As the end of the year is closing in and most are tallying their 2013 races, miles and accomplishments, I am still staring down one more REALLY.BIG.THING. The Huff 50K is on Saturday, December 28th. Yes, that’s two days away. Yes, I’m scared. Yes, this will be the farthest I’ve ever ran
at one time. Yes, this will probably be the hardest thing I’ve done to date.
I’ve wanted to participate in this race since it was moved to Chain O’Lakes State Park in Albion, Indiana for the 2011 event. This very close to my hometown. It’s very close to where my parents currently live. It’s basically “home” to me and I love any added reason to go home and spend time with the family. However, in 2011, I took most of December off to try to pacify a nasty flare-up of Plantar Fasciitis. Then in 2012, I was in recovery mode. I tore a tendon in my foot (thanks to the Plantar Fasciitis) at the beginning of June and as a result spent all summer rehabbing. By the fall racing season, I wasn’t racing anywhere but happy to begin rebuilding my body and mileage base. Once December rolled around, I was in no way ready to tackle 31 miles, nor was my foot strong enough to make any attempt at a technical trail run.
One year later, I’m very focused on running smart. Listening to my body. Knowing my limits. Enjoying each and every run. It’s been a long year of nice, slow running …. not so much by choice but because my body wouldn’t go fast. I ran smart this year.
As a result of smart running, regular Chiro treatments, a decrease of mileage and the addition of strength work with CrossFit, I am healthy. I am more flexible than I’ve been in years. I am not only regaining my speed but getting a hold of the fact that I’m going to be faster in 2014 than I’ve been in a long time. I have hope. I feel inspired. I feel ready to tackle new challenges. I am ready to tackle the Huff 50K, in a mere 2 days.
What to expect during a 50K trail race in the middle of winter? I have no idea. I imagine it to be hard. Like really hard. I imagine my friend Kasey will want to dump me because I’ll be whining too much. I imagine us walking up all the hills and running the straights and flats. I imagine amazing foods, candy and soups at the aid stations. I’m imagine my tummy will not approve. I imagine beautiful scenery, lots of friends and hills. Lots of hills. Then probably some more hills.
I anticipate mud and fun. I anticipate that someone will be able to help me assemble myself properly and put on the new gaiters which I took out of the package just yesterday. I anticipate my friends all around at the start then us quickly floating apart as we all hit our own stride as the start gets underway. I anticipate cold, wet feet. I anticipate new blisters. I anticipate fatigued legs.
I know that I will be running 31 miles. I know that the race will be “just two loops”. I know the mantra I will use throughout the race. I know that I will have at least one water crossing where my feet will get wet. I know that I’ll have a drop bag at the half way point
although I’m not really sure what to put in it. I know that the trail will be technical. I know the trail may be confusing. I know that I’ll be following the pink/magenta ribbons and arrows. I know that I will finish.
Just two loops and I’ll be done. Just two loops. JUST.TWO.LOOPS.
So on Saturday as you are huffing and puffing thru your run, please whisper into the wind “just two loops” to give me that added push to get thru whatever Huff gives me.
** Just Two Loops ** Amanda – TooTallFritz **
You got this Amanda!! Just have fun and enjoy the experience! I’ll be waiting to hear about how great you did!
It’s just two loops. No worries. It is a fun race (I did the relay in the epic year of 2011), and the volunteers are great. As long as you are ready to be muddy and cold, you are golden. I’m glad it will be a bit warmer so there won’t be any ice!
Isn’t it crazy having a big event at the end of the year while everyone else is tallying up miles and recapping their running year? I’m running a marathon on Sunday! This is going to be a fun adventure for you for sure. I think you “Just Two Loops!” motto is perfect. And I can’t imagine that soup would be bad for your stomach, so if things start to get really tough out there I’d go for the broth for sure! Have fun, good luck, and remember your motto!
Upright and moving forward for JUST TWO LOOPS! No sweat! Definitely thinking of you!
Have fun and keep smiling!!! You are going to do great, just keep thinking about running in Disney!! I wanted to do this run also……looking forward to your recap, maybe I’ll get signed up for next year! :-O
U can do it TTF…with all that X-Fit…you have far better overall body strength than ever before. Maybe the mileage seems daunting and perhaps you don’t think you have the run-training and conditioning to kick-butt in 50k race, but from all I have seen posted over this past season, you have what it takes to finish that 50k. It is ultra distance and on trails in woods and hills. So you walk often…a fast or brisk walk, but mostly on the hill ascents if the grade is steep or prolonged (i.e. farther than 0.1-mi). Especially true early or first phase of race cause you don’t want to over-extend your leg muscles and energy reserves frivolously trying to hit some goal pace going uphill. Make up the time on the descent…or at least the average pace evens out with the faster down-hill glide. Bring your Yak-Trax and “Ice-Spikes” and if there snow-cover and/or the trails are packed and icy…make sure you put some ice spikes in bottom of shoe and strap on the Yak-Trax. Oh…but if you are using that “new-style” Yak-Trax I saw at running for kicks that have those carbon steel spikes imbedded in plastic bottom base, then you may not be able to use ice-spikes. I have the older version bought a few years ago that are just x-crossed springs, so I can mount ice spikes in bottom of shoe in areas in between the springs.
Scoping out some potential plans for next year…or at least after I get Boston Marathon finished out in April. This year contemplating giving up on Chicago Marathon cause it always beats me up and rarely fare well there…for some reason. Did some online surfing checking out “Run Woodstock”…which is on Labor Day weekend in September in Pinckney, Michigan. They have race distances from 5k to 100 miles! Thinking of at least the “Mellow Marathon” or if I not contending with breakdown and injuries….perhaps the “Peace, Love & 50 Miles.” Maybe you wanna tackle 50-mile distance? If so…I would be willing to team-up and run it with you. And…I believe they have options when you running these longer races and have to drop-out for whatever reason…you can still be a finisher at a lessor distance…e.g. you register to run 50-miles and make it past the 50k mark, but for whatever reason you can’t make the cut-off times or hurting too bad and have to drop-out…still get credit for the 50k distance.
I’m SO excited for you! As you know, I’ll be there in April, so I can’t wait to hear about it! It’s only 2 loops, you totally got this! And just keep thinking “at least it’s not 6 loops”. 😉
Just 2 loops!!! You’ve got this. I can’t imagine running 50kms – that is awesome. I’ll be thinking of you and look forward to reading about it 🙂
Good luck Amanda! How fun& exciting!! You’re tough & I know you’ll do great! Can’t wait to hear all about it 🙂
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You are going to kill it! Good luck tomorrow! I can’t wait to see your recap!
I am so excited and can’t wait to hear about it!
And of course you did it!! Can’t wait to hear the details!