Arches 50k

Date: 1/28/23
Training Week: 2
Time: 8 hours, 45 minutes
Mobility/Stretching: No
Ate Well: No

Commentary: Friday morning, my husband’s alarm went off at 4:20am. Mine was set for 5am. His was supposed to be set for 5:20am. Of course, he fell back asleep as soon as he apologized for setting his alarm an hour early. Nothing like getting up 40 minutes earlier than planned the day before a race you’re not ready for!

The tarmac sucked in the beginning but was glorious at the end.

The trip to Moab started off rough because of the winter storm pelting frozen precipitation all over southeast Idaho. We made it to Moab in good time, and packet pick up was quick and uneventful. After a trip to the grocery store, we headed to our usual campsite. The melting snow made it a muddy mess, so we found a new home close to the airport. It also happened to be ten minutes from the start line.

I felt pretty good throughout most of the race.

That night I got all my stuff together for the race. I had every opportunity to get to bed early, but instead I stayed up until 9:30pm like an idiot. I slept well enough, and unlike Dead Horse, I woke with plenty of time to get ready and to the start line.

The course started on a tarmac bike path, and my feet were not happy about it. I thought ahead to the finish, wondering if my feet would hate it even more on the way to the finish line. Thankfully the course veered off the tarmac after a couple of miles.

F**k the mud.

At around mile 3, I picked up a running buddy, Ally. It was her first ultra, and her only goal was to finish. She liked my pace, and I liked hers. Our conversation kept me distracted from the miles ahead and my unprepared body. Many times she told me to go ahead because I was stronger and faster than her. Ha! I refused. I needed to take it easy, and if I started hurting the company would help immensely.

The clouds parted, and blue skies and sunshine warmed me enough to strip down to a tank top!

I am extremely grateful for Ally. The misery of the slick muddy trails that seemingly went on for miles was only bearable because of sharing it with someone. When my uphill legs could barely make it up a short incline, I focused on her feet and kept up. She was hurting as well, and I tried my best to keep the conversation going to keep her mind off the pain.

The La Sals off in the distance.

Aid station 3 & 5 were the same and allowed crew access. My wonderful, sweet husband greeted me with hugs and kisses at both aid station visits. Knowing I would see him helped me more than I could imagine. I told myself I had only 16 miles to my husband. Then only 11 miles to my husband. Then only five miles to my husband and the finish line.

Jeremy and Oreo went for a little walk while waiting for me at the aid station.

About two miles from the finish line, I pulled ahead of Ally. She was tired and nauseous, and I was excited to finish. I crossed the finish line, jumped into my husband’s arms, and wrapped my legs around him. Arches took me almost two hours more than Dead Horse. Considering I barely trained for the past two months, I’m extremely happy with my time.

The tunnel that takes the bike path under the highway, a mere half mile from the finish line.

Back at our campsite, I celebrated with a 12% beer and lobster bisque. I would not recommend this as a post-race meal/beverage combination. Afterward, I thought I was dying. I wanted to vomit. I wanted to cry. I wanted someone to kill me to make it go away. I rolled around on the bed, unable to find a position that eased the misery.

First my goal was to finish in less than ten hours. About ten miles in I was shooting for less than eight. Then we hit mud, and I set my sights for less than nine hours. Nailed it!

My amazing husband drove us to town and got me crackers and ginger beer to soothe my upset stomach. He saved my life. In the future, I shall stick with pizza and PBR for a post-race celebration.

Aside from the near-death experience, I’d say this was a great race! But I do believe my left big toenail won’t be with me at the next race. At least now I am well versed in the stages of toenail trauma. As soon as we get home I plan to hit up the urgent care.

Oreo and I went for a short hike before I almost died.

Question of the Day: Have you ever ran a race you were woefully unprepared for? Tell me how it went!

Training Journal

Christina View All →

Endlessly seeking adventure.

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