I’m not sure what my initial thoughts were on pursuing a 50k. I was looking for something other than a triathlon. Shawn and I had started doing some trail running and both enjoyed it way more than road running. I have never really like running so this change made it more enjoyable.
Wrapping my head around running 31 miles was daunting at first considering my furthest run had been a couple half marathons. We started our training process using the Furman First program. The thought of only running 3 times a week in training for a 31 mile run didn’t seem to be enough. But the more we read the book and the more we started the training it seemed to make sense and not totally kill our joints. On our off days we swam. I enjoyed this part especially when we started really adding miles. Shawn however did not enjoy as much. Each week I surprised myself with the distances we were completing. I never in my life would have thought that in my 40’s I would be running an Ultra Marathon.
Race prep was good…
- Fuel for race day… check
- Hydration supply… check
- What to wear and bring for race day… check
- Kid accounted for and taken care of… check (HUGE thanks to my awesome friends for taking K-Bug for the night before the race and during it)
- Day before and morning of race nerves and more nerves… check check check check… seriously… enough!
Morning of… we got there early set up our Vose tent. My stomach was in knots. Didn’t sleep well and was having trouble eating anything. I kept sipping water and tried to eat best I could. Lined up to get started and boom we are off. Other than feeling under fueled at the start things went well. Shawn and I started the first half mile or so together then separated gradually. The first few laps we passed each other around the same place so I knew our pace was staying the same. As I slowed some we stopped seeing each other. I got a little down mentally as seeing him kept my spirits up and I knew he was doing ok.
I got to mile 16 and my brand new watch died. It was so frustrating (blog for another time) and for some reason got me all flustered. Big Cousin Abbie got there and offered to run with me. I actually was glad she did because I hit a wall at that point and knew my lack of fuel was catching up with me. Drank up some electrolytes and took more Energybits and that seemed to help. Abbie was a great “donkey” talking to me when I needed it and being quiet when I need that also. I had to dig deep around mile 18 to get me through. I kept saying one step forward is a step closer to being done. I was way too conservative with my run/walking strategy. I didn’t keep it consistent. I walked like 2.5 miles in a row around mile 20 and I think it didn’t really do me any good because when I started running again it was tough. I had hoped to finish less than 7 hours but didn’t quite make that. I finished the race with no injuries and wasn’t hurting so terribly bad, so all in all it was a win! I found out quickly that I was dehydrated as a massive headache and nausea got the best of me a few hours after the race. I do feel that this was harder on me than my first 70.3 triathlon. Of course after races like this I ask myself “Will you do it again”? The answer… yes I think I will.
So happy to knock on that Wood and give it that one final kiss. Forrest Freak 50k Complete!