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Yippee-Ki-Yay 50K Council Bluffs, IA

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Post  Julie Thu Oct 28, 2021 5:13 pm

Yippee Ki Yay 50K Council Bluffs, IA Oct 23, 2021
 
For the last several years I had wanted to run a marathon or longer but had been beset with a few injuries. 4 years ago I hurt my knee running up a fairly steep hill. I never got it checked out but it slowed me down for a few months. Then 3 summers ago I developed plantar fasciitis and until last fall had not been successful at  keeping at bay so that I could run any longer than 14 miles. 6 years ago I ran my last organized race, Prairie Fire Marathon in Wichita KS and shortly thereafter conceived Eliana, who is our very sweet youngest child (5 yrs old). After my other kids I ran a 50K when they were 14 or 15 mos old so that is one reason I considered a 50K as my come-back race after having Eliana. The difference this time being she is a big girl and weaned, unlike her big siblings, which did lead to some interesting race day logistics, particularly for when I was nursing twins and was bussed out to the start for a point-to-point 50K but I digress.
Last fall I tried to hit 40 miles/week total mileage and was able to keep that up to give me a good base. Early this summer I was running with two of my friends, one of whom is a physical therapist and has seen me as a patient. I said they knew me and my injuries better than anyone but I wanted to bounce off the idea of running a 50K. I said I thought I was smart enough to drop out of training if I became injured. I had considered a road marathon in Sept but it can be hot in September and the crushed limestone surface plus later start date really appealed to me. One of my other friends suggested this race and it is only in its 2nd year. My friends thought it would be OK and encouraged me to consider my why. My why was really just for me. I wanted to feel more like a runner again and I wanted the challenge and accomplishment of working toward a goal and completing it. Most of my life really revolves around educating my kids (all of whom are homeschooled, 7th grade, 3rd, 3rd, and K) and it was just a personal goal.

That’s all the preface, short run down on training is I followed the plan in Relentless Forward Progress which included a 26 mi run, 2 – 24 runs and 2- 20 mi runs (one of the 20s followed by a 14 the next day). I never got injured and I completed every single run. Fast forward to race day:

Saturday morning my husband and I drove to Council Bluffs. It was around 40 degrees with 15 mph wind. We walked to the race start, I used the porta potty then we waited in the car until 7:35 ish. It was a little walk to the start since it was at a trail head and they didn’t want us parking there. The race started promptly at 8:00. It was out and back on crushed limestone trail, pretty much the same as what we have here in Lincoln and what I ran nearly all of my long runs on. There were 40-some 50K runners and then at 8:15 they started the half marathon and 8:30 the 5 miler.  The fast half marathoners of course passed me and the 5 miles I never encountered. I know to pace myself but I did run the first 9 or 10 miles without taking a walking break other than the aid stations. That would have been normal years ago but I’ve really slowed down the last year or two and take walk breaks pretty often. If I were just running for time I would have said to go slower and walk more at the beginning, but I was feeling really well and I wanted to see what I could do and I’m happy I did that just because it was good for my confidence if nothing else. My husband saw me at the 2nd aid station with a rice cake with PB and J which did not settle well. So much for practicing with food on my long runs, this is what I had eaten at home and for whatever reason it wasn’t a good choice. So after that I just ate my candy and one the way back had a little bag of potato chips and then a gel at each of the last two stops.

I ran with a man from about mile 2-7 then I stopped to fill my water bottle and he didn’t. I knew I wouldn’t catch up because I didn’t want to go faster but we had a nice conversation. It was also nice because he had a watch that beeped at the mile and I just have my low tech Timex. I didn’t notice until a few miles in  that every quarter mile distance was marked on the trail (not for this race, but permanent signs off to the side). Just before mile 10 a group of 4 runners caught up to me and said I was the steadiest runner they had seen all day, that was fun. We had a little talk and were all very encouraging of each other. A few miles from the turn around I started to worry that I was the very last runner, which I told myself didn’t matter because I was just doing this for myself not to beat anyone, then I  told myself that nobody would be likely to pass me at that point because I was very steady. Well sure  enough when I turned around there were some people behind me, which as I said, didn’t really matter. I spent the first 20 ish miles just enjoying the scenery and the people but after 20 , there was nobody around and I decided I’d like to listen to my audiobook just to get my mind on something. So I did that off and until mile 27 ish. At every aid station there were nice people cheering and being helpful, other than that really nobody else out cheering although plenty of cyclists would say something, since this was an open to all trail.

Mile 27 I turned my audiobook off and decided just to focus on finishing. I was struggling with feeling short of breath and I didn’t know if that was partly excitement but when I walked it went away and I did experience this somewhat on my very long training runs. But I was definitely talking walking breaks the last half. I ended up passing the guy I ran the first bit with about 6 miles from the finish, he said I was doing really well, and I did stay and watch him finish not too terribly long after I did. I took a gel with caffeine 2 miles from the finish and that helped. I just couldn’t believe it was that soon. It might sound weird, but it felt like it should be further away. It felt kind of surreal, all this training I had done was about to culminate in finishing this come-back 50K. Before I knew it I could hear people cheering on the gal who finished before I did and I kicked it in to at least run faster for my finish video my husband made. (Finished in 6:21:08) A very kind volunteer put my medal on and gave me a high five and patted my shoulder. Then the race director walked my husband and me over to the food table (across the not too busy but asphalt road). We talked for a bit and then crossed again for a picture then I saw the guy I ran with earlier finish and met his wife and congratulated him. I then talked to that group of 4 runners who passed me before mile 10. Then we walked back to the car and drove home, stopped at the candy store to get candy for my dad for watching the kids and candy for the kids for being good for their grandma, and let’s admit, candy for my husband and me.

My one word summary would be fun, but it was very satisfying and I know I’m on a high now so to speak, but I am excited about the possibility of another ultra in the not so distant future. Thanks all for the support along the way, it really helped.
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Post  KBFitz Sun Oct 31, 2021 1:48 pm

Nice! A comeback 50K after a Six Year Hiatus, Nice! When I was able to run ultras, I found that salty potato chips and de-fizzed Coca-Cola really did the trick and settled well. But ultras are in my past (my ankle just can't take the sustained pounding any more), so I envy your accomplishment and your drive to keep on keepin' on. Way to go Julie!
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Post  nkrichards Tue Nov 02, 2021 8:17 pm

Nice report on a very nice race!  Sounds like you had a good time and nailed your goals.  I know they weren't time goals but process goals are just as important!  Doing a race for yourself is a very good goal. I love you

Glad you enjoyed the race.  It's always a good sign when you're looking forward to racing again after completing a race...it's a bad sign when you say you'll never do that again.  Smile

Thanks for taking time to write your report...and to keep us updated on your blog.

Hope you and the kids had a fun Halloween.-
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Post  Mark B Fri Nov 05, 2021 10:24 am

Nicely done! Your comeback ultra gives me hope that maybe I can claw my way back, too. 

Your race sounds pleasant. Isn't it weird how things that seem to work so well in training go sideways on race day? I wonder if race day nerves have something to do with it. I'm glad you had the candy to keep you going! And got candy for your crew of all ages, too. Very Happy

I'm looking forward to your next race!

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Post  Julie Sun Dec 05, 2021 2:43 pm

KBFitz wrote:Nice! A comeback 50K after a Six Year Hiatus, Nice! When I was able to run ultras, I found that salty potato chips and de-fizzed Coca-Cola really did the trick and settled well. But ultras are in my past (my ankle just can't take the sustained pounding any more), so I envy your accomplishment and your drive to keep on keepin' on. Way to go Julie!

Thank you so much! Now that you mention it, I remember the defizzed Coca-Cola recommendation from awhile back but of course didn't remember for training or race day. I'm sorry your ankle is done with ultras but glad you are running.
nkrichards wrote:Nice report on a very nice race!  Sounds like you had a good time and nailed your goals.  I know they weren't time goals but process goals are just as important!  Doing a race for yourself is a very good goal. I love you

Glad you enjoyed the race.  It's always a good sign when you're looking forward to racing again after completing a race...it's a bad sign when you say you'll never do that again.  Smile

Thanks for taking time to write your report...and to keep us updated on your blog.

Hope you and the kids had a fun Halloween.-

Thanks Nancy and thanks for all the encouragement along the way! Yeah now I'm contemplating a 40 miler for my 40th birthday next summer? Maybe? 
Mark B wrote:Nicely done! Your comeback ultra gives me hope that maybe I can claw my way back, too. 

Your race sounds pleasant. Isn't it weird how things that seem to work so well in training go sideways on race day? I wonder if race day nerves have something to do with it. I'm glad you had the candy to keep you going! And got candy for your crew of all ages, too. Very Happy

I'm looking forward to your next race!

Thanks Mark! Yeah, candy is a good thing. Smile  Yes of course you can get back to it! I remember what my one friend said at his 50 states party 13 years ago "run, walk , or crawl." 

I'll try to update my blog more regularly but always think of other things I need to do, mostly homeschool related , when I'm on the computer. But for the winter , I just need to do what I can depending on road conditions since I'm not good about long treadmill runs.  Hope you all have a great December and Merry Christmas!
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Post  Michele "1L" Keane Mon Dec 27, 2021 2:19 pm

Just coming back to reading this, Julie.   Nicely run!
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