On Saturday, March 14th, 2020 I rose before the sun and tried not to focus too hard on the long day ahead. The trunk of my car was stocked full: 6 Gu packets, 2 bananas, 3 Pickybars (plus another bar cut into pieces in the pouch of my water bottle), 2 PB&J sandwiches, 8 bottles of water and 2 BodyArmor drinks – just to list the food. I also packed a change of shoes, 3 changes of socks, 4 shirts, a spare sports bra and change of shorts along with at least 3 bottles of sunscreen, 4 visors and one spare bag to catch all of the laundry.
That’s an exhausting list and I haven’t even started!
I began the run around 7:45AM with the intentions of running about 10 hours plus time for changing, filling water bottles, and resting. My route was a 3.55 mile loop with the option to go about 4 miles with an added detour. The first half marathon went by in a breeze – the day was over cast and warm in the low 70s. I was holding onto a sub 12 pace with my heart rate hanging out in low Z3/ high Z2. The plan felt like it was holding together!
I stopped around 15 miles to change, update the ‘gram, get more water and food. From 15-26 miles also went by rather quickly. I noticed the bottoms of my toes were chafing so they got some balm and a change of socks. My shoes were also growing a little snug so after 26, I changed into my second pair.
From 26-30, things were starting to come apart. Right in this time, a friend from our local cycling club came to meet up with me. He found me out on the route on his mountain bike and hung near me for a lap. It was mid-afternoon at this point and growing quite hot – his bike computer said 83 degrees. I was struggling to keep my heart rate down and struggling with the rolling hills of the lap. We finished right around 30 miles. I changed my top and my socks once again, laid out a towel near my car, and laid down with my legs up. My feet were really getting swollen and 1L of water was not quite enough for the single loop!
I charged up my phone and made the decision I would head back out onto the loop and try to stay out until my boyfriend arrived. At 34 miles, I sent another update to everyone following along on social media, pulled on some calf compression sleeves, and hoped for the best. The last lap was, of course, my longest lap time wise. I was struggling to jog for more than a minute at a time and found myself struggle marching through the lap. With only a few blisters on my toes, but no juice left to push on in my quads or hamstrings, I finished at 37.5 miles in 7:24 and called it a success in my first attempt at 50 miles.
I am extremely proud not only of the distance I covered, but the donations I was able to raise for the National MS Society. To date, I have raised $900!
Thank you to everyone who supported this journey by following along, commenting, cheering, and donating! There will be another go at it 🙂