I Won the Lottery


I gave up wine for 90 days. 

The next thing I knew, I was entering the Bigfoot 200 lottery.

..and I won - I made the registration list for a 200 mile mountain adventure through the Washington Cascades next August.

 I thought I'd retired from ultra running.

In fact my running buddy Cathy and I had begun referring to ourselves as 'ladies of leisure' - running for 'fun' only, with no goals, no expectations, no plan. We stopped caring about pace and distance and our only objective was to lace up and move forward at any pace, talking incessantly and attempting to mitigate the damage of our increasingly poor dietary habits.


For various reasons, I decided to give up my worst habit (my nightly wine) - for 90 days. My motivation was an upcoming trip and my hopes were to fit into my shorts and bathing suits by that time.


A few days after starting my 90 day no wine challenge a restlessness came over me. I felt the urge to DO something. Something big, scary and new. I initially thought of returning to the world of ultras and 100 mile trail runs, but I wanted something totally new that would challenge me but excite me in a different way. I felt that doing something I'd never done would prevent me from comparing my current self to a previous version of myself. I would have no expectations or benchmarks to use - this would be a whole new experience.

August of 2021 was when the lottery opened for the event being held in august 2022. Nervously I filled out the application. I felt motivated now, but a lot can happen in 12 months. Would I feel motivated a year from now? Would I even feel motivated a month from now?

I started increasing my running to begin the journey of getting my head (and body) back into the game while I waited to find out if I got in.



Lottery results were to be announced on Sept 28. I was travelling that day - but I checked my email in the morning prior to boarding my flight in hopes to know my destiny.

No email.

5 hours later when my flight landed I checked again. 

I had an email suggesting that I had made the waitlist, but was not yet officially registered. My immediate feeling was disappointment. 

I remember thinking how telltale that moment was - I honestly wasn't sure if I would feel relieved or disappointed if I didn't get in.

Later the next day I received an email from the race director clarifying that I had actually gotten in after all. This time, my immediate reaction was nausea with a bit of excitement. 


So now a couple weeks later, preparation has officially begun. 

Over the last few weeks I've been genuinely surprised with how quickly my fitness is coming back. I have a lot of work to do to be in the kind of shape I hope to be in for this endeavour but I'm surprised at the progress I've already made.


 My hope is to share my journey to the start line with you - as well as my adventure over the course of the 200 miles through Washington. The attached video is my first of many sharing my thoughts on today's training run. I plan on sharing the good, the bad and the ugly with you as candidly as I can.

1 comment

  • That’s amazing! Congratulations!

    Shelley Blakes

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