My failed attempt at the Rio Del Lago 100-miler 4 weeks ago made me hungry for a little redemption. It also made me a little cocky. It was so tough, that any 50-mile attempt in cool weather must be a done deal, right? Wrong! I only made it to the aid station at mile 44.28 (my Garmin showed 43.7) at the 100-miler, but my mind blamed it on the heat. There wasn't going to be any real heat in this 50-miler unless you count the heat created by 7800 feet of elevation gain! Boy was I in for a rude awakening!
So much happened at this 50-mile race. I hit some intense lows. I met some amazing people. We had some great weather. I puked my guts out at one point. The hills were brutal. I had flashbacks of repressed memories of traumatic experiences in my failed 100-mile attempt. I ran scared a lot. I was scared of another failure. It was like I got back on a horse too soon after it threw me off into a ditch. "Beware the chair", a volunteer told me when I was longingly staring at a really inviting chair at mile 34. I ran a lot in the final 13 miles, and that felt awesome. And it wasn't a shuffle either. I did a run-walk sequence that involved some really fast running! The uphill portions still made me sick, but my muscles never openly rebeled like they did in the 100-mile attempt. I ended up finishing in 11 hours and 54 minutes, my unofficial Garmin time, which is a bit off because I forgot to stop it in time. It felt great to finish! I felt so humbled. It was the 2nd hardest race of my life, and this time there's a happy ending!