I'm convinced that endurance runners are absolutely nuts--who gets off on running for miles in the most absurd of conditions for personal bliss or at moments of vanity, a goddamn medal?
Sometimes I think I need to get evaluated for my sensory overload and ability to test the waters on things people tell me I'm not capable of doing. Perhaps it's my ego trying to tap into a level of arrogance that I was scared to embrace years ago or my constant semi-unhealthy relationship with remaining humble from a strange fear of forgetting my past. No amount of medals on the wall can compensate years of self inflicted damage and I came to this reality years ago. Conversely, through my shortcomings and ability to stop blocking my own blessings, I'm learning how to embrace opportunities as they are presented to me.
Reeling back to my feature with Huck x HOKA One One, I kept asking if I was in a great dream; at times I battled my internal voices, wondering if someone else was worthy of this spot. I love the courageous woman that I am and looking forward to the person that I'm destined to be. Weeks prior to the release, I met with some of the dope people behind HOKA One One in Midtown thanks to an invite. While discussing my future goals, I mentioned this crazy 100K that my friend did some years ago in Fountain Hills, AZ-- Aravaipa Running's Javalina Jundred.
When reviewing my equally insane running partner in crime's book - Mirna Valerio - I thought she was absolutely nuts. Who the hell runs 100K in the Arizona heat? Of course, slightly judging and questioning her sanity, I continue to engulf myself into her journey. By the end of the book, 10 percent of me pictured myself in her shoes, running this cactus and scorpion laced race.
Literally the first words that came out of my mouth reading this book last year. Subsequently, thoughts ranged from questioning if my mere 60K - the audacity of me to downplay 37.2 miles - even made me an ultra runner to realizing that I actually KNOW this person; she's a plus size woman of color from Bushwick that I can actually call on the phone. Didn't I desire having someone that I could relate to this sort of insanity in 2014 at the beginning of my running journey? Despite opportunities presenting itself and features on different platforms, I told myself it wouldn't happen because of race costs, travel and my real life requires me to be a parent and an emotionally checked in wife.
Fast forwarding back to the Hoka One One meet up, I met with Martha and Alex-- two people who would back slap my dreams into formation. In midpoint of my ramble about taking on more ultra marathons this year, Martha interjected:
You know we [HOKA One One] sponsor this race, right. Are you really interested in taking on the Javelina Jundred 100K?
In my mind, my heart was doing a 5:30 pace on the treadmill and I was seeking oxygen and cookies. Although semi contained, I went against my fears and expressed my interest. As a woman of her word, I find myself today two hours later, registered for the Javelina Jundred 100K, literally less than three days away from my first trail ultra marathon of the year--and I haven't told my own mother yet.
When I hit the button on the screen and received my confirmation from Ultrasignup, I felt my body lock up in excitement. Surprisingly, I wasn't as scared as I thought I would be. The air filled with an ominous silence and I took two minutes to take it all in before hitting the share button on Facebook. And before I knew it, I saw the same vision as I saw months ago in my head--I can see myself finishing this ultra marathon.
As a ridiculous planner and a person who is coming to terms with my extreme personality, I wrote out the 100K plan a month ago, along with a string of ultra running race plans that tailored both my imagination and freelancing schedule. I found ways to balance my family life, existing major enrolled events to align with my training at that moment and this year's planned travel into my schedule. Because I've done 8 marathons and 2 ultras thus far, I know firsthand that it's easy to lose contact with people.
But Will You Die?
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.
If you want to donate to my one woman operation, please feel free to donate below. All funds will help me keep the blog running smoothly.