downhills, muddy areas so slippery and steep they had big ropes to hold on to, etc. By mile 6 I seriously wanted to die!! My legs hurt so bad and I didn't think I'd finish the race. I had so many horrible things going through my head and I felt like I was going to pass out at any moment! Somehow I managed to stay on my feet despite wanting to cry, scream and sit down for-just-one-minute!!*#&*%&*$ My legs wondered what the hell I was doing to them and at the steepest hill on the course they would not go any more. I HAD to start power walking...it felt almost just as bad as running. I moved as fast as I could and ran after a couple minutes, in fear the women behind me would catch me if I slowed too much. At one point I kinda screamed when a huge wild boar ran right in front of me across the trail grunting a freaky noise. I also got a little nervous when I came up on a huge group of cattle and they took a look at me coming and took off running..WOW it was crazy and they are such beautiful animals close up :)

The wider more rolling hills went on for a little while and my body stopped feeling like I was going to be buried at the ranch! The second horrible hill hit us around mile 9 and went on FOREVER. Once again, after the ridiculously long switch backs, I hit the water stop at the top and tried to get in some Gatorade and water yet most of it got spilled as I continued running. We hit the last quarter mile of rooty, narrow single track switchbacks and once again my quads gave out and I had to walk a bit. I started running again at the top and made the sharp turn left and my right leg went sliding off the side of the cliff and I went flying! HAHAHAHAHA..at the time I thought I was going to die and never stop rolling yet now I can laugh about it. The XTERRA camera guy continued filming me as he gave me his hand and helped pull me back up. I had so much dirt on me and he said to me "Are you sure you are ok? I have a radio"...I nodded and continued running, shocked at what had happened and happy I didn't seriously injure myself, lol. Another super cool thing we saw was the future site for a Hollywood film, The Lost World of Atlantis. It's being built in the middle of the ranch and it'll be interesting to see it when the movie comes out!

Somehow I kept my legs under me to win the race and become a World Champion :) I collapsed at the line and had to be treated in the medical tent with an IV, ice, etc. My body temperature was ridiculously high so I had to stay until it went down to below 101. They took great care of me and then I was off to get some food, drink, meet some super nice people, do interviews and then go to the awesome award ceremony. I took the bus back, showered, got my suit on and headed to the beach for a nice walk. The after party tonight was really fun and the slide show and video they made turned out great. I met some more great people and had a fun time. Overall it's been a fabulous mini vacation and I'm happy I decided to do the race.

I am not sure what I am going to do after this. I had planned on racing the Club XC Championships in Charlotte, NC this coming weekend but I may just go and cheer for my friends racing, or I'll race yet do it more for fun. I truly feel like I need a mental break from everything for a little while to just run when I want, swim, bike, do yoga or pilates, etc. and not have the pressure to be "ready" for a certain race. I have some mental confidence issues I need to work on and other personal goals before I can truly compete at my best. I think right now could be a great time to focus on these things. We'll see what happens...my mind is always working on some new plan...;)

Pics: various pics from the weekend events and in Hawaii (Waikiki)

Quote: "If you want to make good use of your time, you’ve got to know what’s most important and then give it all you’ve got"-Lee Iacocca


  1. You're such an inspiration Sally! Major Congratulations to you.

  2. Sally Elizabeth you are such an AMAZING individual. To conquer what you did and be able to WIN the whole thing feeling like you were is such an accomplishment!! You should be very proud of yourself!! I cannot wait to see your beautiful face and attack your dogs!! I love you, and stay POSITIVE!!!!! Everything happens for a reason! ;]
    <3 <3

  3. Wow, that sounds like a wild and crazy race with that wild boar and the cattle and all those steep hills and mud. You survived all that and became the champ. Congrats! :-) Nice photos too. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Congrats, love following your progress