Yesterday I did my first 50miler here in Damascus VA along the Virginia Creeper Trail. It is a beautiful trail that is 33-34 miles long. The Yeti 100 that is 5yrs old was happening too. This is the first year he offered a 50, we were his beta test with only about 50 runners doing the 50.
I'd been dealing with some ITB pain that went into my outer calf for the past couple of weeks. I thought I had it mostly worked out. Then 2 weeks ago I ran in some road altras (I run in trail altras but saucony triumph for road with a 8mm heel to toe) and a week after that my calves had knots in them (I returned the altras, low drop on road is not for me) and my old post tib injury was hurting into my foot. I was really freaking out now. I rolled, massaged, iced stretched, strengthened as much as I could and just hoped for the best.
So we started 15min after the 100milers at Whitetop station, and I was feeling pretty good. I'd been practicing with a gym boss timer thing since the course is mainly flat with the first 17mi being a slight down. Most everyone I knew was doing some kind of intervals. I had decided on a 4:2 for the first half and then would see from there. Another group of ladies I knew was starting the 50 with 4:1 but I just thought I should run my own thing and stick with it. The first 26-27 was easy, fun and uneventful...I didn't really slow myself down on the 4min run bc I figured the walk did that for me, so I ran as I felt. My foot felt great! My outer calf and ITB band however were aching pretty early on. I popped some advil and waited for it to kick in and I felt like it would ease up more as the day went on.
Got to the first AS at 10.8m in 2hr and 15min. I was thinking that was pretty fast for me with a long day ahead but I felt really good and it was still cool out. Got to Mile 18 AS in 3hr 45min. I knew I was cruising. I spent a little too long at that one 10-15min bc I realized I wasn't drenched from sweat but my bladder was leaking from a hole in it so my entire lower half was getting gradually soaked with half gatorade and water
I finally had service and texted Dh who would be at the next AS. I had duct tape in my bag he was holding so he said he would fix it for me. YAY DUCT TAPE! The next section was the lamest of the course with it starting to warm up and some gravel trail along the road. I kept trying to stick with 4:2 but decided maybe now was time to go to 3:2. I texted Dh that my hip was hurting, so I guess it started bothering me then. THE OPPOSITE hip of the one that had been nagging for the last 3 weeks
Got to mile 26 in 5hr 30min, so I was still moving really well. First place 50 male was already on his way to the finish and I was halfway done
Dh helped me changed socks, put duct tape on some toes that had started to blister and fix and fill my bladder. During all that my shuffle fell out and was lost forever.
Thankfully my phone still had lots of battery and I had some audio books on there. I spent about 15min there (must get better at this part) and headed out for the 9mi to the turn around. After sitting for a bit there for toe taping I started to stiffen up a lot and it was harder to get moving. I tried to get back into 3:2 for the first few miles of that part but it was now after 1pm and getting warm so I went to a 2:2. Then we got out into the open sun for a while so I just walked, figuring it would help me finish stronger later to not get overheated or dehydrated now. The nice part here was seeing people coming back, both 100mi and 50 and hugging and saying hi to everyone!
Took me 2hr and 15 min to get those 9miles, with finishing 33.5 mi in just under 8hrs. That was a tough section with Dh was there again (surprise!) and I used the bathroom, washed my hands and face (ahhh!) and grabbed some food. I was trying so hard to force myself to eat bc after the 12hrs in July when I fainted, I figured out it was low blood sugar from not eating enough. It is a struggle for me and yet otherwise I LOVE TO FREAKING EAT! I grabbed 2 PBJs and fritos and forced those down and started the 9mi back. Now all stiffened up again and its 3:25pm and about 75 degrees in the sun...and my hip (opposite one still) is really really stiff and hurting. So I try 1:1 just to have a routine to keep moving. Some angel was there handing out ice pops, YES PLEASE. I saw a friend who was running the 100 with a hamstring issue and she looked miserable. Kinda hoping she dropped, not worth a 6mos long hiatus IMO just to say you finished. But thats why i'm not a stellar runner
Took me 2hrs and 10min to do the 9miles back so i did better on the way back than out! Now it was cooling off but OH MY HIP! Dh was there again, it was so nice to see him and have someone to help me fill my bottle and make me eat. I got in and out of there faster bc I really just wanted to be done now. I had 7mi to the finish.
Tried to 1:1 it again but I was spent now. My hips both hurt and were so stiff, walking or running didn't matter. The run was a shuffle and while walking hurt, I was moving. I had been listening to The Glass Castle by Jeanette Wells (so good) but that stopped downloading so I Listened to Chris Hayes A Colony in a Nation. Interesting enough to keep me distracted.
Now I started getting passed by people more motivated to finish than me
I knew I would finish by the cut off (13hrs) so I allowed myself to just move forward. Ugh, need to work on that mentality too. At one point even my hike/walk was slowing down so i made myself eat some trail mix, that helped A LOT, I'm a dumb! I definitely did not finish this with the same zeal and energy as I did at Merrills Mile in July when I did almost 48miles
Finished 12:15, but I'm not exactly sure. Trips were there passing time on their devices
and Dh was just happy I was alive. He is the BEST helper/crew at a race.
If you don't use 2Toms you should, I had zero chafing and my pants and underwears were wet for 9 hours with gatorade and water.
God that was nasty. I didn't end up fainting this time but felt that nausea that preceded it off and on as we got back to the house and I just laid down immediately until it passed, including in the bathroom on the floor. Dh stayed in the bathroom while I showered bc he was worried about me passing out in shower. He made me a grilled cheese and I was asleep by 9pm
I was thinking this flattish course was why my hips hurt so much and I prefer a more diverse terrain over many hours, but I think I spent the first half running, unknowingly favoring the other ITB so, the hip is really sore today. Meanwhile the foot issue I was really freaked about is completely non existent now. Oh well.
That's it, not too exciting but it's done! Thanks for reading.