Well…we did it!!
This picture is immediately after. The fact we were still standing is amazing.
No one told me this course was not beginner friendly. No one said it was going to be as hard as it was. Well, maybe they did (or I could have found out) I just didn’t listen.
This trail run was TOUGH! What an experience for my second 50k and E’s first ever!
Friday, we stayed in Giddings…about 15 minutes from the race site. It was a little far to drive that early in the morning.
Race time was 6am.
Friday night, we got most of our stuff ready for the early morning.
Although we got up early, and tried getting going…we were still late. Then, when we were grabbing our stuff to go get started…E realized he left everything at the hotel! All his nutrition..water bottles..everything!
This was going to be a long day.
As we were walking to get our bibs and timing chip..the 50k race started. And cue anxiety. If you know me, then you know I don’t like to be late for anything! Especially things I’m unfamiliar with.
We got our stuff, walked to the start line and headed out. However, it was still dark.
We were so unprepared.
E ran back to the car and grabbed my cell phone. We used the flashlight on the phone until the sun came up. It wasn’t too fun. My anxiety was at an all time high. We were late, it was dark, we had no idea where we were going.
Then we got going on the trail. And it was way more difficult than I ever imagined. It was hard to run at times, ankles rolled left and right, ascents and descents. At some points the trail was as narrow as my shoe. Our strategy was run 5 minutes, walk 1 minute.
We were so unprepared.
Only a couple miles in and cue the tears. Cue the doubt. Cue the frustration. Cue the best boyfriend, best friend, best motivator, best coach, best man, best runner, best everything.
He stopped, kissed me, told me we are doing to do it, and everything was fine. We then changed our strategy to run 2 minutes, walk 1 minute.
Finishing the first loop only helped mentally a little.
The crazy thing was, I kept forgetting the course. It’s not hard to know where you are going, but every hill, every climb, every descent seemed new…each time! And we did FOUR loops! The brain is pretty amazing that way..it knew I could tackle what was in front of me, but knew it would be harder if I knew about it before I got to it.
That also means I don’t remember at what miles things happened.
The first 3ish miles mostly consisted of rocks. Rock in which I twisted my ankles on almost every step. I started getting defeated again going through this portion. It’s not fun to twist ankles and fear injuries.
Close to the end of this loop, E took the water off my back. This was a life saver! I felt so much better, so free, and so light!
We started the third loop and I remember thinking “yay! halfway!” But the reality of that didn’t sink in until we were crossing a part of the trail covered deep in muddy water. E mentioned we would only have to do that one more time. That’s when it hit me..everything one more time after this. That carried me most of the third loop.
Pain also set in. IT Band on my right leg..from all those twisting of my ankles; pulling too much on my muscles. E made me stop and he massaged it a while. (He really is the best.)
We finished the third loop and I so wanted to be done.
E grabbed my phone when we passed the car to take photos. We said since we weren’t able to remember the course, we needed something to remember it by! (Some of those photos are below.)
The pain in my right knee grew to my hip. And with two miles to go I was in tears again. YES, only two miles! I was terrified I was injuring myself and would be out of running for a while..and I was thinking for what? For completing a race I wasn’t ready for..again. This was only supposed to be a training run for the 50 miler..because we all know I wouldn’t run this far without getting a medal.
E told me we would walk the rest of the way. I hated this. I apologized so many times. But we took photos, we held hands, we enjoyed each others company.
We ran the last .1 mile (if that) in holding hands! We did it! We completed a TOUGH 50k!
I forgot to mention how the weather changed. I saw it was supposed to be upper 50s all day. But thankfully, I read something that stated to dress like it is 15 degrees warmer. So shorts and a tech tee for me! The morning was not cold at all. It was humid and gross. It sprinkled on the drive out to the ranch. Then, the temperature started to drop. And the wind picked up. Gusts were strong! A lot of the time we were covered from the wind but when we were in it, it was brutal. It was very cold by the time we got done. It’s so crazy the extremes you go through.
The week before it rained so there were many puddles out on the course. Just when you thought your socks were dry..the weren’t anymore. What a trick that was.
Here’s so photos from the race:
I am glad we did this race, I’m glad we made it, I’m glad we finished. As with every race, I learned a lot.
I learned (yet again) my body can do incredible things. I need to stop listening to my head. I need small goals to work towards within the race.
E is pretty amazing isn’t he. Not only did he help me physically (carrying my stuff, massages, etc.) but also mentally. I felt bad for being a baby; doubting myself and when being in pain. But he was great. Kept me going and didn’t complain once about taking care of me. He didn’t complain much at all. E is one of those amazing people who are good at everything and push through anything. E is pretty much my hero.
After the race, we went back to the hotel and showered. Our recovery meal was Buffalo Wild Wings. We were very tired and hungry. And I was in pain.
I rested and rolled my legs out Sunday and Monday. Today is Tuesday and my legs feel great! I’m headed out for a run soon..wish me luck!
I think we could tackle the 50 miler for sure!
I am even looking into the “toughest trail in Houston” race in January..I think I have a problem!