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Emotional AF

Over the weekend I ran my first 50 mile trail run. The event was in Northern PA, Glacier Ridge Trail.
I was stalking the weather forecast for Butler PA for a week before the race as I normally do. Rain rain rain all week. The past two ultra events I signed up for it had rained the entire week before the event. I was keeping the faith that the trails would still be run-able and that I would be able to finish but that my time would just be slower.



We got the start area and dropped off our drop bags around 545. The start time of the race was 6:30 for the 50 mile runners, 7:30 for the 50k runners and then 8:30 for the 30k runners. Thankfully we started the race with no rain. I want to say there was very little rain until about 8 but the trail was already super muddy and pretty soft in many places. When we stopped for fuel at the mile 10 aid station I was feeling great and optimistic even with all the mud and rain. As we set off on the next stretch things were going good but the course was even more destroyed. By the time we reached the half way point of this leg the people in the head of the race were coming back the other directions and also some of the fast 50k runners were starting to pass us. Once we were running back towards the aid station I was pretty much in shock as to how much softer the trails were then when we just ran on them miles ago.

At mile 20 things started to really change for me mentally. My fingers were extremely swollen which had never happen to me before. I didnt know what was going on with my body. I took way to much time at the aid station this time and my legs suffered. Since it was so cool and raining my body cooled down and my IT Band was pissed off for the remainder of the event. My mantra for this race was if it hurts to walk and it hurts to run, RUN. I kept telling myself that. It was so hard to run this freaking course. Not just because my IT Band was pissy and my fingers were sausages but the mud made it so hard for me to enjoy the event because I kept skipping and sliding everywhere. I almost lost my shoes so many times. I had other shoes in my drop bag but I figured what is the point in changing them when they too will be trashed in just a matter of feet.

We kept on going, Miles 20-40 on the swamp run leg were rough. I had a mental break down around mile 30. I had to call my husband so he could give me a pep talk. He told me how I wasn't a quitter and that I had to keep going so I did. My watch had died at this time which was a blessing at first but then a bit of of a curse at the very end of the race when we finished 5 minutes shy of the cut time! I was so disappointed that we didn't finish before the cut time that I couldn't allow myself to be happy that I even finished at all.

I am way to hard on myself. I am grateful to know that I can complete that distance. I was pissed about the mud but seriously I couldn't do anything about that. I know what I could have changed to make the race better. I lived I learned. I am so thankful that at no point during the race did I think about giving up running!! I was hoping to feel like the picture below but better luck next race.

I would like to thank everyone who helped me get to the start and finish of this race. My family and friends for watching my children during my insane 20 week training schedule and over race weekend. The many people who listened to me talk over and over about my race when you could care less about ultra running and probably all think I'm insane. My awesome running team Miki & Kelly thank you for forcing me into trail running and getting me to sign up for nutty 50 mile events! Everyone at the Glacier Ridge Trail Ultramarathons, the managers and race directors and many volunteers and sponsors! The event its self was really well organized and the aid station were amazing. The only thing I would have changed was the mud haha.




Comments

  1. Hold your head high. That was an insane day out there. If you made it through miles 40-50 you have my respect and should think of it as a finish despite the cutoff. I was questioning everything, especially from 41-44 or so.

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