The HAT 50k!

Also known as the time I ran/walked/climbed/slid for 8 hours straight.  🙂

The 28th Annual HAT Run took place on Saturday, March 21st at 9 am.  I was excited and VERY NERVOUS to be running my second 50k (you can read about my first 50k experience here).  Since the race didn’t start until 9 am, I got to sleep pretty late for a race morning.  Please note that the Ragnar Relay alarm remains ready to be used when needed.

Since I had all of my stuff laid out, it didn’t take me long to get ready and head out to my car.  I had totally forgotten about the fresh snow that had fallen the day before and I spent about 10 minutes scraping the ice and snow off of my car.  After a quick stop at the gas station (where my gas tank was frozen shut), I was on my way.  Seeing this sunrise was a great start to the day.

At 8 am I arrived at the race and found my training partner and BFF Jeanette.  We quickly picked up our packets, hit the porta potties, and suited up.  It was right around freezing at the start of the race and it was expected to reach 50 degrees by the afternoon.

The race started promptly at 9 am and I could not feel my ankles, feet, or toes.

From the race website…The course is mostly single track trail with a mix of open fields, dirt road and some paved road. The course features nearly 7,200 feet of climbing. There is a starting loop of 4 miles followed by two identical loops of 13.5 miles. There are 4 stream crossings that can be challenging depending on the water level – there is always the chance of getting wet feet.

At the end of the first 4 miles, we ran back through the pavilion that held our drop bags.  Many people took the opportunity to shed some clothing since the day was getting warmer and the temperature would continue to climb.  Since I am always cold, I kept everything on and headed out for the first 13.5 mile loop.  Sadly, I lost Jeanette soon after this point and I didn’t see her again until the end.  She is a really great trail runner.

After about an hour and a half, I had a Honey Stinger gel.  I didn’t feel like I wanted it yet, but I knew that my body needed the fuel and I felt it kick in soon after.  I was feeling good and finally starting to feel my feet…and then I came upon the first stream crossing.

Caption this photo however you would like, but I can tell you I was not a happy camper.  Since I saw there was no other option, I headed across the stream and just hoped I wouldn’t fall and get my entire body wet.  This actually happened to a number of people!  Luckily, this stream was only high enough to cover my ankles.  The second stream was up to my knees!

Since I was running pretty much alone, I made some friends along the way and would run with people from time to time.  It never lasted long as one of us would pull ahead and leave the other behind.  I mentally split the course by the aid stations, but I honestly can’t tell you how many miles were in between each station.  There were two main stations and one smaller one that seemed like it was in the middle of the woods.  At each main station I ate one quarter of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, a few pretzels, and a cup of Gatorade.  Towards the end I substituted the pretzels for salty french fries (man these were good) and I added in a cookie here and there.  Why not right?  I stuck with water while I was out on the trail.

I finished the first 17.5 miles in about 4 hours and headed back out for the last 13.5.  Since it was about 1 pm when I started my second loop, the temperature was climbing and the trails were in BAD shape.  I have never seen so much mud in my life. Many parts were so slippery that you really couldn’t run if you tried.  I tried to keep up the pace and keep moving forward, but I had some very slow miles thrown in there.  There were a few miles on the road and I was so happy to hit dry land. I made up some time and rocked 9 minutes miles on the pavement.

After running/walking/sliding and probably staggering to the finish line, I crossed in about 8 hours and 4 minutes.  Man was I happy to receive my hat and umbrella.  Everyone got a tshirt for signing up, but you only got the hat and umbrella after finishing.  🙂

Jeanette finished in just under 7 hours and look how good she looks at the finish line!

  Here is my finish line picture…not too bad right?

Jeanette was all clean and dry in comfy clothes when I finished and I was so grateful to see her standing at the finish line.  I was so happy that we both finished, but that was not the best thing about that day.  Jeanette’s family dog had been missing since that Thursday and he was found while we were out running.  I was so so happy to hear the good news.  🙂

My thoughts about the race:

1. I LOVED it and I can’t wait to sign up for next year.
2. I really do love trail running.
3. French fries are awesome.
4. I have never been so sore in my life.
5. Why stop at 50k? I think it’s time for a 50 miler.

🙂

If it was easy, everyone would do it. 

Running is tough.  Running is tough for everybody.  My tough might be pushing a 7 minute mile and your tough might be pushing a 5 minute mile or a 9 minute mile. No matter what your pace or your running ability, running is HARD and it takes a lot of work to improve and reach goals. 

Yesterday I ran during lunch with my friend Lisa and it was great. She did 10 miles (good job Lisa!) and I ended with 7.5 miles. These miles felt sooo good….they were slow (for me) and I just ran, kept it relaxed, and enjoyed every second. 

Today was a whole different story. Jeanette and I wanted to make good use of a mild , sunny day, so we headed to the track for some speed work.  Speed work = brutal. Our workout looked like this…

Warmup run from work to the track

2 x 1200m (3/4 mile)

3 x 800m (1/2 mile)

2 x 400m (1/4 mile)

Cool down run from the track back to work

Total mileage = 5.1

Jeanette smoked me today and I finished each set about 15 seconds behind her (except for the 400s). 😉 I was gasping for air at the end of each set and could not get my breathing down. My legs felt ok, but my breathing felt off. I left our exact finish times at work, but I do know that we did similar workouts this time last year and they don’t compare to today’s times.  As in, we were definitely faster last year. 

So, the moral of the story is that running is tough, running performance comes and goes, but every day that you get to run is a good day…no matter what.  We all have good days and bad days and you just have to hope that the good days outweigh the bad. 

Please send me and Jeanette some good running mojo on March 21st. We will be tackling some challenging trails for the HAT 50k (31 miles). Yes, runners are cray. 

Completely off topic but this post needs a picture. 😊

PSA from Annabelle…keep up with your oral hygiene. 



Did you have a good running day or a bad running day?

Love or hate speed work?

Do you brush twice a day?

That time I ran my first 50k!

On July 20, 2014 I turned 32 years old. What’s the best way to celebrate a birthday? Running a 50k trail race and becoming an ultra runner. 🙂

Jeanette (my partner in crime) and I decided that since we were already trained for the marathon distance, we might as well go to the next step and try a 50k. FYI: trail running is so beautiful but very different from road running. Our pace is significantly slower on the trails and our goal for this race was simply to finish.
———————————————–
My alarm went off at 3:20 am and it was a little rough getting out of my nice warm bed when the rest of the world was sound asleep. I hit up the local gas station for some much needed caffeine and drove to Jeanette’s house. We then drove an hour to Upper Marlboro, MD to run the Rosaryville 50k. It was a beautiful morning…way cooler than our usual late July temperatures.

The before picture. Frank and Meg joined in on the fun and rocked the 10 miler.

20140731-221149-79909518.jpg

The 50k was three 10 mile loops and the course was great. It was fun to run in a new place and challenge my body in a way it had never been challenged before.

The Ups and the Downs:

1. The scenery was beautiful.

2. The first 10 miles felt SO LONG and I got really scared that I wouldn’t be able to finish.

3. Animal crackers are my new favorite “fuel”. Stauffer’s brand all the way.

4. The volunteers were awesome and the aid stations were stocked with supplies and food. They were so nice and refilled our water bottles at each stop.

5. Jeanette is an awesome running partner and she keeps me going when I want to stop.

6. Jeanette had an entire aid station sing me happy birthday as I ran in. I really needed a pick me up and it made my day. 🙂

7. I fell 3 times… Fall #1: not too bad, just some dirt. Fall #2: bad, so bad, blood, bruises, confidence crushed. Fall #3: rubbed more dirt in my wounds and my right knee was screaming.

8. At around mile 25 I took a cup of what I thought was Gatorade and chugged it. It tasted so wonderful and sugary…because it was Mountain Dew. I loved it.

9. Once Jeanette saw that we could make it under 6 hours, she made it our mission.

10. We finished in 5:55:06 and it felt amazing to be done.

Will we do another one? We might just have one planned for November. 🙂

The medal!

20140731-222519-80719727.jpg
Happy, pretty dry, and still clean after loop 1. 🙂

20140731-222610-80770428.jpg
Before and after pictures.

20140731-222703-80823246.jpg

20140731-222743-80863857.jpg
Dirty, bloody, bruised, and patched up with Sesame Street Bandaids. 🙂

20140731-222903-80943782.jpg

20140731-222901-80941686.jpg

20140731-222859-80939534.jpg

I spent the rest of my bday heading on vacation, eating McDonalds fries, and enjoying a huge Dairy Queen blizzard. 🙂

20140731-223125-81085727.jpg

50k, we will see you again soon!

20140801-054503-20703654.jpg

20140801-054501-20701532.jpg

Three things…

1. I’m running my first 50k tomorrow! Here’s hoping to becoming an Ultra runner tomorrow!

2. I had my first Stitch Fix today and I LOVED everything!

3. I’m turning 32 tomorrow (Sunday)!

See you from the finish line!

20140719-214859-78539565.jpg

If only we didn’t need to sleep.

Vampires (hello Bella and Edward) must get so much done. I LOVE to sleep, but it just seems that life would be easier if our bodies didn’t require so much. My ideal amount of sleep would be 7-8 solid hours…actual amount of sleep 5. Lame sauce. I hope you all are getting enough rest!

My schedule has changed recently and due to a full time job, a long commute, a very active 1 1/2 year old, and solo parenting for most nights of the week…I don’t really have the time I would like to be able to talk to you guys. I hope to get back to regular posting soon!

Here’s what’s happening:

1. Lots of running last weekend…28.5 miles total. 4.5 miles of track work, 10 miles of flat easy running, 14 miles of sweat drenched humid couldn’t be hotter trail miles.

20140717-072442-26682202.jpg

20140717-072441-26681689.jpg

20140717-072442-26682640.jpg
Our 50k race and my 32nd bday are just days away now!!!

2. Lots of hanging with my favorite girl. 🙂

20140717-072715-26835599.jpg

20140717-072717-26837798.jpg
3. Justin Timberlake concert = so amazing.

20140717-073002-27002200.jpg

20140717-072958-26998288.jpg

20140717-072959-26999979.jpg
4. 2 more work days until vacation!

20140717-073145-27105919.jpg

How much sleep do you get each night?

What’s been going on in your life?

Do you have a vacation coming up? Just go on one?

3 words per picture!

Happy Birthday Marissa!

20140709-222202-80522984.jpg
Kelly loves steak!

20140709-222205-80525016.jpg
Ruth Chris Steakhouse

20140709-222206-80526674.jpg
4th of July!

20140709-222531-80731427.jpg
Friendly Farms Restaurant!

20140709-222616-80776707.jpg
Fun pool day!

20140709-222752-80872759.jpg
Annabelle loves Grandses!

20140709-222825-80905292.jpg
Working the camera. 🙂

20140709-222916-80956711.jpg
Reading is fun!

20140709-223008-81008869.jpg
Hot tempo run.

20140709-223207-81127305.jpg
19 trail miles (3:45 minutes=TOUGH)

20140709-223405-81245297.jpg
I love dessert!

20140709-223518-81318169.jpg
Best part of your 4th of July weekend?

Did you dress yourself/kids/dog/husband in patriotic clothing for the 4th?

Trail running and a 50k.

Last Saturday morning, Jeanette and I headed out for a long trail run (on real trails with trees, roots, rocks, streams, etc.) Why are we trail running when we usually stick to roads and flat and easy trails? Well, since we just trained for a marathon and we are in decent shape (we think), we decided to go big and sign up for a 50k trail race! Therefore, one should actually run some trails prior to running over 30 miles on them and we will be trail running for the next few weeks.

Rosaryville 50k on July 20, 2014. This is my 32nd birthday and I can’t think of anything better than running 32 miles with a great friend. 🙂

Scenes from our run!

20140625-170846-61726448.jpg

20140625-170847-61727717.jpg
It was really fun and a big change from road running. With about 2 miles to go, I tripped and landed hard. Thankfully I caught myself with my knees and my left shoulder and I only landed on dirt (no rocks, thankfully). At least I got the whole tripping and falling thing out of the way. 🙂

One of many great things about running with Jeanette is that her husband makes us breakfast. Blueberry pancakes and eggs straight from the backyard.

20140625-171251-61971759.jpg
I also went home with a jar of homemade strawberry jam and homemade applesauce. Yum!

Have you ever tried trail running? Love it or hate it?

What’s the longest distance you have ever run?

Best breakfast you ever had?