Sunday, January 27, 2008

Yours Truly 50K

The Yours Truly 50K is one of those strange runs that has people running their own routes, with their own start times, all over the world. In our area, a route was selected. Runners chose their own start times. There was a Race Director - he marked the trail and set up a self-service aid station at each end of the out-and-back. Our route was on the Cedar River Trail, a double out-and-back of 7.75 miles. Rob and I were planning to run and decided an earlier start would be best. We chose 6:30 am. Eric and Jamal decided to join us just yesterday. Now, it should be said that Eric and Rob both ran the Pigtails 50K yesterday, and Jamal ran two fast 10-mile laps of yesterday's route. I went to First Aid/CPR class and did not run at all.

The roads were a little slick this morning and by the time we got to the trail head and set ourselves up, our start time was 6:40. It was still dark and we all had our headlamps on. It was also snowing lightly and cold. As we started down the gravel trail, we were surprised to discover that it was a sheet of ice. I expected it to be frozen, but instead it was a sheer layer of ice over the trail. Right in the middle, or sometimes on the edges, the gravel poked through for a little traction. Anyone who knows me, knows I hate running on ice. I did it anyway, and in the dark! We crossed several bridges and roads that were very slick. The ice covered the trail for 4.75 miles. At that point we turned up a hill and most of the ice was gone, though it still showed up in patches. We got to the turn around just after the RD set it up - he was still marking the trail with flour as we passed him. I was already feeling fatigue and some soreness when we hit the turn around - a measly 7.75 miles in. I attributed it to running on the ice.



I was sure the ice would melt off before we hit it again, but I was wrong. Back down the trail, another 4.75 miles of ice. There was a dusting of snow over clear ice - we could see right through to the leaves and gravel beneath. I'm still amazed by that. We were kind of trudging along at this point, and we had more than one discussion about going out for the second out-and-back. I swear, if any one of us had said they were bailing, we all would have caved. We couldn't do it though, because Rob is going for the seven star level of Maniac, and we couldn't blow his streak. We got back to the ever-lovely Kermie, refueled, ditched gear and headed back out.





Guess what - the ice was still there, no change, slick as ever. I hate running on ice and I was doing it for the third time today! We were 15 miles into the run and I was worn out. Rob, Eric and Jamal kept the conversation going, and kept me laughing. We finally got off the ice and onto the frozen gravel part of the trail - not a lot of give, but no sheet of ice. I struggled through here - upset tummy, tired, sore. The guys kept me moving and I tried to eat a bit at the aid station, but my tummy never really settled down till we were home.

Several others started the race a bit later than us - we saw them as we left the aid station and knew they would be passing us. Sure enough, they did. I had reset my timer from a 5/1 to a 3/2, and I am here to tell you that three minutes never, never lasted so long. I think I hit the wall and stayed mashed up against it till the end. I don't know if it was last week's run in the forest, or running on ice, or what, but boy was I toast. I kept trudging forward though. I ran 21 miles this week before taking this on, so that could have been it too. I ate really well on Thursday and Friday, and drank well too, so my pre-fueling was okay.


Bonking hard while Jess passes us.

I started wondering out loud how I could possibly run 50 miles. Rob hushed me and told me to stop thinking like that. I think I mentioned it several more times though. I've wondered about it since we finished too. Eric tells me I will just do it, one step at a time. I sure hope so.

The good news is that most of the ice was gone on our way back. There were still some bad sections, but only for short distances. We finally rolled into the finish in 7:26:57. My other 50k times have been 7:22, 7:08 and 7:05. I'm okay with today's longer time - especially considering the ice. I'm taking it easy for the rest of this week and next weekend. I've got some blisters that need to heal and I need to rest up a bit. If I put aside my struggles to keep moving, then I have to say I had a great day. The three guys were great company, and it was fun to finally run a race with Eric and Rob. Hope we can do it again someday!

31 comments:

Irene said...

Wow!

When I grow up I wanna be just like you and do 50ks! (I'm only a year younger, by the way...) I have some catching up to do!

Good job, even with all the ice!

Journey to a Centum said...

We all worked well together to make it to the finish line. You toughed it out and even though you had free rein to whine at the lake you really just joked more than whined.

Heal up and buck up lady!

Trail Scat

robtherunner said...

Eric is right. One step at a time you will get it done. The 50 miler wasn't today. You have 6 weeks and you will be ready. It may not be fun at times, but remember, it doesn't have to be fun to be fun. When you reach that 50 mile mark all the pain and struggle will have been worth it.

Jenny, Maniac #401 said...

Sounds like a rough day. The ice lasted a long time here too! Glad you made it to the finish.
Jenny

King Arthur said...

Sounds like a great training "race". You had troubles but pushed, and kept moving. Now you just need to do something about your feet and 50 miles will be easy.

Sarah said...

I hate ice too! You will definitely be able to run 50 miles. Don't you remember your first half marathon (or 13 mile run) and wondering how you could ever run that again for a marathon? Well, you've already gone more than half way to 50 miles. You've got what it takes, for sure. : )

wendy said...

wow, I don't even know what to say. That's awesome, Michelle - you just keep trucking along! I hate running on the ice too! Sounds very scary!

You've got a lot of experience to draw on for your 50 miler, so I'm confident it's in the bag. Although, I don't subscribe to the "it doesn't have to be fun to be fun" theory, so I'm hoping for great weather on the 24 hour run! ;-)

Thomas said...

Respect for staying the course and toughing it out! 50k is no small fish.

Anne said...

Yikes, how do you run on ice?! I agree with the others: You've got six more weeks to physically and mentally prepare for the 50 miler. You can do it!

angie's pink fuzzy said...

the ice would have done the same thing to me - I hate ice! good job, though!

olga said...

It's nice you guys stuck together and supported each other, that's the way to go when the going gets tough!

Donald said...

See - this is why you WA folks are way tougher than I'll ever be. I hope to never write "50K" and "ice" in the same report.

Way to hang in there and get it done. The tough going will help you during the 50M, I'm sure of it.

runningtwig said...

Good job on the 50K! That is an impressive time in those conditions. Although I've never done a 50, that is what I hear - it's just one step at a time. Good luck with everything! Keep it up!

Sunshine said...

Ice, blisters,struggles: and then "I have to say I had a great day!"
Have to keep saying it: You are an inspiration.
And I love reading your blog.

Sunshine said...

Thanks for your comments, Gorgeous
Amazing Runner!!!

Nat said...

Really you amaze me...

For what it's worth I hate running on ice. Do you always do 5/1?

justrun said...

As usual, so impressed!

Joe said...

Ice. Ugh. But you did it.

Significantly, Michelle, you make nary a mention of your heart rate or breathing issues. Only tired legs. That seems, to me, to indicate real progress.

Way to go! Enjoy a relaxing week. Photos of blisters are OK by me!!!!!

Oh, forgot to comment, I LOVE the name "Kermie"!!!!!! Can a pink VW Bug for Eric named "Miss Piggy" be far behind?????

runliarun said...

With all the remarks about ice and fatigue and caving in, you made it sound as of this 50K was not much, just another run through the wilderness, a few blisters, a few rough edges. I wish I could think this way.

A race with your own start time?

Yours Truly.

EbethS said...

After reading your blog even with all the I don't like to run in ice and I was tired, I bet you would have convince who ever wanted to quit not to. Way to go and you are truly an inspiration. Congrats..
Elizabeth

Meghan said...

This stuff is gonna hurt, sometimes. Good good putting yourself in the pain box and getting it done.

Meghan

PS. I can't believe how good you look even when you're bonking! You need to get awards for looking good while running crazy!

Meghan said...

PS. When do I get moved up the list to bloggers you've met???? I want a higher ranking. Tee hee! ;)

Running Jayhawk said...

Wow. 50k in the ice! I'm massively impressed. Way to go!! :)

Addy said...

Wow...amazing job! That sounds like a really fun race idea! I can't even fathom running on ice. and for 50k....serious perserverence. That kind of mental fortitude is exactly what you need for the 50 miler :)

Gotta' Run! said...

You really are the Energizer Bunny! Way to go!

Cat.

Jessica Deline said...

what great fun! I can't wait to get out and enjoy more times like this. good job!

olga said...

BTW, forgot to say - don't even try to think about 50 miles. Think one step at a time:) It'll happen by itself.

Sarah Elaine said...

You continue to amaze me. Running on ice is no fun. It's -32 C here today. Our thermometers meet at -40, so that gives you an idea of the weather at the moment. Ice... no fun!

Darrell said...

Way to hang in there Michelle. You just underscored for me again how huge the mental side of this thing is. I think so often our mind is the weakest link in keeping us moving forward. Sounds like a tough one, but I love the concept/format of the race.

Dori said...

You. Are. Amazing. I don't know how you do it, Michelle. Congratulations on your 4th 50K. Running on ice makes me nervous. So many things could have gone wrong, but they didn't and you persevered. You sure have accomplished a lot since your first marathon.

Makita said...

I was supposed to do 8-10 yesterday but I stopped at 5 because of ice! YOU ARE AMAZING! You'll have no trouble completing 50 miles... one step at a time, for sure! :)