life run

A Weekend of Firsts

By on June 3, 2013

Good morning blogland! I’m writing to you from the comfort of my parents home office with the family dog curled up asleep next to me. Race reports will be posted soon (as soon as North Face posts the pictures the took during the race because a race report is pretty boring without the pictures!). For now, I wanted to enlighten you about my weekend of firsts.

The first “first” is an obvious one if you read my post a couple of days ago. But just as a reminder, I completed this on Saturday. The North Face Endurance Challenge 50 Miler completion is my first ultra (attempted and completed). The race itself is a first but also contains many other firsts. It was also the first time I ran longer than 16 miles in a race (since I twisted my ankle at mile 16 during the Moab Trail Marathon and had to hobble the rest of the way). It was the first time I was on my feet moving for longer than 7 hours and 43 minutes. It was the first traveled farther than 26.2 miles on my feet. I also had a pacer (my mom) for the first time during the race who kept me positive, moving in the right direction, and well hydrated and was vitally important to my ability to finish the race. I had a crew for the first time during the race, thanks to my sister and mom who spent their entire Saturday dealing with my wants and needs (luckily I didn’t ask them to do anything too embarrassing for me). My sister was also my photographer and took these great shots of me during and after the race:

 Coming into the first aid station that had mom and Taylor!!

 One of the three times I crossed that timing mat

 Before leaving Great Falls for the last time 
and the first time running with mom!

Crossing the finish line with mom

 At the finish with my medal and water bottles

 With the great signs Taylor made us

 My family (the best cheering squad, support team, 
and pacer I could have asked for)

 Post race ice bath

 Taylor “helping” me cool off
 On the finishers podium

 With my mama! 

One of the signs mom and Taylor made me

There were also some bad firsts. It was the first time my stomach bothered me during a long run. It’s the first time I ran out of water (twice) and gatorade (twice) and the first time I raced in high heat (95 degrees) and high humidity (75%). It was also the first time I was wrongly disqualified (more on that in my race report). Finally it was the first time I didn’t cry during a race longer than a 10k. 

Within the race itself I also set a couple of PRs. I broke my 10k trail PR by almost 8 minutes and my trail marathon PR by over 2 hours!! I was pretty proud of those PRs considering they were in the midst of a much larger, longer race. Later in the race I regretted pushing myself in the beginning, but maybe those seconds I gained early helped me beat the clock as an official finisher.

When I was writing down my notes from the 50 miler on Saturday night I realized that Sunday would be full of firsts as well, but didn’t realize exactly how many. Sunday was the first time I did two races in one weekend, the first time I raced a 5k (I know it’s a little backwards to have completed one 10k, three half marathons, one marathon, and one 50 miler before doing a 5k but I never said I was conventional), my first running race with my mom, and the first time I met the winner of a race while I was still at the post-race festival. Here’s a couple more pictures to commemorate Sunday’s firsts:

 Before the 5k

 After the 5k

With Michael Wardian who won the 50 miler on Saturday
and the 5k on Sunday and placed 2nd in the 10k

I was also (again) wrongly disqualified for the second time on Sunday (I have an email in with the North Face and ChronoTrack about getting that one fixed). Taylor got 2nd in her age group, missing 1st by 10 seconds, and mom got 3rd in her age group!

Overall, it was a great weekend full of lots of firsts for me and I am so thankful my mom and sister were there to share them with me. I also was able to visit with my Nana and Papa. I don’t get to see them very often so I’m always happy when I can spend some time catching up when I’m home. My aunt, uncle, and cousins also came over to my Nana and Papa’s house while I was there. I would normally call them my little cousins since they are so much younger than me, but both boys are getting close to my height so I guess they don’t qualify as “little” anymore!

Now that my first ultra is in the books, it’s time for me to regroup, write down the lessons I learned so I don’t forget them, and kick my training up another gear for the Leadville Silver Rush (and maybe work on a better combination of speed and endurance so I can break 11 hours). As of writing this I have 39 days 23 hours and 56 minutes and 48 seconds until the bike portion of the Silver Rush! Finally, to the end this long, rambling post, I have to share one more first with you: Saturday I broke 700 miles for the year and now it’s time to head to the local running store and check out new shoes with my mom!!