I’ve had a lot of people ask me what it was like during my 100. I’ve tried to process everything so I could give the most honest account I could and I’ve had a really hard time processing everything. For a while it seemed like a dream. Then it turned to a blur… It took me a few more days than usual for the post-race blues to hit, but they did and it rocked my world… I didn’t want to do anything, and I mean anything… This week I’ve done everything that is against my norm… eating out, drinking way more than usual, I’ve felt out of it, bored, I haven’t worked out or even taken a walk. I have done zero physical activity… It isn’t even because I can’t. Other than the blisters on my feet, I have felt great since I woke up Tuesday morning. Mentally though, my world has been turned upside down.

Just a clarification, I don’t remember writing part one of my race report… To be entirely up front, it was a result of a bottle of Fireball mixed with a couple beers and sleep deprivation. I don’t remember writing it and have only read it once after some people asked me some questions about it… So I decided I should write this one in a food coma instead…

Buffalo Run 100- Here we go.

As you all know I have been scheduled to run Leadville 100 since July of 2016. I won the lottery coin after I finished Silver Rush and I have been super excited ever since! I’ve known LT100 is going to be a major challenge and will be an epic adventure, but I’ve wanted to help myself accomplish it by taking any action I possibly could. Through October I was rocking shit! I was running a ton, my body was in the best shape of my life, I felt great mentally, and everything was going my way. By the end of October I knew I wanted to get a 100 mile race out of the way as a preparation for Leadville. So after a lot of investigation, I found Buffalo Run in Utah. It was spaced out far enough I could put in the training needed to finish it and I knew I had 5 months to recover and prepare for LT100. I signed up and away I went!

November hit and I crashed… I crashed mentally. I crashed physically. I become distracted by some personal things and I lost it… I was physically beat up. My body said it was done. I was distraught mentally. I lost my will to run. I lost the will to workout. I didn’t want to get out of bed… I sure didn’t want to eat like I should. I started drinking, a lot. After Thanksgiving I felt like I had hit the bottom and was on my way up but things began to spiral out of control even faster… I was cutting my runs short. I was making excuses about why I could miss this run or it would be ok to cut this run short. I was over sleeping and missing workouts completely… My cross training suffered as I had moved from CrossFit to something else. I started to miss CrossFit but didn’t want to go back for some personal reasons… I wasn’t eating well and I was drinking even more on a daily basis. I was lost and out of control as Christmas hit. I wasn’t myself anymore. It was if I had become this other person…

January came along and I was excited because I felt the winds beginning to change for the better. I had a fresh start and plenty of time to prepare for my 100. Then, my IT Band collapsed… It hurt. It hurt so bad I couldn’t walk let alone run… It hurt to cross train. It even started hurting while I was swimming… I went then entire month of January without one solid positive workout. I was scared… I had lost everything I had been building up to the last year and I could see it all going out the window… I couldn’t get my head straight. My body was dwindling into a big lump of pain and my mind was gone. I was mentally lost. I was missing my blog, I wasn’t working on Run Epic, I was alienating my family, I couldn’t sell a car to save my life. I was not the same person. I was a lost soul bouncing through the abyss… I couldn’t concentrate on anything for months.

Toward the end of February I fell into the deepest depression I’ve ever been in. I was lost. I was not the same person I was 6 months ago. I was changing and I didn’t know what was going to happen. I was not this unstoppable force I was used to. I was distracted and distraught by all these feeling and emotions and felt like I had lost control of everything. There was a point I didn’t want to get out of bed. I could have cared less what the world had to offer… I just wanted to run away but my body wouldn’t let me. I felt like my hands and feet were tied and I couldn’t get loose from hold. I couldn’t run so the few miles I did get in were more like power hiking. I had gone back to CrossFit for a couple weeks, but was only getting about 2 days a week in. My body hurt so I would skip swimming and go straight to the hot tub… I felt like I was letting my chance to finish Buffalo Run slip right through my fingers. I was watching it happen right in front of me and I couldn’t do anything about it…

The beginning of March freaked me out. I saw the calendar turn and realized how close my race was. It hit me how unprepared I was for it. I lost it mentally. I made a lot of swift changes in my life out of complete fear. I was afraid I was going to snap and I didn’t know what was going to happen or who was going to be in the way. About a week into March, after I had made some changes, I began to relax a little. I thought about quitting a couple times and not even showing up in Utah but those thoughts were short lived. I knew from the beginning that I would rather show up and fail than quit before I start. And if there is one thing I know, one philosophy I have followed is that the first step is ALWAYS the hardest, but it is the most important. If I can take the first step then all I have to do is take another and then another. I know that if I take things One Step at a Time and never give up, I will accomplish my goal. So that’s what I did. I made the trip and started the race. I didn’t know what I was doing or how things were going to go, but I knew I wasn’t going to quit before I started. I knew I was going to show up and give my best. So that’s what I did. I took the most important step and started.

To be continued…






Published by Gary Stotler

Gary Stotler is a father, running, fitness, weight loss and personal development addict. Formally 400 pounds, Gary has naturally lost 200 pounds, created a coaching & speaking business and has become a 100 mile ultra-runner. Holding a degree in Psychology & Sociology, certifications from the National Academy of Sports Medicine as a personal trainer, mindset & behavioral modification coaching, a certification in DISC personality assessment coaching and he is a certified speaker, coach & mentor with the John Maxwell Team. Gary firmly believes, if we take One Step at a Time, nothing is impossible. He is determined to let his actions show people what is possible and hopes to help you shake up your thoughts, change your actions and create your future.

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  1. You have been through the craziest rollercoaster of emotions I have ever seen. It has been hard to watch but I am proud of how hard you fight for what you want. I am excited to see you cross that finish line in Leadville and support you through training and race prep. You got this… we got this.


  2. Thanks for sharing part 2, Gary. It’s amazing how you had some physical and mental setbacks and still toed the line. That says a lot about where your deep motivations are. Looking forward to following more.


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