It’s springtime and new beginnings are everywhere. The birds are coming back, flowers are blooming, the temperatures are rising, and spring races are here!
This past Saturday I ran the Get Lucky 50-50 in Canal Fulton, Ohio. When I saw this event show up in my Facebook feed I noticed that this was the inaugural running. I have to admit I have a love of running inaugural events, and just couldn’t resist signing up! After hitting the “submit payment” button, however, I felt a little wave of panic wash over me (I really hadn’t been training for a long distance race. To be honest, I really don’t follow a training plan ever *insert embarrassed grin and nervous giggle here*) but the excitement of running the longest distance to date since my divorce at a new event was too great to not enter.
The race featured a 50 mile, 50K, and 25K option. I chose the 25K because I knew with my base fitness (and a 15 hour cut off time) I could totally finish in time. There was also a 50/50 drawing for all participants with a pretty nice purse. I didn’t win, but it was a very cool little extra. Now I’ve never entered an event where ultra distances are run, so it was a new experience to see such a friendly, laid back atmosphere. And with about 118 registered runners over all three distances it was a comfortable, enjoyable run. Like running with a huge group of friends. Very cool!
The race was ran entirely on the towpath trail with a few road crossings. At around three miles I saw a couple runners split off which made me nervous. I thought I had missed a turn, so I picked up the pace a bit to catch up with a couple runner who I ended up running the next 5 miles with. They were experienced ultra runners who were kind and gave me all kinds of tips on running long distances, good races to try and just plain fun chatter.
One of the surprises for me was the aid stations. There weren’t nearly as many as a road race, one station every 5 miles or so, but oh the FOOD! Eggs, bacon, cookies, soup, sandwiches, fruit…you name it! The runners I had run with told me the longer the distance the more you want real food on the run. I opted for some Nutty Buddies which tasted amazing.
The weather was perfect and I felt great the whole way. The only pressure was the pressure I put in myself, which really only came in the last half mile where I wanted to finish strong. My finish time was 2:46:24 which was 5th of 15 in my age group and 24th overall. Not too shabby!!
After crossing the finish line and collecting my finisher’s medal I made my way to a little local tavern that was serving up free corned beef, cabbage and beer for the runners. It was a warm, super tasty way to wrap up a terrific morning!
I had such a great time running the Get Lucky 50-50 that I’m already planning on running it next year. I loved the laid back atmosphere, well stocked aid stations, and beautiful course. It has also made me consider seriously looking in to running some ultras. Overall, it was a fun time that I would recommend to someone looking for a first taste of the ultra running world.
Next up on the calendar is the Run For Home Half Marathon. One of my favorites because it’s local and doesn’t start until 11am!
Now, as much as I LOVE running, I know I’ve become a terribly unbalanced athlete. My flexibility stinks and I’ve noticed too much softness in my body due to lack of cross training. This past month I took on the Blogilates monthly workout calendar and feel like I’ve made some progress there. Add to that Cassie’s infectious energy in her videos and the fact that she offers her workout plans and videos for FREE, and I had absolutely no problems with ordering a 12 week fitness journal from POPFLEX to continue working on my overall fitness.
Some fun stickers and new pens never hurt either. The pages are perfect for planning and tracking everything. From goals to measurements to food and workouts, there’s room for it all. My biggest goals are to improve my flexibility and increase muscle mass, and I’m excited to see just what I can accomplish in 12 weeks. Stay tuned for updates 😉
With that I’m looking forward to spring and all the changes it brings. Here’s hoping we all have a great springtime season!!