Well, October 9th has finally arrived. I'm not sure how I expected to feel in the wee hours of my first 50 mile race, the Dick Collins Firetrails 50, but I know that when I registered two months ago I wasn't quite so nervous.
Maybe it's the fact that I've only just ran my first ultramarathon (a 50k) three weeks ago, or perhaps it's because I'd never raced a marathon...or anything over 10k for that matter. More than likely the jitters stem from my lack of experience, as I've only been running for 5 months prior to this daunting distance.
It seemed like a fantastic idea at the time! I mean, I had comfortably ran several 20+ milers in my training runs, so how tough could another 30 miles be? (ha ha) This mindset was quickly set straight during my 50k after I had paced off a 20k racer and we ended up doing ~7 minute splits for the first 13 miles. Needless to say, I reduced to a mere hobble around mile 18. It became a struggle to simply place one foot in front of the other, but I knew the only way to finish was with a constant forward motion. Finally, after 31 miles, 5,800 ft of total climbing, and a few mental breakdowns I cross the finish...and how sweet it was.
And so, I am about to challenge myself in ways I never thought possible, and for reasons that still elude me; however, I know that by the end of those 50 miles I will have learned something new, something which quite possibly might have gone overlooked otherwise, not only about myself, but also with those who choose to support me.