It’s been a little over a week week since I crossed the finish line of my very first 50k. Running 34 miles with a crap ton of elevation gain means a lot of time spent out on the trail…which requires the right gear!
Going into this race, I honestly had no idea on what to wear, eat, bring, etc. This is where my frantic emails to Heidi, and her intense list-making habits, came in handy. I planned as much as I could, but there was still plenty of things that I experimented with while out in the Colorado sunshine.
What I Wore:
On my body: The race started at 6 am, with temps around 37 degrees, which meant I was in full layers at the start. My race day outfit of choice is always capris and a tank top, so that’s exactly what I wore. I paired with with a light jacket and borrowed Heidi’s Columbia TurboDown <– the warmest jacket on earth. Combined with a pair of glove liners.
The temps warmed up to about 55-60 throughout the day, which is perfectly comfortable when moving. I never took off my light jacket, but switched back and forth to wearing the TurboDown and carrying it in my pack. I was 100% comfortable the entire race with this combo, and definitely would do it again!
On my head: Like I mentioned, the start of the race was pretty chilly, so I wore this headband and a warm beanie. When it warmed up, I kept the headband on to keep the hair out of my face. Multi-purpose items for the win!
On my feet: I wore my go-to trail shoes: New Balance Fresh Foam Trail 980. I’ve never had a problem with these bad boys, so why switch it up now? I had an extra pair in my drop bag just in case this pair got muddy (I came overprepared) but never ended up using them. I also wore experia socks, which have not once given me blisters. #win.
What I Ate:
I didn’t have much experience on how to fuel myself with “real” food before this race, so I went into it blindy [like most aspects of this race]. What I did know however, is that I would listen to my body and eat whatever sounded good. I knew that I needed to keep fueling consistently, so I ate the foods (and amounts) that sounded good at the moment. I’m lucky that I had zero stomach issues the entire race, so following this method was fairly simple!
During the race, I ate:
- Turkey + cheese sandwhiches (at literally every aid station)
- Ginger Ale
- [some] sour patch kids
- [some] honey stinger chews
- 1 slice of quesadilla [that I took to-go… and thanked my lucky stars I did!]
- a few chocolate covered espresso beans
- Tailwind (electrolyte drink)
- 3 gu double espresso gels mixed with water in my bottle
What I Thought About:
During the tough parts, I always told myself that ‘it get’s better.’ Because in all honesty, it does. Every hill eventually goes down. When I was feeling awesome, I would think how lucky I was to be out there. How there are people in the world that never get to experience this wonder.
…and all the parts in between? Honestly, I’m not exactly sure. There comes a point when you’re out there that you’ve done all the talking, you’ve done all the thinking and there’s nothing left except being in that moment, on that trail and with those people. It’s humbling, exciting and perplexing. You have respect for something bigger than yourself. Those quiet moments are what I’m missing right about now!
What I Did
- …talked Val’s ear off.
- Randomly had songs stuck in my head
- Tried to maneuver rocks that were stuck in my shoe while running/hiking. Because why would I take my shoe off? What a silly idea!
How My Body Felt
For the most part, fantastic! The only thing that nagged me the entire race were my ankles. Trail running is different than road running in the sense that it works little stabilizer muscles in your feet/ankles that running on pavement can’t mimic. It wasn’t painful, not at all. It just was annoying, and definitely caused by the fact that my longest run time-wise was 3.5 hours.
Running on trails all day makes you dirtyyyyy.
One week post-race, my ankles are still a little cranky and so is my hip. I went to my massage therapist to get
the crap beaten out of me worked on, and it helped a ton! I have another appointment next week, and hope that it’ll cure all of the crankiness from my body.
Other than that, I’ve just been taking it easy and eating all of the delicious things I want. Oh, and sleeping a lot. Girl’s gotta recover!