As much as I love running with my husband, I have an irrational fear that he will want to push me down a hill in efforts of keeping up a good pace. Whilst he hasn't applied that pressure onto me yet, it reminds me of the worries that exist as a back of the pack runner.
Unlike most of my friend list on Instagram, my husband had to wake me up two minutes before the start of the New Year. It's my lovely 30s kicking my ass and reminding me that I could give two bits of a damn about staying awake long enough to watch the ball drop. Our family friend Joanna, my son EJ, husband and I had a celebratory drink - and the kid had sparkling cider - before I was ready to call it a night. An exhausted Eric grew irritated about my line of questioning about what time we would go for our training run; he finally agreed that he'd wake up at whatever ungodly hour I was ready to go. Whenever a spouse says something like this to you, it's a polite way of them telling you to please shut the hell up and leave them alone. In my heart, I wanted to be a jerk and wake him for o'dark thirty; instead my body knew better and waited until after 8AM.
Somehow I managed to not kill off an entire population or get thrown over Trump's wall to date when I miss Monday workouts. I wonder what will happen if I miss all of the Mondays on the calendar.
Fortunately for all of Brooklyn, I found my way to the gym and after I type this post, I'll be running through some rain for a few miles because it's another day of the week --not because it's fucking Monday. If I allowed the fitness gods to peek into my already over-sharable life beyond what I show on social media, I might be offered as some cult sacrifice to the Reading Rainbow coalition. I've heard everything from not allowing your knees to cross your toes - yep, that's officially bullshit and you can Google check that - to not being considered a runner if you fall under a certain pace. Frankly, all of these rules can sit and rotate. This never missing a Monday logic makes me want to drink a Shake it Baby tea because of course, we know how well senna and laxatives work on the body.
I caught myself slipping in mid-thought as I walked into the gym a few days ago. Before I get pissed off about the New Year resolution crowd, once upon a time I used to be them. These days, I'm still baffled about how I became the popular fat kid in the locker room when I grew up in an era that picked those people last.
Before I pick up another cup of Southern Comfort and cream soda, I thought it was best to rock out this post. Here's a half-assed disclaimer: I might say some things that's gonna sound a bit hypocritical but you might look at yourself twice because you may have said it too. Now that this is out there, let's talk about my distaste for pretentious ass New Year's resolutions and my year in reflection.
If you want to bring your dreams into fruition, you have to be willing to fail at such a disgusting degree that it makes you contemplate quitting. In a ridiculously spoiled society where humans feel so privileged to win at everything, we have to humble ourselves to experiencing or witnessing some of life's shitty offerings.
Couple weeks back, one of my Instagram followers asked me when I knew I was an ultra runner. I didn't answer that question until this morning. I could give you a bunch of artificial answers like recounting the moment that I crossed the finish line after running for 9 hours, 47 minutes and 22 seconds during the NYRR 60K -- two weeks after the NYC Marathon in 2015. Or maybe when I ran an extra four miles at the Finger Lakes 50K because of one stupid flag in the distance. But honestly, I think I am reminded several times through my failures.
Assumptions run deep when left with things like social media, cheesy pictures and even adventurous stories like mine. People will count the coins in your purse before the bill money hits the collectors. As I beg my lint to keep my pockets company, I do my best to be a BETTER broke balling ultra runner.
The Young and the Dollarless
Let's play a game: Never have I ever postponed paying for a credit card bill to enter the NYC Marathon race day fee. Never have I ever maxed out a credit card because the Brooklyn Half Marathon books out in 41 minutes. Never have I ever made a struggle meal so damn good for two weeks because these flights ain't cheap. Never have I ever side eyed my friends who run in places like Jamaica who appear to have it easier than you. Or maybe never have I ever found myself considered selling out my morals to promote 'Shake It Baby' because they pay enough to cover my hotel, flight, a bomb ass meal and these race fee struggles?
If you are runner without a shitload of financial stability, don't you even side eye or lie to me. Most of us have been there -- and you haven't, congrats to you...you do gooder bitch (I'm mostly joking but I really adore you -- sorry.) Each year I groan at the exorbitant prices that comes with signing up for another Abbott World Major or a trail run that's dumb cheap in comparison to some runs but stationed out in West Bubbafuck, Utah.
I'm 33 years old, married and have a hormonal game raging preteen son that asks for PlayStation releases that's roughly 60 a pop. And yeah I say fuckouttahere a lot but there's times where I say yes if there's extra money in the budget. It truly doesn't help that I'm a starving artist or freelancer. Yes, this Tommy really do have a job but without a predictable paycheck, I cannot afford to splurge every five minutes I see that new promotion. So I'm sure those who are close and far from me wonder how do I do it?
While people were patting my back for running countless miles over the course of a year, I wondered what my son was learning in school and what stressors were triggering my husband at work. Although I banter about this unpredicted and very public ultra runner life, I am always wondering about how it impedes on my family members and close friends.
It's been less than a month since I wrapped up my 'marathon tour' and I haven't adjusted yet. My body started rebelling against me the moment it smelled the NYC air. Who the hell signs up for 3 marathons, their first 100K, attempt to get redemption at an ultra obstacle course race and several other smaller events in between in different parts of the United States -- this person. I feel blessed to still have my mobility, some parts of my marbles and more than anything, my family. My fears of attempting 240+ miles wasn't the distance on my feet but my passion keeping me away from my loved ones.
Adventures from Arizona's Javelina Jundred 100K
Latoya Shauntay Snell
For my pretentious ass bio, check out the about me page but for anyone interested in who I really am, make me a good meal at your house and I'll tell you a dope ass story.
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