We came, we climbed, we conquered–well, almost. Sadly, Anthony and I did not finish our first 50miler, but we got really, really close. We did a 70K (43.5 miles)–the longest and most bad ass run of my life and I can’t wait to top it. After 12 hours of constantly moving, we were pulled off the course at the last aid station when we arrived 20 minutes after the cut off time. It certainly was a tough race. The miles that followed the early drop and rise in elevations were the toughest I’ve ever experienced, but after that, I found my fire and I was chugging through the course. Ultimately, this didn’t matter because even though we left the 2nd to last aid station 10 minutes early, the sweeper had already started collecting the yellow ground markers and in the pitch dark, even with a headlamp, we couldn’t recognize the course well enough to power through. We had to move at a slower clip in order to site the few pink tree markers without tripping up on the terrain under foot, hoping we hadn’t made an incorrect choice each time we came to a fork in the road. We caught up to the sweeper at the ropes, which were pretty awesome the first time we climbed up them in daylight, but even more cool traversing down them in the dark while we slid down the side of a muddy cliff. That’s when we saw the glow from her headlamp shining on the pile of yellow trail markers she had been collecting. We were a half mile from the aid station and deep down, I knew we were screwed.
Throughout the race, I never experienced the delirium we were warned about when one approaches the physical and mental extremes of endurance activities. I was calm and even keel throughout the adventure, quiet and at peace. It was truly blissful and an almost spiritual event. But when the volunteer said, “sorry folks, this is the end of the line”, I collapsed in a heap of tears, literally unable to hold back the energy I had relied on to propel me forward. I was heartbroken. I pleaded with the crew, Anthony tried reasoning with them, but it was futile and we were driven back to the finish line for burgers while we warmed up in the heated tent, listening to stories of triumph from other runners. I knew we could have made it –it would have been very close given the hills that made up those final 7.5 miles, but deep down, I knew we should have been given the opportunity to try –I felt that confident. I have no problem wearing the swag in all it’s fuchsia glory. It was a tough race that left me elated and lifted beyond my imagination even as DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) has me flinching in pain every time my quad muscles are put to use.
I loved my race. I loved the course. I loved running this with Anthony. We are pretty good running partners. He knows when I need silence, which, if we are on trails, is most of the time and he reminds me to stop and take in the magnitude of our surroundings. For Lookout, he lead the climbs while I led the downhills and a lot of the flataways. We’re not perfect and when he took off without warning and was no longer in sight for several miles, I was angry and that sparked the fire that had me forgetting how challenging the course was while I problem solved our relationship instead. This was not the first time I used running for anger management, this was just the first time I realized just how good of a tool it was for me, helping me just go, go go.
- Hands down, THE best thing I put in my mouth all day: boiled potatoes and salt.
- More details on how my 90/10 experiment worked out, post coming soon. (Calories source: 90% low fat raw and 10% low fat lean animal protein, whole grain bread, nuts & seeds)
- Runmeter App for iPhone. Only tried it once, but it was AMAZING.
- Merrell Embark Glove GTX, waterproof minimalist trail (only for men, released last year and already discontinued!)
- Brooks Pure Grit Trail Minimalist Running Shoe for women