Dirt in your skirt blog

Dirty Feet

Posted on May 7, 2012 by Margaret Schlachter

When I woke up this morning I had one goal for the day, laundry. All I knew I had to get done was at least two weeks worth of dirty clothing. I was down to the bottom of the barrel in the underwear department and the time had come. Dreading doing laundry after a lazy sleep-in I got up and instead of tackling this task decided to head over to Pittsfield and check on Joel and Michelle, my two friends running the Peak 500 Ultramarathon. Yes, that’s 500 miles on foot, they have 10 days to complete the task.

When I arrived it just so happened Michelle was coming in from a lap and she told me Joel had headed down to the river to “ice” his shin. He suffered a pretty bad shin splint about 50 miles into the race. If you haven’t heard of this race it is a 10 mile loop the competitors do 50 times throughout the 10 days. They can race all day any day and have to check in after each lap. A total of four competitors are attempting the race this year. No one has finished it yet. However two of the guys going look like this could be the year that changes.

Back to today, I caught up with Michelle and had brought Joel and leg brace I had sitting around to see if it would help. I walked out with Michelle to give the leg brace to Joel, it’s about a 1/4 mile to the river from the farm. I was dressed in a sweatshirt, mess shorts, and flip flops. Not exactly dressed for the trail. My intention was still to go drop the brace off then head back home to tackle that laundry.

As Michelle and I started walking we starting gabbing away, I had been excited to catch up with Michelle. We hadn’t seen each other since the snowshoe race and I was so happy to get to spend the time with her. She is a woman of great insight and I had a few topics I wanted to talk to her about and get her advice. I found just as we were getting into the conversation we were at the bridge, I didn’t want to end the conversation so I kept walking. I passed Joel off the brace and told him I would catch up with him in a bit. My intention was to talk a little bit more with Michelle and when the terrain got too much for my feet I would turn around. Now if you have spent anytime hiking in Vermont especially on Joe’s Mountain in Pittsfield you know how insane this sounds. A hike in the woods in flip flops.

Well I just kept walking and Michelle and I kept talking. Next thing you know I found myself at the top of the mountain about four miles later. Being that I was not prepared to hike I had done the first couple of miles without water. Luckily Joel has about 20 water bottles stored at the top of the mountain so I grabbed one with his protein mixture in it and Michelle and I set off for the rest of the 6 miles of the course. A few spots my shoes slipped and my feet got really muddy but the conversation was good and the weather was perfect. About three and a half hours after I had decided to bring Joel his brace I ended up back at the farm having completed 10 miles. Michelle shot in to get some food. I believe it was her 90th or 100th mile loop I did with her. I went over to check on Joel who had opted out of racing today and tried to heal his shin up some.

I watched Michelle head off back onto the trail again laughing at the fact I had just hiked through some nasty terrain in little more than surf flip flops. I wished her the best and spent some of the afternoon sitting with a few friends in the sun at the farm. I helped Andy make a few evening markers and finally around 5:00pm started that laundry. I call that a pretty good way to procrastinate!

Everyone is doing well out on the trails and finally a special congratulations to one of my winter athletes from this past season. Andy Weinberg’s daughter Jade, she’s 9 years old, just completed her FIRST half marathon today with her father and sister. I am pretty excited for her. It’s an amazing accomplishment for anyone to complete and she did it at the age of nine. She also told her dad she wanted to run faster the whole time. Watch out for this one as she gets older she will take on the world!