The Frosty Fifty 50k trail ultra marathon in Winston-Salem yesterday was a blast!
This was Richard’s first race with me. He was a trooper to wake up at 4:00 a.m. for the three hour drive to Lake Salem. I packed 1/2 c. oatmeal with flax, cinnamon, honey and peanut butter to eat on our way over. To hydrate I had one bottle with coconut water and another with Spark. Right before start I had 1/2 a cereal bar.
I love small races- parking is always easy and the walk to race start (and line for porta potties!) short!
Apparently this race has been growing in popularity. Last year the race had around 100 participants. This year brought in about 180!
The clock his 8:00 a.m. and we were off! Everyone stuck close together for the first 1-2 miles. (Can you spot me in the photo above?)
The trail was by far the most beautiful I’ve run on. It was two out-and-backs on a wide trail around Lake Salem. Unlike most trail races, there were few rocks or roots to worry about so it was easy to maintain a nice stride. About six total miles were run on pavement.
You never went more than a minute or two without seeing another runner, which I really appreciated on such a long race.
The temperature was around 30* the whole course- plus a very cold wind coming off the lake. It started snowing for a few miles around mile 8! I appreciated the pretty flakes; I imagined I was in a slow globe
I’ve been running so many races all over that I’ve become used to not knowing anyone on the course. It was such a treat to know Richard was waiting at the water stops to give me kisses and encouraging words!
Rest stops were every 3-3.5 miles. In the heat this would never be enough as I need more to drink, but this was perfect spacing for the chilly run. I ate something small at each stop, eating about 6 Oreo cookies, 1/3 banana, 8 pretzels, one Gu gel and two PB&J sandwiches total. I drank mostly water; Gatorade tends to upset my stomach.
I was happy with my pacing for the first half, hitting the halfway mark in just over three hours.
I entered the Frosty Fifty 50k the night I dropped out of the Tallahassee Ultra Distance Classic 50-miler. I left that race at 37 miles because of an injury behind my left knee. Bad part about this is that I never let that injury completely heal. Also, because of that pain my training was minimal. I had to start to slow down around mile 12. I reminded myself that regardless of when I finish, I can have a good run. Going in to it I never said I must make a certain time or perform a certain way…. so I reminded myself to walk when I needed to and just enjoy the gorgeous race.
Guess what fun surprise I had waiting at the water stop at mile 22? Richard had changed into running clothes and was going to run with me to push me through the last nine miles!
There was a stream over the course that all runners had to cross four times. There were some wobbly rocks to help us across, but I’m pretty sure everyone ended up with wet feet anyway!
The back of my left knee hurt pretty bad when I was running with Richard. I pushed when I could but walked when my leg couldn’t run anymore. I wanted to run the whole way for Richard, but I had to put my body first. Still, it was great walking/running with my love!
And just like that the race was over. As goes with most small races, the finish line was a line in the stand with a handshake from the race official. No clapping, no balloons, no loud music. <3 trail races.
I finished in 7:17,,, first in my age group! I should mention I was the only one in my age group! All finishers got a cute little medal. I’m thinking of putting a ribbon on it to hang it with the rest of my race medals.
We headed straight to Chipotle to feed our hungry bellies. I had this salad and then a protein shake in the car… and a bag of cookies… and the biggest bowl of cereal known to man.
Richard made sure I included this photo of me on the drive home. Apparently I was a bit tired!
The Frosty Fifty 50k was my favorite trail race. It was mostly flat with small hills, great volunteers and a beautiful course. I’ll definitely be back next year!
What is your favorite race?