Yep, you read that right! I got L to write a bonus blog!!! If you missed my awesome recap, you can read it here.
Bear Chase 50 Mile Recap as L views it.
I originally only signed up for this race because I didn’t want B to die alone. I did not train for it and just decided to wing it. Quick background is that I had not done a run longer than a half since our 50K and China back in May. Before that, my 1 marathon back in October. So no, I never ever do long runs. I had done a 20 mile race 2 weeks before and during the entire time I kept thinking… “there is no freakin way I can run 30 miles more than this. What on earth have I gotten myself into?” I wore my Brooks that I had gotten last year. I don’t think shoes should last this long but with the creek I knew we were going to run through and apparently all the manure and what not… I knew I didn’t want to wear my newer shoes. These shoes have raced 19 halfs, 1 50K and 1 marathon. I was almost sad this was it for them. Would it be creepy to mount them in a clear box on my wall of awesome?
My alarm went off at 4:40am and I almost forget what I was getting up for. Apparently I blocked out this event entirely. I started working overnights so I had been having a hard time getting enough sleep so I was pretty out of it. I thought maybe it was for my second job I worked on the weekends. Wishful thinking on my part. We got to the race with no problems and with plenty of time. It still hadn’t really sunk in what we were about to do.
The 50 milers started first and as I looked around at all the other crazy people I was beginning to think we were WAY out of our league. These were some hardcore people. The start began and off everyone goes. I began to panic because everyone took off and we were already last in the first .10 of a mile. I thought “OMG…. We are going to die alone out here.” I tried to keep up with a group of 5 other people who seemed to be pacing well by a girl I will call “green skirt.” I did not enjoy how narrow the trail was and I did not like having to look down at my feet the entire time. It seemed like we had been running forever and then we hit the first aid station I was thinking how on earth had we only run 3.2 miles? This is going to be the longest day ever. We were able to stay with this group of 5 for most of lap one. I did like this one lady told us we looked like little ducklings following the mama duck. That was the plan. Hehe. When I had stopped to use one of the port-a-potties somehow both of my GU’s fell out of my pocket. Of course one landed right under the urinal and the other bounced off the floor and landed outside. I had many thoughts go through my head as to what should I do. Should I pick them up and consume them later? Should I just leave them there? Should I just throw them away? I wasn’t sure how many GU’s I was going to want to have and I only brought 10 with me. I ended up picking them both up and using the hand sanitizer to try and clean them off.
I don’t want to bore anyone going into details of the course since B covered most of that. At the end of first lap I was relieved to see that the last part was downhill…. Good to know for future moments. Green Skirt was looking extremely sunburned already and that just put into perspective how hot it was already with only a fourth of the race done. She had her bib on her hat and the officials told her it probably wasn’t picking up her timing chip. We never saw her again but I did spend many hours wondering if she was going to keep going since it didn’t track her first 3 timing mats.
Starting the 2nd lap and all the people we had been running with before were gone so no pacers. It was still going ok. I grabbed a few more GU’s from my drop bag and you will be happy to know I decided to throw those other 2 away. I had only one GU the first lap so I decided I would be ok. I wasn’t delusional… yet. Or crazy.
Lap 3 was when things started to go downhill for me. My knee that has been giving me trouble here and there got extremely angry and started doing these random throbbing pains that were nothing I had ever felt before. I did not think I was going to make it. It seemed to be worse going downhill and it didn’t help with the narrow trail where it was just one foot’s length. This was also the time when we were realizing we were very close to not making the cut off and everything got very panicky. Secretly I was hoping we wouldn’t make it so I could just be done. The other part of me was my “determination” and I was thinking I had already suffered this long… I HAD TO FINISH. We finished the 3rd lap with less than 5 minutes to spare so off we went on the 4th lap. We walked a lot in the beginning which may not have been the best idea because my legs started to tighten up fast. We couldn’t run very long at a time without needing a break. We knew we had 3.5 hours to do the last lap but apparently we did not really comprehend how long that was. I was started to get delusional. I kept thinking I was having outer body experiences or something. Nothing seemed real. It was hot with a side of hot and I just wanted to be done. And yes… I did tell B SEVERAL times that I wanted to murder her with my bare hands for suggesting something like this. After we left the last aid station with only 2.4 miles to go I thought we just might make it. I also cannot believe how far 2.4 miles really is. It seemed really, really, really far away and was taking absolutely FOREVER. At the last stretch where we hit the road it finally hit me that we were going to make it. There was a crowd cheering for us even though we were positive we were the last ones to finish. We had seen no one else out there. Once I crossed and stopped my legs tighten up fast.
Overall, I am glad I did it even though during the entire race I was thinking this is the worst thing I have ever done. I have never felt such an amazing accomplishment. Would it be wrong to wear my medal around as an accessory every day? I think that would be awesome. The other bad side was I had to go to work that same night that involves constant movement. I couldn’t move and was running on no sleep. Let the good times roll.
***Warning- Do not let B talk you into any shenanigans. J