Hawk 100 / 50 / Marathon
I can now say that I've been to the edge. I can also say that I ran along the edge for about 20 miles. Back on the 8th of September I finished my first Ultramarathon; the Trailhawk 50 miler.
It was, as far as I can tell, pretty much a textbook case of a 50 mile race. I had very few problems and overall the race went very well. The course was very familiar to me as I have run it numerous times in training. It consisted of two 25 mile loops around the north shore trails on Clinton lake.
I completed the first loop in great time along with the two top female finishers. This was kind of a surprise to me as I figured on taking a little longer. I usually push myself pretty hard just on instinct so I shouldn't be too surprised. I typically have to force myself to slow down. I certainly paid for it on the second loop. About 5 miles in I started having pretty good pain in my left knee and right ankle. I still don't know if one was a result of favoring the other or if it was sheer coincidence. All I can say is I limped along for near 20 miles. Each leg of the race I was saying to myself "If I can just make it here... then I'll be able to finish..."
Before too long that leg was the last leg and I was cruising up the incline at the end of the white trail coming out to the Corps of Engineers lot. I was very relieved. It was almost a little uneventful as a few miles from the finish I had this epiphany that I was going to finish. I was 5 miles from the finish line, almost crying, and pretty much cheering out loud that I had done it, when I wasn't really done yet and there was nobody around to celebrate with.
I managed to limp across the finish line and meet my kids in open arms. Thanks so much to Julie for bringing them up for the first loop and the finish line.
I guess now it's time to start training for the Rockin' K next spring. I don't know If I have another race in me for the fall and my knee has taken a lot longer than expected to heal. I think I'll work on strengthening the knees and do some tempo work to get ready for the Rockin' K. I managed to win a free entry for the race so I'm committed. Now I just have to figure out how to camp before a race. That's going to be the real adventure. How do I recover while camping?