So, I’ve been off of here for AWHILE. Sorry about that!
I recently ran my first 50 Mile ultramarathon and here is my follow-up to the race.
We will start back inside the training block, roughly 7 weeks out. I had managed to maintain the mileage and my training plan up to this point. My injury was pretty much gone, workouts were hard, and the recovery was sufficient. I had built in a few recovery weeks throughout my plan and only a 2-week taper. I was able to take full advantage of the planned recovery weeks, but my taper didn’t go quite as planned. Right at 4 weeks out I began to come down with some sort of head/body cold. It hit me pretty hard and lasted about 10 days. With it lasting longer than expected, I decided to begin my taper at 4 weeks out. It was the best decision given the circumstances. I didn’t feel the need to ramp up training for 7-14 days and possibly go into the race fatigued.
On race week I was fresh, excited, and nervous. Going into an unknown distance is always exciting and you have to treat it with a certain level of respect. The night before I was packing my drop bag, deciding on what to wear and then changing my mind a couple dozen times. All my nutrition and game plan was set and ready to go.
That morning I woke up ate some breakfast and made a last-minute change to my attire for the race. We couldn’t have asked for a better race day really. The weather was 35 and dry at the start. Coming off the start line I immediately began to pack up with a few runners that I knew and a few that I didn’t. We ran together for a few miles and the pack started to separate. The plan was to make sure I didn’t push to hard until the turnaround point.
I began to cramp very early on and maintaining a positive headspace was rather difficult at this point in the race. Knowing that I still had MILES to go with cramping and some other issues was worrisome to say the least. I debated to myself if I was going to drop down to the 50K distance and the only reason I didn’t was because my family was at an aid station waiting for me past the 50K turnaround. Coming up on the turnaround, 26.2 miles, I was able to see my family at the aid station. I was still not feeling up to the race. While still maintaining a nice pace, my body wasn’t wanting to cooperate. I’m not sure if it was the pickle juice or seeing my family at the aid station but I started to feel better once I left them. Knowing that I would see them again at mile 36 and 46 may have influenced my mental as well. Roughly around mile 32 I spotted the 1st place runner and realized I was making up some good time. When we ran into mile 36 aid station, I stayed to the plan and sat down with my crew to rest, the 1st place runner did not. Leaving that aid station, I was feeling fresher than I had all day!
I didn’t see the lead runner again until mile 44. At this point I could see the finish and saw a window of opportunity. I came up to the lead runner right at the mile 46 aid station, I dropped all my gear and got 1 more water. The race had just begun! We ran together through the rest of the trail and hit the pavement together. I could tell he was also ready for a race. Not knowing how much he had left in the tank, I began to push the pace, opening my gate up all the way on the pavement. With 1.5 miles left I began to pull away significantly.
I ended up finishing the race as hard as I could. The team and I put a plan together and executed it as good as we could’ve.
I ended up placing 1st Overall in my first ever 50-mile race! I was shocked and overwhelmed with emotions to say the least. I’m super blessed to have the support and my health!
I’ll have a complete race recap soon. It will be everything from nutrition, game plan, and on the fly changes I had to make. Stay tuned!
Here is my Strava link from my race