How does a runner ring in a milestone birthday? They run a milestone distance!
I put into place a goal that by the time I turned 30 I wanted to run a 50k, so why not create one specifically for me, on my 30th birthday? In come the Field of Dreams 50k. I had my brother in law make the logo below for it, and it turned out amazing.
My alarm went off at 4:40 am and I debated taking a snooze hit for another 10 minutes, but laid in bed knowing I wasn’t going to really benefit from it. Got out of bed to do my morning routine, ate a pre-made PB & Honey sandwich and a banana. The nerves were rolling, so the bathroom was not an issue(we’re all runners here right?!).
The first of very few obstacles hit on the drive down, the main road I was going to take was closed off due to maintenance for a bridge, but no worries it was a quick reroute to get down to the Port of Dubuque to meet up with my Fuel Mules Rob and Cory.
As soon as I pulled into the parking lot HUGE drops of rain started coming down. It was not looking like it was going to be too much fun, but thankfully it stopped. I handed off my nutrition and dry clothes to the guys and we had a little delay due to a air pump malfunction, but soon we were off!
The first 4 miles or so we had light rain and mist, which considering the day before called for heavy rain all day, we were happy to take it. I was wearing my Honey Stinger arm sleeves that kept me nice and toasty and just my DRC New Balance shirt and this was enough to keep me warm. The amount of rain we did end up getting was just in the start, so it really kept me cool the rest of the way without being over saturated.
At mile 6 I started alternating taking Honey Stinger Gold and Ginsting every 4 miles, along with making sure I was taking 1-2 oz of Tailwind every mile to keep up hydration and fuel. I was extremely happy to have my Simple Hydration bottle to keep my hands free and quick/easy access while running as well.
I am happy to report that there wasn’t too much variation or outlandish things happening on the run. Every time my bottle was empty I passed it off to Rob and Cory and they would fill it up and meet back up with me. We got a couple photos on the trail, you can check them out below here.
At the halfway point I did my first Facebook Live post, It’s hard to talk/text/learn new programs while running!
I had my live track on so around mile 21 fellow DRC member Jen drove out and cheered me on, it was a brief pass by, as I was feeling strong and didn’t want to stop, but I was happy to see her and pushed me to keep going.
Now when people talk about hitting a wall during a marathon, you expect to hear stories of how they were mentally faltered or their body seemed to give out and couldn’t push anymore. I hit a wall at mile 25…but this was a literal one! Earlier on the trail I saw a sign stating “Bridge out after mile 18 marker on trail” and this was the only sign I saw for it. Hoping and thinking that whatever issue there was would not have hindered my approach to the finish.
Rob biked ahead and snapped us a photo showing that the bridge was actually out…in a big way. It was right around mile 25 where we came up onto the bridge and we stopped trying to figure out the best approach to get around it. As we were contemplating, I asked them both if it would be OK if I just hopped over and and kept my momentum going, which they whole-heartily agreed just verifying before if I had enough hydration/fuel. I hopped the barricade, tiptoed around on the wooden beam and climbed up and jumped off the other side, thinking this is where I was going to get hurt…thankfully that wasn’t the case!
With that wall out of the way, I kept grinding. I saw my heart rate steadily increase and I knew that there was no way to recover it unless I slowed down. Earlier in the day I said that if I had to start walking, I hoped that I would at least make it to the marathon point and as Cory caught up to me, with Rob and now Tom(he biked to catch up) shortly behind, I hit the Marathon point at 3:49~ and showed absolutely no signs of stopping.
At this point we took off from the Heritage trail and hit the back country roads to make it out for the last 5 miles to the Field of Dreams. We were mostly covered by trees on the trail, so getting on the Iowa country roads meant that there was a lot of wind since it was open. I wish I would have taken some pictures, or in the least, had the guys take pictures because the scenery was perfect for the last 5 miles. I did however, write all the turns down on my wrist so that I wouldn’t get lost and run extra miles!
Between mile 27-28 I made mention that I have felt much worst on 16-18 mile runs than I did at that point and by this time I thought I would have been feeling a lot worse, but the only thing that was feeling off was tight hips with the up/downs of the country roads.
We made the cut to the final stretch of the run and I could see the Field of Dreams in the distance. I saw Allison outside with Finn and I started getting that rush of adrenaline and my emotions were running wild. I rounded into the driveway leading to the field and Allison caught me with only .25 miles left!
I wanted to make it a point to finish my run by rounding the bases, so I ended up having to run the outfield and then one more time around the bases for good measure!
Finishing up my first 50k!
And just like that, I had become an Ultra marathoner! I was so happy to have finished and kept strong the entire way! My final time was 4:29:26 (Garmin , Strava) – After doing the math, my first 15.5 miles was 2:16:32 with my second being 2:12:51, almost negative splitting it by 4 minutes! The elevation profile was essentially an incline the entire way. The only time I stopped was to wait for traffic at intersections and the little bit of time when we were looking at the bridge.
So the day I turned 30, I ran 31.05 miles(need to get that extra so Strava didn’t steal it!) at 8:41 average with 940 feet of elevation gain with an average HR of 156. I am extremely excited about how the day turned out and how well the entire run went!
I have a couple thanks to give out and I’ll start with the products first:
- Simple Hydration – This bottle lead to such a great hands free hydration experience. Please check them out if you never carry water, as it tucks nice and clean into your waistband and don’t have to worry about weighing your arms down
- Honey Stinger – I was first introduced to this product line from a friend and have never looked at another solid fueling source. Since its made with mostly honey(Gold gel is essentially just honey) it sits really well in my stomach
- Tailwind Nutrition – Getting 1-2oz of tailwind every mile, the combination of gels and this were perfect and kept me energized the entire way. I had zero feeling of being crashed and had a constant stream of energy!
- Spibelt – The Spibelt has been a great addition to my running gear as it helps keep my phone with me and can hold a lot of my gels with little bounce.
- Injini socks – I have fat feet. I have fat feet and my toes used to get blistered on most runs. Since I’ve transitioned to Injini’s, I have had very few issues and when I did, it was mainly due to wet shoes. 31 miles folks and I had zero blisters, and I didn’t even need to change them out!
- Garmin – Running with a GPS watch has been a giant help in my running, but the addition to allow live track has kept peace of mind to my family as they can catch me and make sure my dot is still moving. 31 miles and not a single issue!
- Strava – Strava or it didn’t happen!!!!
And most importantly:
- Allison – Thank you for everything you allow me to do and supporting me non-stop even when I do crazy things. You are the best wife and the greatest mother to our children!
- Finn & Artie – I wrote down DIFF on my arm, meaning Do It For Family – My kids are high drive of what I do and they were in my thoughts the entire 31 miles
- Rob – You’ve been a non-stop support system since I can remember and I couldn’t have done this successfully without you. I might have ran your first 5k with you, but 50k with me is more than I could ever imagine
- Cory – We’ve been training partners for the past couple years and you’ve helped me increase my potential. Thank you for thinking of even ever running to The Field of Dreams as this would never have come across my thought stream
- Dubuque Running Club – without everyone from the DRC, I don’t think I would be as close to how I am, running or otherwise, if it weren’t for the continued support that we all bring to the table. Here’s to many more!
Now here are some pictures at the finish! I am looking forward to doing this again sometime, whether I run it or bike it as a mule 🙂