I never got around to doing an real race report for my last 50K. I wrote about how awesome the people I ran with were that day, but I really didn’t get into the actual report of the actual race. It’s been over a month now and I don’t remember a whole lot, but I feel obligated to try to write the report – mainly so I can cross it off my To Do list.
This was the Recover From The Holidays 50K and it consists of 10 laps around our cross-country park course. I did this same race last year and my time was 7:04:25. Since my Dizzy 50s 50K was 6:48 and it’s MUCH harder than the RFH 50K, I had no doubt that I’d be able to PR.
The 3-mile loops crosses over grass, gravel, and woods. It has a general rolling feel to it with one VERY steep uphill which you go up/down every loop. We do runs on this course over the summer and I never run the hill. It’s too steep and not worth the time saved. Last year? I never ran it during the 50K. I ran everything BUT that hill for 6 loops and then added more walking every loop there after. I really simply planned on doing the same this year, just a tad faster at the stops.
But, the first loop, I got the the hill and I thought Well…I could run it at least once... I had an ambitious goal of finishing in under 6 hours, and I knew I’d have to run the hill some if I wanted to come close to that. I ran the hill and the entire loop that first time and since it kept my time on track for a 6-hour finish I thought, Well…might as well see how long I can do it….
Long story short? I ended up convincing myself to not take ANY walk breaks (on the hill or otherwise) until the winner of the race finished. He finished on my 6th loop so I did not take any walk breaks until the 7th loop when I walked up the hill.
And at that point? It all started falling apart.
I started hurting in odd places, I started getting exhausted, I just wanted to be DONE. I felt lonely and tired and sad and SO SICK OF THE COURSE. This was mile 19ish. I had 10ish more to go.
Loop 7 was bad, loop 8 was worse. I was getting cheered on by faster runners and that helped a bit, but I was just tired. I was being encouraged by many runners but I was just hitting that bad headspace that I hit periodically in long races, it’s almost become predictable. Loop 8 sucked. I hollered at a friend that I wanted to quit. PUHLEASE. Then, towards the end of loop 9? I started getting that finish-line euphoria. That “OH MY GOD IT’S ALMOST DONE” feeling I get which boosts me towards the end.
I finished loop 10 much stronger that 7,8, or 9. I did walk some, but my running was stronger. I was just VERY DAMN READY to be done. My results? 6:12:39. Not quite under 6 like I had hoped, but almost a whole hour faster than last year and my new 50K PR. I’m not going to complain.