I just wanted to share my experience of my first Ultra and get it into writing before I forget some parts!
I decided to sign up for this event after watching Unbreakable a few months prior. My training went pretty well and finally got to the point where I could complete a trail run without falling. The week before the race, I was becoming more nervous with each pre-race email. The weather report forecasting a chilly 16 degree start had me rethinking my decision to do this race however my family flew in from Colorado so I knew I was starting 🙂
I was a little less nervous race morning. Maybe it was the 30 degree weather that calmed me down more. The first few miles went great! I met someone from Philly and we started talking about our trail running experience. Well after falling twice while talking I decided I better first stop talking and start focusing on the trail and secondly walk off the pain from a second fall. After a few minutes I was good to go. I have to admit that I let out a little scream at the creek (I know trail runners are not supposed to scream at such things) but it was a refreshing break. The rest of the first loop went by pretty fast and before I knew it I was greeting my family at 16 something miles. I grabbed some Powerade, Advil and some quick hugs and I was off. At the first aid station after the turnaround I felt great and starting calculating how fast or slow I could run to beat 5 hours. I see Marc and chat with him for a while until he speeds ahead. I also see Sophie along the way and try to keep her in sight. The next aid station came pretty quick, now one more aid station and then the finish. At mile 27, I did a mini celebration of surpassing the longest distance I have ran to date. Now only 5+ miles to go. No need to stop at the last aid station, I had all I needed on me. I decided that my one GU was not going to get me to the finish so I took one more…still not feeling that needed energy to make it back so I decided to take one more. Guess I needed to take more nutrition earlier on! Oh well, no more time for carbing up…I was anxious to get to the finish. I get passed by a girl who speeds by and don’t even think about trying to catch her. The rest was a blur until I hit the paved road. I knew I was almost there! I was so glad it was downhill because my left knee was screaming at me to stop running.
Yes! 32.5 on my watch and the finish line steps away. I was done! Hugs by family and friends made it even more perfect at the finish. I didn’t break my 5 hour goal, but that is for next time I guess.