I AM AN ULTRA MARATHONER!
That's right people. This little lady ran 31 miles, at one time, on purpose, and survived.
It was amazing.
I'm still in a state of disbelief that it actually happened. Did I really do that? Was that me running through those woods? Up hills and down root-and-rock-filled single-track paths?
The thing is... it was me. I did it. I accomplished something I wouldn't have dared to dream of a few years ago. I ran and completed an ultra marathon and I loved every stinking minute of it.
The race was comprised of 4 loops, each loop about 7.9 miles long. Some of it was trail, some asphalt. There was even a grassy field portion that I ran the first time and was like "nah, I'll walk it" the next three times. Surprisingly, I nailed the trail portions. No falls, although there were a few trips and a particularly nasty rock that destroyed any hope for a normal big toenail.
By the end of loop 3, I was exhausted. It started to rain, and I went into loop 4 giving myself permission to walk any of it or all of it if needed. Looking back, I realize I didn't eat enough during loop 3. My GPS was behind and I had been eating based on miles rather then time. So, at the start of loop 4, I walked a little bit while shoveling gummy bears into my mouth. The sugar hit my blood stream and I ran the rest of the loop with no problem. There I was, running through the woods in the rain. It's quite loud in the woods while its raining. It's also quite peaceful and downright calming. There was no wall, no moment where I thought "I can't do this".
I finished well under my goal time and was surprised to find my kids, my husband, my best friend, and her two children waiting for me at the finish. They even had signs! It was wonderful.
I spent the rest of the day, and most of the next, in a suspended euphoric state. And the best part is I wasn't even hurting that badly! I could walk! Go up and downstairs (somewhat awkwardly, but still I could do it)!
Overall, it was a great experience and I might as well be honest and say I'm hooked. Trails. Ultras. I'm in. I want more. And I really want to see how much farther I can go. 12-hour run? Gulp. 50 miles? I'm not sure where this journey is going to take me but I'm sure its going to involve my husband sighing and asking, "Where is this race again?"
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