Aug 20, 2007

My First 50 mile Trail Run..STORMY!

Saturday August 11 2007

A month before the race I was towing with the idea of running Stormy or not. Deep down I wanted to run it but was really scared. Scared to fail, scared to hate it, scared to hurt a lot. Just the thought of running for 9 plus hours at one time made me feel ill to my stomach. So,...I kept delaying signing up (which is out of character for me). I tend to sing up early in hopes of some sort of feeling of committment to actually partaking in the event. One month before the race my achilles flared up and forced me to stop running for a little over a week (a crucial time to get some long runs in...) So the week back into running I went for a 4 hour run in Whistler and to my surprise felt great. (and the achilles wasn't a bother anymore): Lesson: it pays to give your injuries a break (a way of your body telling you STOP) So lets fast forward to the week of the race. My though process went something like this ...."should I do it?..yes...oh I don't seems crazy..Am I ready?..not really but you can pull it off...hmmmm" and then I signed up.

The next battle was getting myself to Squamish and finding a lovely person to take me in..Not owning a vehicle and still not knowing too many people in the area can get frsutrating at the best of times especially when you need to get to a race. By pure chance...or was it fate? An old friend from Kindergarden and her husband were in town. We got together had dinner and found out he was racing as well but on a relay team so...I popped the question "how are you getting to Squamish?" He wasn't leaving until the morning of but one of his teammates graciously offered a ride and Gary R. a good adventure racing friend offered a place to lay my head for the night. PERFECT! Phew....

Nutrition: 5 packs of Ciff Bloks, 2 packs of sharkies, 3 cookies, 2 bananas and nuun electrolyte tablets.
-I biked over the morning of the race still tired and not happy I was up so early on a Saturday morning but once I was at the start line with all these fantastic runners getting to run my first 50 miler my excitement and energy rose. It was a little chilly in the morning but decided to brave the cold in my tank anyway as I knew I would warm up fairly quick. I saw a couple of familiar faces like Ean Jackson (great runner who drove me up to Chuckanut 50km race in March). ...and we were off....Its funny when you know you have to run for 80km the start of the race is a lot more relaxed than say a 10km chaotic mad rush start (i liked it...) People chatting away, friends catching up, new people meeting each other. Already, I knew this was my type of community, I enjoyed and wanted to be surrounded by these people in this type of atmosphere. I tried to take it easy from the beginning, tried to get caught up with who was passing me etc etc. When I arrived at the first aid station I managed to catch up with a nice lady runner from California. we chatted away and stuck together for the next couple of hours. I was just doing my thing shuffling along at Lina pace, enjoying the run when after zoning out for awhile up a hill I looked back and she was gone? I shrugged my shoulders hoped she was okay and kept going. Eventually met up with Gary on his bike and his dog Roxy. "Lina you are like 2 minutes behind the first place female and she is a solid are doing great!" my response "What?" Very cool but didn't want to get carried away since I was only about half way done. Chatted with Gary for a bit and eventually hit up 9 mile hill. So this was my 1st time on the infamous "9mile hill" and I imagined it would be the hardest, gutbuster of a hill and was a little nrevous but took Gary's advie of running it smart with a little hike/run rhythm. Caught up to 1st place female to lose her on the first down hill. Now at this point in the race my feet were a disaster. I knew they would be my breaking point on this run as I still felt great cardiovascularly. Running downhill was not fun to say the least ad it was a great mental battle to puch through the pain..they hurt damn bad. Bumped into the great Ean J at the top of 9 mile (always puts a smile on my face)....He was encouraging me to go catch 1st place but it was not in my cards that feet were just getting worse and worse. It wasn't until the last 5 km that mentally I was done...ready for the finish line. I hung onto a man in front of me until he took off a little a head of me on the downhill....arrived at the 2km left mark chugged some coke pushed a little harder...i could taste the finish line at this point. 8hrs and 33min...What a fabulous feeling it was to cross that finish line. To take that challenge and not only beat it but destroy it.....I did not think I was capable of finishing under 9hrs. Now, the bar has been set and there will be more races to come and some just might ne tougher, longer and faster....I'm excited to see what lies ahead and whatever it is I know I am up for the challenge.....

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