I can’t believe the race is finally over and I finished it and can still walk. I was up at five in the morning as check in was at five forty-five and the race started right at six. There were around three hundred runners but it was not a chip event so everyone started at the same time. The interesting thing about ultra events is most of the people are not about sprinting and speed but finishing it. Those that come in first are super fast but the majority are just normal people like me.
The first fifteen miles went by pretty fast and I felt great and then the uphill climb started and lasted eight miles. The course was on the Mickelson trail and was an old railroad track so the grade was between 1-4%. I had run hills all summer but not one continuous uphill thing for eight straight miles. So pretty much mile fifteen until twenty-three was awful. When I finally reached the check station before the turn around Brian asked if I wanted him to come down with me and take my picture. I said yes of course.
When the aid station asked if there was anything they could do for me I said “please kill me!” They asked me how I wanted it done and I said quick and fast. At least I knew that in two miles I would be headed downhill for eight miles. I was slowing down a bit as the temperature reached a maximum of 88 degrees with full sun on most of the trail. I realized around mile thirty I would not make the twelve-hour mark I had in my head.
The next difficult section was mile forty to forty-five because it was another straight climb up. I was about ready to off myself and questioning why I ever opened my mouth and said I want to run fifty miles for my fiftieth. I also realized that the cutoff was sixteen hours because this course was tough. The original run I had planned to do back in April was pretty much flat and had a twelve-hour cutoff. I thought I was never going to reach mile forty-five and see Brian but I did and he was drinking beer with a buddy he had gotten to know over the day. His brother was running ahead of me. His new friend said its all down hill and I said again just kill me but I took off for the most mentally challenging section.
I was tired and I wanted to die. I had three huge blisters on my feet. My music died with one mile left but I dug deep. I thought about all the ridiculous things I had done to prepare for this race. Back when I was training for the 50K, I did my 26 mile training run on a cruise ship in the dining area because it was raining. I ran 28 miles at the Arnold Recreation Center because it was going to be over 100 with the heat index. I got up and ran when I didn’t want to. I had made it to twenty-four miles of long runs when I came down with the five-week headache and then picked out a new race and started the training over again. I told myself if you can do all this five miles is just from your house to Imperial main street where you get a drink and use the bathroom.
Finally I saw the track that I was going to finish on and I started crying. This made running impossible, not that I could run even if I tried. I just thought back to how this all started over a year ago on fourth of July weekend when I remembered I said I wanted to run fifty and my birthday was the next year. I found the training plans and wrote it out and didn’t look back. And now I can say I finished the beast in 13:57:38. There were 10 gals in my age group 50-59 and I came in third! I really thought I would be more like second to last so then I start thinking maybe I should do another one. Then I smacked myself upside the head and came back to reality.
Mole Moral ~ When you set a goal and achieve it, it’s the greatest feeling in the world.
Last week on my Time Hop app it reminded me of the time I was texting while running and hit a chunk of concrete and fell and scrapped up my face. I remember exactly who I was texting and what we were talking about. You would have thought I would have taken that as a warning or foreshadowing but I saw it as neither.
Yesterday I was walking to church for the baptism service and texting with my sister. I stepped into this hole in our street and down I went.
My ankle rolled and I slammed it into the concrete. I managed to hit both legs right below the knees and they are bruised. I landed on my left wrist again and aggravated the sprain and bruised it. The entire 19 weeks of training flashed before my eyes in a flash. I got up and could walk so being my true crazy self walked to church.
I started to walk home after the edge which was after the baptism when Brian texted me and asked if I needed a ride. I actually said yes and he came and picked me up. He asked if he should cancel vacation and the hotels. I told him absolutely not.
After I was home and no longer distracted I noticed my left ankle was swelling and really hurting to touch it. I then went into full freak out Freddy mode. Emily called during this time and told me to calm down. That who was I kidding, I would run it on a broken ankle. Sadly, she’s right. I’d load up on pain killers and run and deal with the aftermath later. However I’m pretty sure it isn’t broken. It hurts way more to touch my ankle (like a bad bruise) than to walk. However I think it will be wise to not do my last three training runs and just rest it.
Mole moral ~ When you are a high fall risk you should not text and walk, it’s more dangerous than texting and driving.
For anyone that has formally trained for a race, they know what taper means. Taper usually occurs a couple of weeks before the race and where the amount of miles dramatically decreases. My training for the fifty mile had three weeks of taper and it came in the nick of time, as I was about ready to throw in the towel and say forget the race.
I left for camp on a Saturday at midnight. That friday I ran 28 miles at the indoor track. It took me almost seven hours and something like 330 laps. Around mile 18 I hit the I’m going to die of boredom wall and by mile 26 I seriously wanted to off myself. The next day I was back for another 12 miles. It was so mentally challenging I am not sure how I did it. Sunday I was on the bus until six in the evening. Monday I got up and ran 12 miles, Tuesday 6 and Wednesday 4. That was 62 miles in six days with camp factored in. I saw 55 kids and was woken up at least twice in the middle of the night that week. It is no wonder I had a headache the entire way home on Friday. I blew off my second 28 mile run that saturday because I was exhausted and cut Sunday’s in half. I think I forgot I’m twice as old as twenty-five and may have over did it just a bit. The next week every run was a nightmare, I had to force myself out the door.
This week was much better. I had a six-mile and a four mile during the week and that was it. It was during this time Brian had gotten on the race website and found the course had finally been posted. I discovered that there would be stops every five miles with food, drinks and bathrooms. I had previously thought it would be every ten miles. Also every stop was accessible by vehicle with driving directions so Brian was nominated as my crew person. He seems to be taking it very seriously. I was pretty excited to think I would get to see him every five miles and not have to carry a million things with me. He can bring me drinks and food and anything else I need. Yesterday I got an email from the race with details of what to expect. Sometime in the next couple of days I will know what my bib number is. That was super exciting.
Today was the first ten-mile run I have done in I don’t know how long that I didn’t want to stay in bed. The weather was gorgeous and I didn’t even start until eight. I ran faster than I have in a long time and I’m telling you it’s because of taper. The body needs the rest so it can gear up for the big run. I actually was envisioning myself crossing the finish line and having pictures taken. I’m starting to get just a little excited for next Saturday. This weeks runs are a 4, 3, and then a 2 mile run. It is the only time the entire 20 weeks that I have had a run less than 4 miles. I won’t know what to do with only two miles. But the key is not to go running more and stick to the schedule. This will not be an issue for me! I am looking forward to my mileage being so much less, this has felt like a full-time job and everyone knows I am part-time girl.
Mole Moral ~ Rest, it does a body good!
The morning talk started with the comfort filter which is the best life is an easy life. That’s such an easy way to live, however it causes these issues:
1. Slow is bad (no patience for anything.
2. Hard is bad.
3. Boring is bad.
4. Risk is bad.
5. Work is bad.
By seeing the world through this filter causes you to run from the difficult, the daunting, and the dangerous. Of course I immediately start thinking of my upcoming fifty mile race in just 22 days. It most certainly fits all three categories. Difficult you bet. The training alone has been a nightmare especially in the middle of the heat wave. Running fifty plus miles a week is difficult both mentally and physically. I have to carve out huge chunks of time on the weekend to get them done. Is it daunting, you bet it is. I cannot think of it as fifty miles in twelve hours or less but more in five-mile blocks of time. Otherwise it is extremely overwhelming. Is it dangerous? You better believe it is. Without proper hydration and fuel I could easily end up in the hospital. Just moving non stop for twelve hours can be considered dangerous. Not everyone has been encouraging and I could have easily listened to them and took the comfort filter and said no way. When I had the five-week headache and had to change my race I could have also said forget it. This last month with the heat index and the mega distance, I have had to pull in every encourager into my head to move on and finish this.
So the enemy’s (Satan) goal is to make us complacent. He wants us to settle for the life we have because we become lazy, apathetic, and comfortable which keeps us from fighting. The way to get out of comfortable and into fight mode is to get off your BUT (please note the spelling).
I want to stop drinking at parties BUT all my friends are doing it and it’s fun.
I want to wait until marriage for sex BUT kissing etc feels so good.
I want to lose weight BUT exercise takes too much time and meal planning.
I want to be better mentally BUT counseling is too expensive and too hard.
Gerald concluded with the three ways to fight:
1. Be great
2. Be good (morals, character)
3. Be Godly
Mole moral~I shall run my fifty mile race knowing that God made it possible and may he shine through me.