When I ran the 50K race last week, I learned:
On May 10, I set out to finish my first 50K, the Hog's Hunt 50K in Huntsville State Park (Texas). Unfortunately, I took a wrong turn and added 8 miles to my 31 mile race. (My recap.) After mistakenly back-tracking on the course, I ran through the midway point/finish line, and I was told I was the first female. People cheered. If only it had been true!
I said that I wasn't first and that I had only run 24 miles. I explained to the race director how I had gotten lost. Someone encouragingly told me that I could still finish the race. I believed that I could finish, but I needed to hurry because of the 8 hour cut-off. The race director made sure I had plenty of fuel and then I was running again.
For the last 15 miles or so, it was very quiet on the trails. I was surprised to see three more aid stations. Two of the volunteers even ran with me. I thought I was the last runner on the course until almost the very end when I saw another runner. We encouraged each other and soon I was alone again.
|Lake at Huntsville State Park|
Fortunately, my phone with my music on it and my Garmin 220 never died even though they both gave me signs of upcoming death. I called my husband twice. I walked the hills. I didn't have any pain. I had plenty of fuel.
When I passed 30 miles, I felt like I had accomplished something big already - that was much longer than running a marathon like I've done before. Running 35 miles felt great, too. I wondered if I'd hit 40 that day. I hoped that my phone and my watch would make it to the end, just a little while longer. Maybe I had a mile or two or three left. I wasn't sure.
After a while, I realized that I wouldn't get a medal. I thought that the finish chute would be gone when I finished and I figured all of the people would probably be gone, too. Finally, after 8 hours and 44 minutes, I ran through the finish chute and there were two people cheering! I was the last female finisher. Even though I didn't receive a medal, I did receive an unexpected finisher's plaque. It felt great to finish that 50K!
Now I should probably sign up to run this race next year - I'm pretty sure that I'd PR!