Many of you have been asking how the race went. Wow, it is so difficult to put my thoughts into words. I start rambling, jumping from mile to mile and I am pretty sure they walk away unsure of what actually transpired during the race.
I realize Lowi & G being at a loss for words is difficult to grasp, so I will try and put it all down.
I can tell you that we had an absolute blast. G, Mary and Jill were all rock stars on and off the trail. We laughed, cried, whined, joked, danced and endured our way through each of our 50s. Jill completed a 50k with a smile on her face the whole time. G, Mary and I each completed 50 miles (not always with a smile) and it’s safe to say none of us could have done it without the support of one another and of course, Johnny Armani!
The Outrun24 began at 8am with the sun in the sky and a chill in the air. Johnny Armani gave an inspirational speech full of wise words and the promise to care for us until we finished or… death do us part… or something like that.
It was perfect running weather and by mile 3 the long sleeves were ditched and we were getting into a groove. Only 47 miles to go which somehow sounded better than when Johnny said 23 ½ hours left on the clock!
As the miles clicked by and the number of times we had to climb that stupid hill decreased our enthusiasm did not waiver…not yet anyway.
Did I mention there was a hill? Well, it began as a hill, but by mile 30 someone moved our hill and replaced it with Mt. Everest. Okay, I might be exaggerating just a bit, but let me tell you IT WAS NOT THE SAME HILL!
But I am getting ahead of myself. I wrote about my thoughts leading up to the race, but what was I thinking during the race? Not a lot. Other than the crazy conversations that occurred, I only had a few things going through my mind. It was simple. What mile were we on? What mile did we just finish? Where is Johnny? Do I need to use the restroom? That is pretty much it until later in the run.
G and I stayed together for the entire 50 miles. We amazingly had the same pace even though we only trained virtually together. We had opposite strengths that kept us running through 40 miles! I remember looking at G at about mile 38 and saying, “I can’t believe we are still running!” And I can honestly say up until about mile 42, I was having a blast!
At about mile 42 the wheels fell off for me. Then my mind was in overdrive. My feet hurt. My knees hurt. My legs hurt. I can’t wait to be done. How many more miles? I can’t wait to be done. I can’t possibly drink or eat anymore. How many more miles? I can’t wait to be done. Yep. That is pretty much how it went for me the last 8 miles.
At mile 47 Johnny was with me and I started to cry. Johnny told me about his first 50 mile race and how he wanted to cry, but by the time he finished he didn’t have any tears left. Thank you for the distraction, for your patience and for getting me through mile 47. Actually, thank you for getting me through from mile 1 when you started plying me with food and hydration even among my protests.
G and I crossed the finish line together in the cold, dark hours before midnight.
It was overwhelming. It was satisfying. It was emotional. It was transformative.
It was transformative in a way that I can’t explain.
How do you put words to running 50 miles? For enduring? For believing?
For completing 50 miles together?
We did it!
As I have reflected on the race this week I am reminded of the song, “100 Years” by Five for Fighting.
“There’s not a wish better than this when you only got 100 years to live”
I remember running through the trees and thinking how simple life can be when we let it. I was intoxicated by the simplicity in that moment. I vowed to myself to remember what this felt like; to be happy, free and unencumbered…then I realized it was probably just the abundance of oxygen that I was receiving being at sea level. After all, my brain can only take so much oxygen after living at 6,700 feet for 21 years!
Authors Note: The other question I continue to get is, “Would you do it again?”
Absolutely! Outrun24 2015 better watch out!
Sunshine & Sarcasm,
For G’s take on the race, click here.