Am I ready? Hells no.

Hahah I have to laugh at how I’m going into Sunday’s race.

Am I ready?  Definitely not.

Am I still going to start and listen to my body and see what happens?  Absolutely.

I doubt that many people would feel comfortable going into a 50K and feeling under trained (or maybe we always feel like we could’ve trained more?), and I highly doubt that many people, other than the ultra community we know, would go into a 50K, just for fun, just to see what happens.

So, yes, I’m fully aware that for the most part, to most people, I sound like a crazy person saying “yes my foot is f*cked, yes my training has been sub-par at best, no I’m not going to SKIP this race, I’m just going to start and see what happens.”  Fully understand where you’re coming from.  I guess my brain just thinks differently now.

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Yakima 50K

I’ve been trying to decide whether to write a short version recap and a long version, or maybe give myself more time to “get over” the horrible race I had.  So, I’m just going to sit down, start typing, and see what comes out.

First off, I want to make something clear, I LOVE technical trail running.  Technical meaning that you have to have fast feet, there’s tons of roots, rocks, twists, turns along the trail, and you have to be on your toes, ready for anything.  For the most part, Vancouver area trails are considered technical.  There are some exceptions to this of course, and not all trails around here are that technical, but on a whole, the majority of the trails are.  For example, the Baden Powell on a whole, is considered a very technical trail.  The loop around Rice Lake and the connector trails like Twin Bridges or Fisherman’s to name a few well known local trails, are not considered technical.

Secondly, I also want to make it clear that I am damn proud of this race finish, no matter how slow it was, but, I did have a terrible day out there, and this recap will be a whiny mess, because that’s how I was on Sunday.  I will not apologize for hating this race, because that’s how I feel.

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Thirdly, call it what you want; character building, worst case scenario training, a challenge, whatever you want, it’s not going to change the fact that I hated this race.  This takes nothing away from the stunning views and landscape of the Yakima Canyon.  It is an absolutely gorgeous place to run a race, but I personally do not believe in running a race on rocky horse trails, it just isn’t fun to me.  Yes, I realize that some people look at this race as a gnarly challenge and that excites them.  That isn’t me, and that won’t be me.  I love to be challenged, I do not like to put myself in a position to feel unnecessary pain.  Yes, running an ultra marathon for fun could be considered unnecessary pain if that isn’t the norm for your life.  It is the norm for my life, but the only requirement is that the races and runs are still fun in the end.

Sunday, in no way, shape, or form was fun for me.  Not even a little bit, and that’s where I draw the line.

Not sick of me whining yet?  Here comes the race recap…

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Chuck-a-Cheer

As you know if you read Doug’s guest post, I was across the line, at the Chuckanut 50K last weekend, and we did a run-cheer during the race.

Not quite sure how we came up with the idea, but during brainstorming for meeting up, it just made sense, and sounded like the perfect idea.  I love Bellingham, and I love the Chuckanut trails, but the interurban path that runners start and finish on, well, that section is just the devil.

So, Saturday morning, we headed out on the Chuckanut trails with a different mentality than all of the racers lining up at the start line, and for once, I definitely wasn’t wishing I was racing, I was happy as a pig in mud just out and running on the trails.

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The North Face San Fran 50Miler – Race Recap – Point Form Version

Gosh.  My first (and maybe only) 50 Miler.

I know sometimes I talk too much, and my recaps can be very long winded.  So, I decided to do 2 versions.  A short version for those of you that just want the gist of the race, and a long version for those of you who like to read the novel.

Bret & I around 75 K into the race :

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For those of you who don’t want to read a long recap, here’s a point form version:

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San Francisco North Face 50Miler – Short & Sweet

I’m backkkkkk!

It’s definitely going to take me some time to get my full race recap blogged, but I did want to do a quick check in and let you know that I’m okay!

We got home late last night from almost a week of sunshine and smiles in San Francisco.  We came home to snow.  I don’t have any issues with snow, I’m just not a huge fan.  Living in Vancouver, nobody knows how to drive or live when the first snow of the year comes, really when any snow shows up in Van, people freak out.

Anyways, I know you don’t care about that.  You care about the race results, and how I’m feeling a few days after the fact.

Here’s the short and sweet: I’m alive!!!  I survived my first 50 miler, ran it in 11 hours and 25 mins, and I’m not injured!  I’m dead dog tired, and I have a scratch in my throat that could easily turn into a full blown cold if I’m not careful.  While I’m writing my bound-to-be-extremely-long-winded race recap, that’s exactly what I’m going to do, be careful.  And careful right now, is to make sure to recover properly.

Rest, relax, recuperate.  That’s my focus.

And remember views like this one:

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Not a bad view 75 kms into an 80 km run.

Full recap to come.

xoxo

-S

 

Desert Runners

I apologize for this super late post, I wanted to give this post the time and energy it deserved, and then I left it on the back burner too long, and ended up forgetting about it.

Anyways, last month, I was invited to go to the VIFF showing of the ultra running film, Desert Runners by Jennifer Steidman.  I was also invited to meet with and interview Jennifer after seeing the film.  Such a cool opportunity, I was flattered to have been contacted, and excited go see the movie.

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Guest Post – Night Time 50K Through Doug’s Eyes

In my epic long race recap, or more aptly named “adventure report” courtesy of Mike Murphy, I mentioned the many friends I made along the way of our crazy Saturday night in the woods.  One of those fellows, Doug, aka #10 “What does the fox say?” found me and my blog yesterday, and after adding each other on Facebook, I discovered that Doug had written his own recap of the adventure, and it’s so funny that I just had to share it with you guys.

So, allow me to introduce you to Doug and let him share his story!

2012 12ks of Christmas

“We knew that running a 50k trail race at night was going to be an adventure, and it did not disappoint. We were lost and off course 5 minutes into the race.

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Daphne and Shaggy’s Magical Mystery Night Race – 50K – Race Recap

As I mentioned yesterday in my short & sweet from Saturday, the race became a pass or fail character building team exercise, instead of a running race.

I was always treating the race as more of a long training run for San Fran than a competitive race, but I never expected the night to turn out as it did, or be as difficult as it was.

This is now the longest an ultra has taken me, and therefore will probably take me forever to write a recap but with basically no pictures to share, that should speed us up.

So, here we go :

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Night Time 50K – Short & Sweet

To be honest, Saturday’s night Ultra was anything BUT short and sweet.  As per usual, the full recap will take me a few days to get typed into a computer.  And in truth, even though it’s long over, I’m still super conflicted on how I feel about it.  On one hand it was the most fun I’ve ever had during an ultra, and maybe even during any race.  On the other hand it was a shitshow; not well organized, and while advertised as extremely well marked, it was anything but, and it became a bit of a “build your own adventure” run.

There was 20 of us who started the run in super ugly conditions as darkness fell on Saturday night, and there was 14 who finished, none of which ran the correct route, all taking detours, shortcuts, and getting lost in the woods.  16 of the 19 other runners besides myself, I’m lucky to call friends, whether I knew them going into the race or not.  And the 10 of us who started together in our crew, all finished in 3 small groups, within 15 minutes of each other at the end.

The camaraderie is what shines brightest from Saturday night, while the strength to keep moving through pain, sickness, cold, frustration, and tough times is a close second.

There is no official standings.  It was not a race to us, but a pass or fail exercise, and we all passed.  9 and a half long hours, and a passing grade.  I’ll take it.

Full recap to come.

xoxo

-S

 

Guest Post – Melissa runs Defiance 50K

While we’re off in BHam running the night time mystery race this weekend, Melissa is going to tell you about the last ultra she ran…the one Shea signed them up for just a few days before, on Thanksgiving weekend!

As you know, Melissa and Shea are my partners in crime for the NF San Fran 50Miler coming up in *gulp* just over a month.

So, without further ado, I’ll let Melissa take over :

“Defiance

n

1. open or bold resistance to or disregard for authority, opposition, or power

2. a challenging attitude or behaviour; challenge

The definition of defiance really does describe my second 50k trail race, especially considering we signed up for this race three days prior! Bold resistance to taper and planning!

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