Monday, October 15, 2018

I ran the Tussey Mountain 50 Miler Race!

 I don't even know where to begin for this. This may be a long one so grab a cup of coffee and get comfy.  

The morning started out way early with a 3am wake up call. I live about an hour from where the race was taking place. I plugged in the wrong address and didn't realize it until On-Star said I was at my destination. Luckily we left in plenty of time and it was only 6 more miles away. 


Even with the small detour we arrived with plenty of time to spare.  We picked up our race bibs and waited anxiously for the start of the race. I have done this race several times in the past as a relay but never the whole 50 miles myself. As we lined up at the start, the race director told us this year the course was going to be run backwards from years past. Interesting I thought, but none the less hills or elevation was going to effect it. It'll just be at different points of the race.

When we first started, I couldn't believe the temperature.  It was pretty warm and quite humid out. In years past it was always cold and damp so already I thought this was a plus.  I'd rather it be hot than cold( I'm sure other runners think the complete opposite). During the beginning of the race it started to rain. It was a warm rain so it wasn't too bad, plus the trees we were running under kept us from getting completely soaked but I was still happy that I decided on wearing my hat. 

We were about 8 miles into the race by this time and I haven't ate anything since my 4 am breakfast so I decided to eat a Luna bar I packed. Luckily by this time the rain had stopped.




              We grabbed a quick picture at the 2nd transition and continued on our way.

By about mile 14 or so my friend began to walk. I asked if he was ok and wanted me to walk with him. He insisted that I continued on if I was feeling good and so I did. At first I did feel bad for leaving my friend because we had planned to stay together but I know he would want me to have a good race and would not want to feel like he was holding me back. I was hoping to meet up with him again at the next transition but unfortunately I did not see him. I thought this is going to be a long race if I end up running it myself. I saw two men up ahead that we were running with earlier and was hoping to catch up with them. I finally did and the miles just flew by. I think I ran with them almost to the marathon distance then the one man fell behind. I asked if we should wait on him and he said they already decided before the race that they were going to run their own race and knew eventually they would split up. 

I was feeling pretty good so I was trying to keep up with him so I wouldn't have to run by myself. I continued to tell him if he was feeling good to go ahead. He said No you are keeping a good pace for me. If I'd be running by myself I would be going too hard and burn myself out too soon. I started taking a few walk breaks. Every mile there was a sign so if I saw a sign up ahead I'd say I'm going to walk to the sign and then start running again. The mile signs were in blue. The transition signs were in pink. When we saw one of those we knew that it was only another half of mile more to go until  we could take a few minutes of a break to eat and drink something.  

The transitions had Heed( which is similar to Nuun I believe but less flavorful). I'm surprised they didn't have Gatorade as an option. Guess I should have looked that up. Most aid stations had chips, pretzels, m&ms, and cookies. Some had peanut butter and jelly and raw potatoes(which I thought was a little odd).



Mile 30 could not come soon enough. This was wear my dry bag was and I was looking forward to changing out of my short sleeve to a tank top and changing my socks. 

Despite having two huge blisters on my big toe, after changing and eating a few gummie bears I felt like a new woman. That only lasted for a few more miles then I was on the struggle bus for awhile when my walk breaks became more and  the next transition zone couldn't come soon enough.

By mile 35 we were still running together but could tell that each of us was feeling it more when our conversations became less and walking became more. It was getting harder to start up running again after I stopped to walk. I began to run up a hill while passing a man that was walking and he said You got to be kidding me! I told him Don't worry I plan to walk once I get to the top. This may sound crazy but it was easier for me to run up the hills then to walk them. The downhill was what was a real killer on the quads. 

We ended up meeting at the next transition and since he was running by himself he asked if he could run with us. Of course. I was thinking in my head Yes someone new I can chat with. This was a breath of fresh air. I was hurting though by this point but our conversation kept me going. We walked a little more than I planned on but we were so into our conversation that I think we both lost track of how long our walk breaks started to be. We were coming up on mile 43 at this time and I finally looked at my watch and saw our time. I told him if we picked it up a little we may be able to finish in the next hour, and so we did.

The three of us stayed together until the last 5k then my buddy from earlier trailed off and it was just my new buddy and I. He said to me We are really moving. I said to him I am just over it and want to be done! The last two miles I think we did less than 9 minute pace. 



The finish line could not come soon enough. When we crossed we congratulated each other and he thanked me for pushing him. He said there were times I wanted to walk but you said you were going to run so I couldn't have a girl beat me!

After the race I enjoyed a complimentary massage and refueled with some pizza. We hung around to listen to the awards ceremony. When they called for the overall winners they only had 1st and 2nd place. I was curious why there wasn't a third place winner. When I asked the race director why that was he explained to me that you had to be part of the USATF club in order to be in the running for any awards. Of course I was not part of the club. He said if I was then I would have made third place. Go figure!


The next day I looked up the results page and it said that I ended up placing 4th female overall and 3rd in my age group. And I was the 12th finisher overall which was very fitting since my race bib was number 12. Guess it was meant to be.

I finished with a time of 9 hours 31 minutes and some change. I wish it could have been 9:30. But I can not be disappointed with that time considering I have never ran a 50 Miler before and I didn't think I was even going to come close to that when I first set out. Just to finish would have been an accomplishment it itself. 

So the question is would I ever do another one?  Right now I have no desire to anytime soon, but never say never. I will say 50 miles is good for me and I do not have any desire to do 100 miles nor a 100k. I will honesty say I am not any more sore than I feel after a marathon. Keeping my pace much slower then my marathon pace helped. Overall it was a great experience and I'm happy that I did it.  -L




                                             We are linking up with the gals from TOTR!

37 comments:

  1. Congratulations on your accomplishment!

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  2. Wow, congrats! Such a great accomplishment. That's too bad that you had to be part of a club to get a reward. I can't believe you're not any more sore than from a regular marathon! Very impressive!

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    1. Yeah I was surprised too, but I guess it was because I was keeping a slower pace than my marathon pace.

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  3. You are a beast! Nice job. I just love your attitude. When that guy joined you, you were like yay, someone new! I would have been like, no! I don't want to talk. LOL!

    Congrats!

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    1. Haha. It was nice meeting people along the course. It made the time go by faster.

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  4. Wow. Just wow. You are such a strong runner! I can't even fathom a marathon, much less an ultra.

    And yes, I will take cold over hot any day!

    Great job, Lacey!

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    1. Thanks Judy! A much different experience than a marathon that's for sure.

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  5. Wow! Congrats on an amazing race! I did the Tussey Mountain race as part of the relay. I know the terrain is very hilly! To run the final 2 miles in under 9:00 pace is incredible. Way to go!!!

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    1. When I ran it as a relay years prior I always seem to luck out and run the the flatter legs.

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  6. Congratulations! What an amazing feat.

    Did you only eat dummies the whole way? Wow...you must have been starving at the end!

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    1. I had a half of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and two cookies at one. And I would have a handful of chips and pretzels at each aid station. But no GUs which i was surprised. I also had a Luna bar.

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  7. Congrats on a strong finish! Way to go on the race.

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  8. Congratulations. You are amazing!

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  9. Wow - you're incredible! Congrats on finishing (and placing, even if you didn't get recognized officially!)

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    1. Thanks! It was a great anyway even though I didn't get recognized.

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  10. Great job on getting through 50 freaking miles with a smile on your face!! I love how much you enjoyed running with others - that kind of race camaraderie is really special.

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    1. Thanks Shelley! There were some times that a smile was not on my face. But yes, running an ultra is such a different vibe from running a marathon.

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  11. Congrats! 50 miles is amazing, and you did place, even if they say you need to be part of the club. You should make your own AG.

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  12. Wow! Congratulations!! I am so amazed by anyone can run that distance and think it's fun. lol I'm glad you had the opportunity to run with other people, too. I wish I had been able to have the same - might have made my first ultra a slightly more fun experience. And total bonus on the complimentary massage! Gotta like that!

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    1. That was lovely afterwards! I even splurged on another one the following day before heading back to work.

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  13. Huge congrats!!!! That's quite an accomplishment! I think it's awesome how most of the runners support each other and are willing to walk/wait for others ;-)

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  14. Congratulations, Lacey! What an amazing accomplishment! I loved reading your recap as this is something I'm not sure I would ever undertake and it was interesting to hear your perspective of it all. Congrats again!!

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    1. Thanks Karen! I am not sure I will tackle this distance again, but never say never!

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  15. What an amazing accomplishment!! Congratulations!! And to even rank so high in the field- so much to be proud of! Really enjoyed your recap.

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    1. Thanks Julie! I surprised myself as well. I didn't think I was going to finish anywhere near the time I did. You are really capable of so much more than you think.

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  16. Congratulations!! How weird that you have to be a member of the club for awards...surely that discourages some people from registering!

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    1. Yea I bet. And a lot of races do not offer that, so I wasn't going to pay for something at a race t hat I probably wouldn't ever run again.

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  17. WOW, just wow. I can't believe it and congrats on placing so high. Again just wow

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    1. Thanks Patrick! I was saying the same thing at the finish.

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  18. So mind blowing to me that you're at the finish line before the sun sets & a smile on your face. I'd STILL Be out there trying to finish :) haha

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    1. Well there was a time frame so there was a little motivation to get there before the sun set.

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  19. Holy smokes, I'm amazed!!! Great job! I can't even imagine running that many miles, the marathon was enough for me! Especially at that pace.

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Fairytales and Fitness is a personal blog authored and edited by us, Meranda and Lacey. The thoughts expressed here represent only our own and are not meant to be taken as professional advice. Please note that our thoughts and opinions change from time to time. We consider this a necessary consequence of having an open mind in an ever changing society. Any thoughts and opinions expressed within our out-of-date posts may not be the same, nor even similar, to those we may express today.