Marathon Day arrived and let's just say I finished the race. I thought it was one of the hardest things I'd ever done! I dealt with what was probably IT band irritation and the whole time thinking to myself “how will I get through a 50k?”
Trust the process.
I had the opportunity to pace Randy at BigFoot100 and gaining a huge amount of experience. I was so thankful I got that opportunity. The trail went from a level 2 difficulty to a level 8 difficulty in a matter of minutes. That was a very technical course and it was a night! I was just about a month out from my 50k and still felt like, yikes, what did I get myself into?
Trust the process.
I did and listened to Becky when she told me to take a week off from running. In my mind I felt like I needed to run long, but I listened and trusted her.
November 7t and it is 50K day!
I woke up that morning feeling excited. I didn't get the best sleep but that usually happens night before a race, and I knew I had slept good the two days before. I did my normal routine: ate oatmeal and drank coffee. Then we were off! Start time was 7:30 am. I got there, got my bib on, did some last minute adjustments, and of course, took some mandatory selfies with team Silverdale RIOT. I was really happy to have a supportive team. Becky, Randy, and Robert Bondurant are all experienced ultra runners.
7:30 come around and we were off! I ran with Becky for about 4 miles then The Phoenix did her thing. I did slip at a mile and half in, cutting my knee up, and well, it hurt! Those bridges are slippery! My strategy was to run the down and flat sections of the course, and walk the vertical. This seemed like a good plan and it worked for about 13 miles. With the miles comes muscle exhaustion and at that point, something in my leg got angry down to my knee on the same side I had fallen on earlier. I was feeling good other then that hurting. I was eating and drinking whenever I walked. I was just feeling pretty darn good. I decided run/speed was all the vertical because that didn't hurt and wobble my way down the hills and jog/walked the flats. Coming from a girl who despised hills, it is amazing I was so happy whenever I saw a hill! I came into the second aid station where I grabbed and banana and some Advil. From there I went along my merry way, listening to music, taking in the scenery, My feet were soaked from the river crossing but thanks to my smartwool socks, my feet were warm. I got to mile 19.4 aid station and noticed my hands were a bit swollen. I ate some potatoes which were amazing and I dumped them in salt. I knew why my hands were swelling because during my run with Randy 2 month ago he told me why it happened. I knew I was lacking salt. But potatoes and salt wasn't enough. By mile 22, my fingers were sausages. Then the rain came and that's when it got a bit tough. At that point, I knew I would finish but probably not make the cut off time of 8 hours. I was, surprisingly, totally fine with that. I was making my way around the waterfalls when I was at my bonking stage. The waterfalls were incredible. I was only able to stop and get one picture due to my hands but that one picture was all I needed. I kept putting one foot in front of the other even being in pain. I said to myself “I might as well run”. Running keep my body temp up because it was getting cold and raining. I reminded myself that my current situation didn’t even compare to how BigFoot100 had been for Randy and Tim.
At this point in the race, I made it up the stairs to the last aid station and I wasn't all there. If you had asked me what color jacket someone had one, I probably couldn't tell you. I was 5ish miles from the finish but it seemed to take forever. I knew about the nutcracker hill at the finish line. I knew I would make it! I started running towards the finish line! I was thinking I was going pretty fast but I knew I probably wasn't. I saw Becky and Randy waiting for me in the rain. I crossed the finish line with a smile, got my medal. YES!!! All I could say was "my hands". I went to the heated covered area, ate salty soup. Becky pouring beer in my mouth. I was so cold and wet but one proud woman. If anyone had asked me after my road full if I would do another one, I'd probably hesitate a little. Randy said “I'll wait and ask if you would do another one until later” but I said " I want to” immediately. I was already planning my next one during that 50k! I may not have made the cut off time but what's more important is that I was happy with myself. I truly think I found my place and that's ultra marathons. Just keep going and always trust the process.
Angela Pearson aka WonderWoman
Trust the Process: My first 50K
by ultrarunner Angela Pearson, Team Silverdale RIOT