I’m going to need bottles. Lots of them.
So let’s let the cat out of the bag, and quickly. I won’t be needing baby bottles, I’ll be needing water bottles. Lots of them. ‘Cause Clove’s been accepted to run BADWATER.
Yes, the Badwater 135, the mysterious, storied, painful, beautiful, at times completely unfathomable, Badwater. 135 miles across Death Valley, from the lowest point in the continental US (the Badwater Basin) to the (almost) highest, the Whitney Portal.
Not the news you might have been expecting when you heard I was back. I get it.
No, we didn’t stop trying. We stopped fertility treatments. That’s a very different thing, and it leads me to two very brief public service announcements:
PSA #1: Few of the truly infertile ever really stop trying; you just stop expecting it to work. Here’s the thing: after having to learn your cycle to the minute, and knowing every scientific detail of ovulation and conception from the follicular phase to the luteal phase, to even being able to tell which months you actually ovulated without ever doing an ovulation test, it’s kind of impossible to “stop trying.” You know if you got busy when you were fertile. You know if your period is late and you probably had another chemical pregnancy. But you also know that you’re not going to get pregnant. Because it’s been more than five years of “trying” – that’s 64 cycles, folks – and you’re not. And guess what? Sometimes the universe says “no.” Sometimes you stop trying, or stop expecting, or get on with your life and your running and your traveling and start living again – and there’s no magical moment or surprise. You’re just not going to get pregnant. It happens, kids.
PSA #2: Life can be awesome even after you get dealt a breath-stopping blow to the gut. It still strikes me as a bit odd that there is almost no conversation about the infertility stories that don’t end with children; we (as a society) always seem to hear that “as soon as we stopped trying, boom!” or “after we adopted, surprise!” A small mission of mine outside of Salty Running is to work on starting the conversation that says: “We didn’t end up with a baby and that will always hurt, but we’re still happy and we still love our lives!”
And that’s where DB and I ended up. We cried. We retreated. Then we re-focused and recovered, and found out that we’re happier than we’ve been in a very long time.
I took 2014 off from 100s to get my body back to neutral. After bouncing back and forth between fertility treatments and 100 milers for three years, I was exhausted and confused both physically and emotionally. So I decided to lower my mileage, train for a fast marathon, and get my bearings back. I got into great shape, but came down with a cold the September weekend of the race; my time was a spectacular disaster, but I had an amazing training cycle that left me feeling strong, recovered, and chomping at the bit to finally attack a 100 miler again. I started base building for the Umstead 100 in November, and I’ll be bringing you all up to speed on my training soon.
But the biggest news, of course, is Badwater. I was always going to run it the year after DB, but due to a variety of factors last year, including the fact that the race wasn’t able to be run on the original course (more of that in a subsequent post), I had to pass. This year, the announcement came that the race would return to its storied home, and the journey was on. Applications opened on January 19, and after writing several essays and answering some really tough questions – “Why do you want to run Badwater?” is actually a pretty tough question to answer – I got the news. I’m going to the Badwater Basin!
- Why DOES she want to run Badwater?
- Who came up with this crazy idea, and how many people have actually done it?
- Didn’t they cancel Badwater last year? And do they really have to run it during a full moon now? (Answer: yes to both).
- Why did she pick the charity she did? And how does Clove really feel about running for charities?
- How on earth do you train for Badwater?
- What is sauna and heat training all about? Do you really run in winter clothes in the summer?
- How much ice will they really go through in the desert, and where do they get it?
- Do your shoes really melt at Badwater?
- What is crewing for Badwater like? (Worse for the crew than the runner. I’ll tell you why).
Life moves on, Salties. There were so many days that I wondered if it ever really would, but it did. I’m back with a new mission this year, and I’m so excited to share the journey with all of you! So #saltyrunninggoestobadwater – here goes!