When I asked John for one last post, I thought my intent was to going to be to give my view of this last seven months and all the things I wanted to say along the way, but bit my tongue instead. Instead. I start this post thanking him for letting me be a part of this crazy journey he took us on and letting me have the last nine miles of it with him. It was one high point of my life with him, and I really didn’t expect that.
I will step back and say when he asked me if he could do this and said with a serious straight face, “now this won’t effect you”, I should have sat him down right then and there. The training for this effected us every day he ran, whether he realized it or not. When he was out in the mountains running at 3 AM, somehow my body knew and sleep was lighter or shorter. When the kids and I went places without him so he could sleep or work, we missed having him with us. I think he would still say it didn’t effect us, but maybe we just tried to make it so he could stay focused on the goal and accomplish his quest successfully. That was our way of participating along the way and supporting him, because that is what family does. It isn’t any different than having a demanding job that takes you away from your family, and this was equivalent to, a full-time “job”. I guess my point to make is that whether you are the runner or the support staff, this type of quest does consume your whole family, and be aware of that and stop to say how much you appreciate it often. There are sacrifices by all on quests like this.
I found being his crew and his pacer was right up my alley though, and let me be a part of his race, and not just wonder how it was going, which in past races is what had occurred when I stayed home. In the future I’d find someone to watch the kids, as they were not as gung ho about staying at the race base camp and waiting for him every 3 1/2 to 4 hrs. Having friends come out helped not only him, but me get through the laps during the day.
Today, a week later, I ran the final 9 mile loop on my own in 1:34, as opposed to the 2:24 time John and I did. The memories were great to relive as I ran it, recalling where we had to walk and recover along the way, what our conversations (mostly mine) were and the feeling of elation as we came down the final mile, knowing he really was going to do this. I thought I had to train to run this last nine miles with him and was out there every week hating that trail with each step. As the weeks though unfolded, I even began to enjoy trail running and have decided I will now continue it even though the race is past. So, thank you, John for exposing me to this. What I want to say though is my training didn’t prepare me for this last nine miles with him. It was all about just keeping him moving and any tricks to do that was what was required.
So those who know me have heard me say “never again” to being open to letting him do another 100 mile race. I’ve decided it’s like childbirth though, you quickly lose the memories of all the hard work, sacrifices and pain, and only remember the great parts and feelings when the end goal is accomplished. If we lived every day doing the same thing day in and day out, when we were on our deathbed, there would never be any highlights that stood out. I don’t want that for him or for me, and this was definitely a life highlight. He has already asked me if I’d be willing to him entering another one next May. I haven’t said yes, but I haven’t said no either. It’s nice to be asked though, and have a vote in the decision. At least we aren’t going in so naive on the committment it takes from us ALL this time.
Thanks John for one final blog. Thank you for all the memories from this Quest I’ll have years to come. You did awesome.
Laura–You melt my heart!! It truly was an accomplishment for the whole family.
Just as “it takes a whole village to raise a child”, it takes the whole family, plus friends, to run an ultramarathon. What a beautiful testimony to the strength of the relationships within your family and friends.
I’m just as proud of you as I am of him. It couldn’t have been easy. Miss you!
Hello Vaupel Family,
Great posts, I showed them to my wife because I knew she would be able to relate Fantastic perspective from a supportive spouse.
My wife and I make jokes about her being the supportive wife… We might make some T-shirts that have sayings like
“He says he is going to run 100 miles but he can’t walk 15ft to take out the garbage ”
“My Husband leaves the house in the middle of the night and comes stumbling in at sunrise – should I be concerned?”
John I don’t know how you really felt about the race but I was so utterly disappointed in my performance that its taken me two months to post anything on my blog and what I had to say wasn’t necessarily constructive. Definitely looking to catchup and swaping stories.