As I write this it is 6 am and I am sitting on beach in Jaco Costa Rica waiting for my wife to arrive later this afternoon. She is traveling from Drakes bay after participating in the Costal Challenge, a gruelling 6 day trail race covering over 150km of beach and jungle. From what I hear its quite challenging, I will never know for sure because my body is not made to travel such distances for survival let alone for fun.
You may be wondering why I wasn’t more supportive and didn’t join the volunteer crew to help out and cheer her on. 2 reasons:
1. I’m fluffy and sensitive
This hot climate does not translate well for me. I have been here 2 days, sat mostly on the beach and occasionally walked into town. In that time my body has decided to bless me with multiple blisters on my toes and open sores in places I would rather not have open sores. When you have such thunderous thighs as mine mixing with heat you get a lot of chaffing. Vacationing in hot places is my 6 day costal challenge.
2. I am too caring
At home any time my wife struggles with any sickness…or even just a little sadness I will move mountains to try to help her feel better. This includes buying her McDonalds or wine even when she doesn’t need it. So to be around her during the race I would have likely been begging her to quit every day. With good intention, I would have done more harm than good if I was around.
So how do husbands get here?
When you wife tells you about this awesome race called the Costal Challenge that her favourite running group (@runlikeagirl_ca) is participating in and then says that would be fun to do you say: “Wow that sounds like an amazing experience! You should do it!”
What you will be thinking: This seems a bit far out of the realm of possibilities right now. I can be supportive of this thought because the likelihood of her signing up is very low. She should probably finish a marathon before deciding to do an ultra race.
Your wife fully commits to starting her own Nutrition and Personal Training business out of the basement (another dream that became reality). She starts to look at the costal challenge a bit more. You continue to be supportive but at this point you say something stupidly logical like:
“Doing something like the costal challenge would be a great way to generate content, get street cred, and make more connections. Even if you do not finish, you can then talk about the path and challenging yourself regardless of the outcome. Think of it as an ‘investment’ in your business and not a cost”
What I was thinking: It is still a pretty big cost and she is still just starting out her business. I do not think she would feel comfortable spending the money, even though it would be a great investment. However I did just take her dream and translate it into a logical business decision…this might be possible now.
Your wife comes home and tells you she signed up for the costal challenge. All that’s stopping her now is the ups and downs of training.
What I was thinking: Well I guess I am going to have to go on a few runs with her now. I suppose I will book a trip to BC to take her on some trails to help her train.
Your wife tells you she signed up for a race called “Bucking Hell” while in BC. Tells you that you should also join. You hum and ha but eventually a week before you tell her: “SURE I will run it with you”
What I was thinking: How hard could it be? …well it turns out its 15km of trail racing. Seemingly the entire thing was uphill, although I was told there was downhill bits. And if you look at my finish line picture you see me much more dissatisfied with the result than her…because I spent most of the time hobbling due to a sprained ankle…I am no quitter. I couldn’t walk for a week after…but I didn’t die.
Why on earth would someone want to do this I wonder? It is not within my understanding as to why but I commend anyone that has the sort of physical and mental strength to set out on this path, even if your just starting…it takes a lot to just believe you can take the journey. This fluffy tiger does not believe he could ever do such a thing.
Each and every day I would wait for my wife to message me to assure me she was ok. Some days she was not able to access Internet to do so quickly and so I had to rely on the race tracker. I expected to see 1 of 3 statuses’ on the day:
Luckily I never saw the status “Dead.” Although from what she tells me that was a very real possibility. Each day was its own challenge. Here’s my perspective of the daily challenges:
Stage 1 – My wife had never run this distance on the road before let alone on a trail…in the heat…knowing she had to run again the next day. If she makes it through this day it’s a win and she should just meet me on the resort!
Stage 2 – Running again after spending over 7 hours running the day before is beyond insane. I practically have to take the next day off work if I run 1 hour on a Sunday.
Stage 3 – Why would she go out again…last night she told me she cried and her feet have never hurt so much in her life. How is it possible that she actually came 5th? The day before she was completely broken. What drugs did she find in the jungle?
Stage 4 – I have seen her have wine every night after the run. She must just be running drunk all day to not feel the pain. That water pack we got her probably holds at least 2L of wine.
Stage 5 – Thankfully she finally stopped! Apparently there was a swarm of killer bees and a wild dog hunting people as the newest challenges. That and the fact she couldn’t feel her feet and fell down a mountain was the point where she stopped before she died!
At the end of the day my wife accomplished far more than she ever thought possible. Personally I believed she could finish the entire thing provided she was not hurt. If you met her you would know she’s a fiery ginger that you never want to cross or tell her she can’t do something…she will do it. However her feet were REALLY hurt (her RMT at home was unsure how she was still able to walk based on how tight they were) and she felt unsafe to continue.
I am very glad that she was responsible enough to allow herself to stop. It sounded like she had an amazing experience. She pushed herself way past her limits and achieved something very few people would be unwilling to even start. Now she has learned what to do and not to do so all future races will go a little smoother.
The Fluffy Tigers Perspective
My wife is a heaping scoop of amazing iced cream smothered in tons of sweet strawberry sauce with a big handful of crazy sprinkles! From now on any time she suggests something to me I will 100% believe we will be doing it within a year even if it seems very unlikely.
Next stop for us is a Ragnar run over 2 days with a group of 6 other people. Luckily we only have to run 24km each…which is more than I have ever run. Lets go Cougar Run Club!
Lucy is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and Personal Trainer with a thirst for good food, fitness, cats, travel and adventure!