Done and done! This Saturday I completed the 50k trail race as part of the Croom Fools Run! I’m an ultra marathoner!!!
I was so nervous the weeks leading up to this race. I had no long runs (11 miles was my longest) after the Gasparilla Marathon the month before. I wasn’t as prepared as I wanted to be. Plus, I know only one person who has completed the distance…. that is intimidating itself!
Still, I focused my energy on the positive and got quite excited about the run. Kelly, Caitlin, Meghann and I stayed in a hotel in Brooksville, Fl near the race start the night before. It was definitely nice having other runners to go to bed early and wake up even earlier for a run with!
Meghann and I ran the first 13 miles with Kelly and Caitlin (who were doing the 15 mile run) and the next four together. I started walking more at the halfway point and insisted Meghann go ahead of me and finish the race on her own. We had different training and we each needed to experience our first 50k’s on our own. She finally agreed and ran ahead of me Meghann’s Garmin hadn’t picked up signal the whole race and was only tracking time. Mine had time/distance/pace so I made sure we traded Garmins before she took off. I secretly wanted to enjoy the race without the pressures of time or pace. It kind of reminded me of the surprise ending of my first trail marathon!
I knew my training wasn’t ideal so I didn’t hold myself accountable to running the entire thing or making it under a certain time. I had two goals: enjoy the trail and finish. The atmosphere of a trail race is so relaxed and the atmosphere is gorgeous; I could have stayed out there all day!
I had a strategic plan: power walk uphill and run downhill and on flat surfaces I did this most of the race and loved it!
The terrain was crazy. We ran about one mile on the road and then two miles in really soft sand. Some of the trail was more open and some of it was soooo narrow. I found it interesting that everyone ran single file and together for the first five miles.
There were roots popping out of the ground the whole time. I tripped so many times and actually fell four times. Falling and bracing myself for it shook me up. Luckily I only got a few bruises and scrapes! Trail running brings your mind into the game because you’re always watching the ground so you don’t trip and hurt yourself!
I definitely ate real food at the stops on this race. Who can resist PB+J?! I had 1.5 whole sandwiches total!
The runners and volunteers are so friendly. Everyone wanted to walk and chat when they’d pass! I met this guy who told me about his wife who is a tri-coach. I took a photo so I’d remember to check out his wife’s company. It looks pretty cool! Based on my time and distance between rest stops I was able to guess how far into the trail I was. Surprisingly, I didn’t feel any different when I hit the 26.2 mile point. During the whole run I was viewing it as two 15 mile runs (plus 1 mile!) rather than a marathon plus five.
The whole race seemed uphill. There was even one hills that was so steep it was referred to as “Croom Mountain”! Those hills made me feel like I was on the stairmaster! I enjoyed this run immensely. I loved being in nature and experiencing the awesome feel of running. I definitely loved every mile.
I finished 49 out of 67 finishers in the 50Kdivision
I finished 3 out of 5 in the Female 20 to 29 age group
My overall pace was 13:29 per mile
Check out how dirty I was! The oddest thing about this race is that I wasn’t sore after! Even the next day I woke up feeling great. Usually after a marathon I’m tight and at least a little bit sore. Weird!
I feared this race more than any other to the point that my stomach hurt– but I finished and actually felt good. Finishing this race changed something within me. It abolished any fears I had regarding running. I’ve always feared distance, even after finishing one marathon and looking forward to the next. Not anymore. This race taught me to embrace running. Soooo, I’m looking onward… maybe to a 50 mile race?!
I also recorded a video. That’ll be up soon!