PictureMy crew - Sister Angela, (myself), and Brother Nick !
Devoted Non-stop Faith---> DNF (otherwise know as Did Not Finish in a race).  A marking that haunts a lot of distance runners has turned out to be just that for me. However, my faith in God, his directions, and answers never keep me from believing in him.  I may not always like his answers, but he has his reasons, those of which I may not see right now. 
Moving on, most of you know that I DNF'd in my attempt to break the AR/WR at Rocky Raccoon 100mile last weekend. A feat I was sure I could succeed at....Until mile 67 :( I woke up pretty sick that morning with nausea, headache, and well..I will just keep it clean for the "non-ultra" runners, hehe.

 It was 3am (a bit earlier than I was going to wake up), but I quickly went into recovery mode. Flushing my system with electrolytes, TRYING  to eat, resorting to some ib-profin, etc..this has never happened before.  I tried not to panic as I started feeling somewhat better and headed to the starting line.  Excitement grew, but worry lingered. A few miles into the race I was sure to keep the fluids, eating, and electrolytes going. Soon enough I began to feel good and was rolling along the roots, tall trees, and over the hills. The course was a bit more technical than I had expected, much to my happiness :) 

I was now half way through my 4th 20 mile loop of 5 . "I've got this!".. I thought to myself.  Grabbing a few things from the aid station "Damnation," I quickly ran on.  Just a mile down the trail I was suddenly slapped in the face with a terrible dizzy spell!  No biggy I thought, you are peeing great, eating more than normal, and GU Energy Gels are still tasting yummy.  At this point, I had about a 30 minute lead on the women's field so I decided it was fine to walk a bit and shake off this dizzy spell. Not the case :(  I felt like I drank my weight in wine and was stumbling around with the trees, leaves, and roots spinning.  I started dry heaving and had some crazy tummy pains.  Met by some fellow, concerned and motivating runners...they encouraged me to keep going, just keep walking ( my thoughts were the same, since I was out in the back loop where no aid was).   Slowly walking, jogging, and trying to keep the tears back, the aid station came into view. I could make out someone in a red t-shirt running towards me to help. It was Liza Howard (what a wonderful, inspirational lady)!   She did what she could to help me (as a tumbled over a chair), it was such a relief to have someone there who knew I wasn't just going through a "low."  As a mighty, awesome competitor herself, she was well aware that I too, probably new my body well enough to know that "something is not right."  ..After all, I did race 2 Rocky Mountain Ultras within 2 weeks, I DO KNOW WHAT A "LOW" IS :) ...this was not just a low!  She sadly helped me take off my chip as I now was listed as DNF.  

In the next days, my sister (wonderful crew Angela), who is a RN, looked me over and noticed my gallbladder seemed to be swollen, hot, and tender. As soon as we arrived back home, I saw the doctor who also made the same discovery.  He stated that I would most likely have to have it out.  No surprise there for me, because I was diagnosed with a swollen gallbladder and put on a bile salt (Cholocol) 2 years ago to help me absorb fats.  However, in the past year, I dialed in my diet even more (during my training periods), and my gallbladder seemed to be much better, so I stopped taking the Cholocol.  After more testing, urine, blood and ultrasound, the Doctor has not come up with many answers..except more testing and that I have elevated Liver Enzymes.  Turning a bit more complex than we all thought, my direction has now included my previous doctor and nutritionist to help with the results and getting this taken care of! 

God has a funny way of  making you stop and listen, perhaps I shouldn't have ignored some things in the past, but stopping me at RR was the only way he could get my attention!  Maybe he is just telling me I need rest, maybe it was JUST the humidity, maybe I'm psycho (well we all know that being an ultra runner), but in anyway I'm still so GRATEFUL for the race opportunity.  I spent some much needed time with my sister, brother, hubby, friends, made new friends, and all around appreciate the ultra world.  THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR CONTINUOUS SUPPORT, ENCOURAGEMENT, AND HELP.  .... I will be back for that record! 


Crew:  One and only Wyatt Yates, Nick Suszek, Angela Soltysiak, ...and all the runners for your support a long the way! Tejas Trails- you rock! 

*** Slideshow soon to come



courtney crespin
02/11/2014 10:09

Wow! To even make it to that start line considering how sick you were is incredible. I was following your race on twitter via irunfar and my heart broke for you when they reported you had to drop. To continue to go after your goals like that given the circumstances is absolutely amazing. Hope you are feeling better and I know that you'll get that record!!! Thank you for being such a great example and inspiration!

02/11/2014 13:45

Thank you!

Angela Soltysiak
02/11/2014 14:20

Michele......You are and always be an inspiration to others. God does have a reason for everything and we may not always see it or understand why. Keep your head up, be persistant and you will be back in the running (pun intended :)) in no time!

02/12/2014 19:05

Michele, Even Wonder Woman has an off day from time to time. Rest and recover and enjoy the good things in your life now. The records will still be yours soon enough.

02/13/2014 05:47

Michele - I am sorry the race didn't go as you wanted, and that you now have some health issues to deal with. I wish you the very best of care and a speedy recovery. I really enjoyed listening to you on URP - I am still a road runner myself (marathon) so I was very interested to hear your thoughts on speedwork, quality v quantity, etc. I think that's a newer approach in ultrarunning (or so it seems from what I've read) and it seems to be working for you! Also - I'm gluten and dairy free as well (my system won't tolerate them) so I'd love your recipe for race week pumpkin cookies (with coconut flakes?) if you'd care to share once you're well.

I have no doubt you'll be back strong and finding new challenges and adventures to take on - I love your attitude!

wishing you all the best...

02/21/2014 13:06

Great post; tough day! Glad you got that looked at. If we always knew what was going to happen, there would be no reason to try doing it.


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