Shawn and I ran our 4th 50k this past weekend. We stayed at the Leatherwood Mountain resort. http://www.leatherwoodmountains.com/ This area was beautiful, lots of horses and mountains, lots of mountains.
The cabin we rented was a 2 person 1 room place. It was perfect. We literally walked out the door to the start and finish. This made for a great place to go after our first 15 mile loop to refuel, hydrate and repack our stuff. I’m so glad we decided to stay the weekend and enjoy the full race experience. Most of the time we run, hang out for a bit and head home.
I would say as of now… this was our “A” race for the year. Technically we have 2 more 50k’s to sign up for and complete 3 races to fulfill the 2016, doing 5-50k’s goal but that’s another post. I felt pretty prepared for the race. Would I have like to do a few more longer runs, yes but we trained on harder and hillier runs that I think made up for it. I’m SO glad we ran multiple times up at Table Rock, SC. That certainly helped my legs get ready for this course. I won’t go into a long mile by mile recap as I could do and bore you to death. The first loop was climbing and climbing. If we were not going up we were coming down fast. The down hills where steep and burned out your legs quick. Just when you thought you were at the top… NOPE turn the corner for a little taper off the elevation only to start back up. I tried to be mindful of my eating and hydration. I did start the race with a little anxiety which had my stomach a little queasy. We hit the first aid station and I ate some watermelon which typically helps calm my tummy. I tried to keep my pace up when I wasn’t climbing. Ending the first loop I started to feel lethargic. The climbing really depleted me a lot more than I thought even though I was eating. I was hitting a dark place, thinking about if I could finish, maybe I’ll walk a mile run a mile for the rest of the race. How was Shawn feeling? If he stopped then I would also. (That thought I knew I was in a bad place, he wouldn’t ever quit) I ran into the cabin, took off my pack and saw a note from Shawn. First thing it said was EAT! I laughed at that. He said take my time, keep going and don’t listen to my mind or body. I love you… EAT! 🙂 I SO needed to read that. It bought tears to my eyes and lifted my spirits. I drank half a smoothie and that made a world of difference. I went out for the 2nd loop with a better mind set. Got on first trail and it was straight up. I said “Fuck you hills” flashed the bird at the ground and started my way back up. The last 16 miles or so weren’t has hilly but still difficult. We did one major river crossing that was fun. The water was cold but felt fabulous on my tired feet.
I completed this race in 7:53:55. I was happy with my time considering the difficulty of this race.
After the race Shawn and I hung out with some pretty cool, like-minded people. I met a new friend and we are now bonded as #UltraPals. We cheered on runners we didn’t know as they finished the 50k and stayed out till dark and cheered those running the 50 mile race to their finish. Not one moment did I feel bored, too exhausted to hang out or strange talking to the other ultra runners. This is a group of people that are true to their hearts, beliefs and strength.
These are OUR people.