Jill is awesome

The last mile of Swan Crest … it was miserably hot, I thought I was gonna pass out from a heatstroke, and I walked very slowly towards the finish line. No one was behind me, so I wasn’t in a hurry … my spirit was gone, and I simply lacked any mental energy to get myself to speed up. Usually I put in at least a few hundred yards of finish sprint in … I think I mustered ten. But as soon as I was at the finish, I was grinning, talking smack and generally happy – it’s the one thing I’m pretty good at: pretending it never happened. Good so, because it caught the attention of Jill (who I noticed immediately but I thought was too cute to be interested in me) who struck up a conversation after Danni introduced us. Very quickly it came up that Jill had done the Tour Divide – and suddenly a lot of clicks happened in my head – earlier at Bighorn I ran with Leslie (who is a good friend of Jill’s) who told me about the Tour Divide, this crazy mystical race that only insane ultra-athletes can even begin to understand, and only the hardest-core thereof can finish, and a friend of hers who had done it (Jill, of course). I was immediately star-struck … when Jill expressed interest in running 100 milers, I scoffed – “You could do one tomorrow!”. I scoffed because I know people – especially myself – with a fraction of her prowess who can do it. I even went so far to try to talk her into doing one the following week (and I still think she could have done that …). And I didn’t even realize she holds the woman’s course record on the Tour Divide until much later!

Since then I’ve had the privilege to see her up close, and I have to say she’s even more impressive than I thought. But then I became somewhat suspicious – how could this be real? Let’s look at the facts I gathered during her short run training. I think of myself as a somewhat accomplished endurance runner at least in terms of finishing stuff, so I’ll contrast my own experiences:

Beat Jill
Complaining Wine & Cheese award at HURT Never. Ever
Rest day Maybe an hour on the trainer I got lost and ended up running 4 hours. Felt great though.
Weekly average 10 hours 20 hours
First ultra run See below 50 miles on NO training. Minor foot problem that quickly disappears
First ultra race (50k) well trained, 7:15, unable to walk the next day 3 weeks of some run-training, 6:58, no soreness
Time between first ultrarun and first 100m 10+ months 2 months
General endurance Gets tired after 4 hours Warms up after 4 hours
Temerature sensitivity Gets slow in heat and cold Claims doesn’t like heat, but unable to prove it
Final thoughts in a race Thank god its over. Where’s the bed? Sniff. It’s over already???

Fig. 1: Jill the energizer bunny!

The list could go on and on. Jill is really sort of superhuman in a rather suspicious way. I checked back on some pictures of her “ski bunny” outfit and analyzed it with a novel technique that can detect residual electroweak interference patterns even in JPEG-processed digital camera pictures, which is an effect of latent quantum entanglement. Using advanced image processing techniques I found a shocking revelation, as seen in Fig. 1. I was able to identify the battery as a lithium one (ironically she seems to be using Energizer batteries)., which explains perfectly Jill’s cold-resistance and extreme endurance. Everything suddenly makes sense, her strange affinity for “bunny” costumes, her preference to be alone during restroom breaks, her perking up during exercise and of course her superhuman endurance.

On a more serious note, it needs to be said that I am not exaggerating Jill’s extreme endurance – she is simply impossible to keep up with. She challenges herself constantly. And beyond the pure endurance part I found her to be one of the most successful people I’ve ever met – although she loves to write about her occasional mishaps and unpreparedness – in the end she actually has everything under control, knows what she wants and succeeds in almost everything she sets out to do, and lives her life with a clarity and purpose that I have rarely seen in my life. She really is much more awesome than her blog conveys – and all of this while being the most down to earth, nice, beautiful and intelligent person you could imagine. Which makes me the luckiest bastard in the world. Yeah!

4 comments to Jill is awesome

  • danni

    Yeah she’s pretty rad ;)

  • Anne

    Right now you are a very whipped puppy…enjoy the shine while it lasts.

  • She is awesome – kind of stealth awesome as I see it. Jill’s self-effacing personality keeps her fabulousness on the down-low but once you get to know her, even a little bit, POW! Out comes the awesome. On the other hand, sounds like you’re pretty cool too, Beat. Good luck with the HURT upcoming.

  • And I am pretty darn happy for you both. Oh, what wandering in the woods does to us…