With nervous fingers, I hit submit. I was now registered for my first ever 50k a distance that seemed nerve wracking and awe inspiring since I trained with some friends who were preparing for theirs the prior year. While I was was making the leap to the 50K from half marathons, they were all training for their first 50 miler which just seemed to me as nothing short of batshit.
My New Year’s resolution for 2016 was to run a 50k, do a pull up, and run a Spartan. The first goal sort of got away from me though. My friend who was training for a 50 miler gave me the great idea of running a 50K to train for a 50K and she even offered to run with me. This made total sense! My first foray was the Frozen Heart 50K and at mile 26.2 I shouted “I’m a marathoner” and then every mile after that was a mileage PR. The race had red velvet cheesecake brownies and bacon wrapped dates. Had I realized the food at trail races was so awesome I would have started this years ago. The course was muddy, or at least it seemed muddy to me…North Face a few months later would mock the mud of Frozen Heart.
North Face surprised me by being completely miserable with massive piles of deep thick mud, thunder snow, sleet, rain, and biting cold. I PR’d my first by nearly 30 min and thought…hmmmm if I do one more I can qualify for the Marathon Maniacs (still haven’t run a marathon yet btw).
I decided to do the local 24 Hour Adventure Trail Race with the intention of seeing how far I could go in 12 hours to gauge if I wanted to train for a 50 miler next year. This event was the week after Trail Ragnar in Richmond but I was going to make it a low key fun event. I ran with my friend Carrie for the first few loops and was clearly ridiculously excited to be running in the woods with a Nutella in each hand like a chipmunk. We parted ways when I started having issues and wanted her to finish her 100K (they ran both events at the same time).
At the 50K point when I had enough miles to qualify for Maniac status, my husband had shown up at the big aid station with the tiny humans who were running around and having a blast. He told me that my friend said I’d be pissed at myself if I didn’t at LEAST mileage PR. I think I walked and swore to myself that entire loop. At mile 38 I tried to quit. The race director Alex is amazing and talked me into trying just one more loop and even offered to pace me for my final loop. I changed my clothes and tried to get my husband to talk me out of it. My 4 year old daughter grabbed me by my face and said, “you can do it Mommy” and then ran off to play. Inspiring? Yes..but she also didn’t want to go to bed yet LOL.
This loop went a little faster and when I came in to start my final loop, I realized I will do some insane shit for a beer mug. That last loop involved me stopping for 5 minutes contemplating how to get around a scorpion (spoiler alert it was a crayfish) and then hauling ass through the woods when I realized the sparkling magical dewdrops were in fact spider eyes. NOPE NOPE NOPE. With stopping when I wanted to bail for at least 20-30 min and some slow ass shuffling on some loops, my first 50 mile attempt came in at 14:44:43.7.
I swore the 50 miler was it for me. Until 2 weeks later when I heard about this really cool sounding 100K. So back at it I went and I’ve now completed the 12 Hour Adventure Trail Run and the Patapsco 50K as I get ready for the Devil Dog Ultra 100K next month…a distance that I’m still feeling unprepared for. That’s it though…I swear I’ll do normal distances next year. Maybe even a couple of marathons….though there is this sweet 50K that I’ve been contemplating.