After all the races I’ve run, I decided this was the year to mix it up a little bit. I was either going to increase my pace and run faster or run longer. Erica was thinking of running the Wild Duluth 50K and I really like running with Erica, so running longer was the goal of the summer. This meant longer training runs, but not really an emphasis on speed – it was all about training my body to run for at least 7 hours which I thought the 31-ish miles would take me to complete.
Training all summer went well- I got in some really great long runs (even one in the dark!) and felt really prepared for race day. I was injury free and totally ready to go for Oct. 17. BUT… I caught a cold the day before the race! I flew into Minneapolis the day before the race started and got a sore throat and stuffy nose. I tried to ignore it, hoping that it was just from the dry air on the plane or the different air in MN, but nope. It was a cold. As we left the cities to drive up to Duluth, I got cough drops from a gas station – this was not looking good.
I didn’t sleep well the night before the race – the kind of sleep where you wake up and swallowing is super painful and the congestion gets all stuck in your head. I woke up thinking that if this wasn’t a race day, I would choose not to run, better to rest up and get well. This was not an option today.
Erica and I met up with her friend Alisha at the start of the race – here goes nothing!
Erica off to a blazing start!
After less than 2 miles in, I knew that even if I didn’t feel well, this was going to be an amazing course. So pretty!
A view of a lake around mile 10 or so. I’m realizing now how much the miles blurred together.
The fall colors were awesome!
Can you believe this?
Alisha posed a bit more than Erica and I.. ha!
Crossing a stream around mile 16 or 17?
A view of Lake Superior off in the distance.
Mom and Dad came out to cheer us on, but had some issues with a flat tire on their car, so this is the only time they saw us – probably around mile 19?
This time a bridge to cross some very leafy water.
A little mud?
A very welcome bridge late in the race, maybe mile 24-25?
There were some rough points in the race and some spots that I didn’t think I would ever catch my breath because of this cold, but here we are at the finish! 10 (yes 10) hours later. It took us 10 hours to run 31 miles! Not what I was hoping for, but I proved to myself that I can get it done even when I don’t feel super well. Funny thing is, I’ve had some harder runs than this one and knowing that it took me 10 hours, just makes me want to go run it (or another 50k again) for a better time.
Either way, I’m glad it’s over!
You can do a lot with two good running friends. Erica and Alisha are to thank for a finish, even if it was slow and sick for me.
They had Grandma’s chicken wild rice soup at the finish and a mug instead of a medal. Love it.
We did it!