Shannon & Pam, after months of training, officially became ultrarunners with finishing Way Too Cool 2010 (3/13/10). They continue to run the long distances as they continue to challenge themselves physically & mentally. This is where they post those triumphs and also their tribulations.

May 31, 2010

Goonies never quit! Shannon

Or at least in my case - Trail Turtles never quit.

Yesterday's Western States training run kicked my tushy!  My lack of training reared it's ugly head during yesterday's brutal run.

The day started out beautifully.  A lot of FTR's were at the school all primed and ready to go. Pam and I are ready to go.
The start of the run was awesome - all down hill!  First 3 miles - no problemo!  Beautiful scenery.
Pam looking good on the trails!

As we started with some accents, I started to lose Pam, there she goes!

However, she was so sweet that she would stop periodically and wait to see if I was still coming.
We then hit this awful climb.
I thought this one would never come to an end.  Pam suggested that I try to walk up it backwards, sideways, whatever way would work.  And I did.  But of course, I lost her here too.
But she, once, again, was waiting at the top of the hill for me.  She took a couple of pics and I'm hoping she posts them soon.

By this point my legs are pretty trashed and that climb caused my stomach to start talking to me.  So after this brutal hill, what goes up must go down and yes we started descending again.  I struggled, but managed to get down the hill while watching some strange person in Pam's body fly down the hill!  If you know Pam, she's not the bravest going downhill.  Our norm is she's good on the uphill and I'm good on the downhill. Yeah, somebody was masquerading around in Pam's body yesterday because she took those downhills by the horns and rode 'em like nobody's business.

Needless to say, I lost her once again.  But found her at an oasis.
Here she is stting in the water cooling down.  There were several other girls there and we were having our own little pool party!

This was the last time I saw Pam!

I couldn't keep up with her and I did a lot more walking.  Now when you're out on the trails, by yourself, in the heat, with an upset tummy, you're legs are sore, and no iPod, your brain tends to play tricks on you. As I was walking along a trail I looked up in front of me and I see this brown thing in the middle of a bunch of green and my first reaction is - it's a naked Ewok!  You know, from Starwars.
Either that or it's a small Big Foot!
What do you think?
Come on, I'm not the only one who has had hallucinations on the trails!!

Ok, so at this point all I want to do is quit!  I'm now out of the single track and on the fire trail with less than 2 miles to go to the Ruck-a-Chucky aid station.  I know Ken is there and I'm thinking ok, you can just call it a day and hitch a ride back with Ken.

Then as I'm walking and struggling here comes someone who passes me up and I look at her and she, of course, is running and she's doing it on a prosthetic - hello!  If she can do this, darnit, I should be able to do it.
Not! I tried to shuffle along, but just didn't have it in me.  So I continued to wallow in my self pity and walked.  Then I saw Ken coming over the hill.  Pam had sent out to find me.  He said luckily he didn't have to go to far.  He and another gal walked with me to the aid station.  It was nice to have the company.

The people at this aid station were awesome (the first aid station was lacking on moral support and help with filling the bottles).  They had ICE - I love ice!  They put ice in my hydration pack and filled it with water.  I got ice in my 2 waist bottles and put water in those too.  I ate what I could, which wasn't much.

I asked Ken what the last part was like and he said it was all uphill and wide open (no cover).  HHHHMMMM.  I can quit right now or I can push through.  After the awesome encouragement from the volunteers and getting ice, etc. I felt like I could do it.
So off I went.

It was awful!  It just climbed, and climbed, and climbed.  At some point there was a bench under a tree.  I stopped there for a few minutes and just rested.  But then got up and kept going.  At this point it got prettier.  I was no longer on a fire trail but back on single track with a little shade.  It had flatten out a bit which was nice, but I just couldn't run any more.  I walked.

As I'm walking along I looked down at my hands and they were white.  White?  They should be pink or red, but no they are white.  I tried to make a fist and it hurt.  I looked at my left hand and my rings were looking a little tight.  I apparently was retaining way too much water.  HHHHMMMM

Well thankfully by the time I started stressing out about this, I was almost done.  I came up out of the single track to a road - looked left and right because there were no ribbons or arrows and spotted to my right some tents and thought, that must be the place to go!  So I walked to the finish as there was absolutely nothing left in the reserves.

I was so happy to see Ken there as he was getting ready to leave and offered me a ride back to the school.  YEAH!  I didn't have to wait for the bus.  I was so grateful because all I wanted to do was go home!  However, when I got back to the school I saw Diane Forrest and that made me feel better.

I discovered that there were free massages happening, and because it took me SSSOOOOO long to finish (6 hrs) there wasn't much of a wait.  So I put my name on the list.  I am so glad I did.  I asked her to work on my hip flexors and apparently she was putting so much pressure on them that she ended up pulling something in her shoulders.  So my butt broke the massage therapist!  NICE!  But anyways, she was able to work out some of the soreness and I was able to walk normally again.  Today on the other hand is a totally different story.

This is what I did after I got home.  Lounged on my back porch on the swing with a beer!

Today I am really sore, quads and calves especially.  But, I will survive and I have learned a very valuable lesson - never attempt the WS trails again without being properly trained!

Will I do it again, absolutely, I need redemption!

Stay dirty!


  1. Nice job Shannon and way to work through those demons that frequently pop up on these trails. Loved that last photo on your back porch. You earned it!

    Marc Meyer

  2. You are tough, missy! I got done and was hoping you had bailed at Rucky Chucky cuz that last 3 miles sucked! But you did it! Woo hoo!!