RFH 50K (very late) Race Report

As always, thanks to Gregg Gelmis of We Run Huntsville for the race photos.
As always, thanks to Gregg Gelmis of We Run Huntsville for the race photos.

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.

As always, thanks to Gregg Gelmis of We Run Huntsville for the race photos.
As always, thanks to Gregg Gelmis of We Run Huntsville for the race photos.

2 thoughts on “RFH 50K (very late) Race Report”

Leave a Reply