First 50 Miler

Saturday I am attempting my first 50 Miler....

I didn't get nearly as much training in as I wanted, so my strategy is to just go super slow and take my time. The course is pretty "flat" by ultra standards - ~3500 feet of elevation gain (I did over double that in Pikes Peak marathon!!!), but I think I'm still going to walk even the littlest of hills from the get go. I've done two 50K's, both of which I went out too fast at the beginning and paid for it later - so I'm going to try my hardest to NOT make that mistake again.

So anyways, I just wondering if anyone had any last minute advice??

Also - I'm a bit worried, I just found out there will be 12 water crossings over the course....12!!! And from the pictures, they don't look like little crossings with rocks you can hop across, they look like at least mid-calf-deep crossings....the race recommended putting Aquafor on your feet if you're prone to blisters (like I am). Any one ever tried that before? Anyone have any other strategies? I've used Squeeky Cheeks (a powder) on my feet in the past, but I'm thinking the first water crossing would probably just wash that all way.

Also anything special I should put in my drop bag? I've got all the typical stuff - extra clothes, extra pair of shoes, fuel, maybe headphones (I don't typically listen to music when I run...but I'm going to be out for an entire day, so I think I might this time).


  • runfatmanrun
    runfatmanrun Posts: 1,090 Member
    Only advice is to have a great time. I haven't ran this far so I will let people who are more qualified weigh in with actual advice :). As for your drop bags I would say what you have planned is good. From what I have read, not much difference in drop bag prep...just more of the same. Can't wait to read the blog on this one :)
  • saskie78
    saskie78 Posts: 237 Member
    How exciting Kate! I don't really have any advice, but I just wanted to say I'm excited for you! I don't know about the wet feet. I ran mine in drenched feet the whole way, but didn't do anything to my feet or change socks or shoes. I am not prone to blisters, though, so...

    Drop bag: a yummy treat to look forward to! (sunscreen, body glide, pain killers, chapstick--these things if you don't already have them on your list). The treat is most important though for a long day like that :)

    The one thing I found helpful was just realizing that there were times when it was really, really going to suck. Like really. And then it would get better again, eventually. The bad stuff is ok. It's the stuff you laugh about later.

    Have fun!
  • Zekela
    Zekela Posts: 634 Member
    Umm... You did Pike's Peak? You are golden! Have fun and you are gonna crush that ****!
  • KateRunsColorado
    KateRunsColorado Posts: 407 Member
    Thanks al!

    Saskie - I like the idea of a treat, thank you! Hmmm now I just have to decide what?! :)

    Zekela - I did Pikes Peak in mid-August....and then took 3 weeks off....and didn't do much after getting back into it, which is why I'm worried. 2 weeks ago I did back-to-back semi-long runs (a 17.5 and then a 15.5, but that's pretty much it).....Pikes was definitely mentally harder than any of my 50K's though, so I'm hoping having done that will at least help with the mental aspect of this... :)

    But I'm trying to remember this from the book, Relentless Forward Progress:

    "There will be trying times in an Ultra but enjoy what you can of it. Take in the scenery. Talk with friends and strangers alike. Lose yourself in thought or zone out. Marvel at your accomplishments or laugh at your foolishness. Laugh. If it's a rainy mess, jump in some puddles. If it's hot, jump in a stream. Let out a triumphant cheer at the top of a climb and a joyous holler as you fly down a hill. Be a kid. Be happy."
  • UrbanRunner81
    UrbanRunner81 Posts: 1,207 Member
    I also think you will do well after doing Peak's! Good luck and I can't wait to hear about it!
  • jturnerx
    jturnerx Posts: 325 Member
    It sounds like you have a realistic assessment of your training going into this so just have fun with it.

    I've done a 50 miler with creek crossings and the only thing I did different was use a different brand of sock. Normally in dry conditions I'm in Balegas but if I know it's going to be wet I switch to Drymax. Of course, your mileage may vary. The other thing you might think of doing is pre-treating or taping any areas on your feet that you know is prone to blistering.

    Stay on top of your nutrition. The races that have gone the best for me are those where I've done a good job on following through on my nutrition plan. It's helped me stay positive and the lows feel a lot more manageable instead of turning into these swirling black holes of despair.

    Pacing is everything. There was a woman I knew who was doing her first 50 miler and from past experience I know that I am faster than she is. I remember her just flying past me at like mile 5 and I started to chase her down because - hey, I'm faster than she is, dang it! Then I caught myself, what the heck am I doing? I slowed down, ran my own race. I eventually passed her around the halfway point. I finished the race. She DNF'd. Don't be that girl.
  • LoneWolfRunner
    LoneWolfRunner Posts: 1,160 Member
    I'm doing my first 50 mile race on October 12... and I'm nervous about it, too... but you sound a lot more prepared than I am! Thanks for posting this...I have many of the same questions....
  • Good luck! I am sure you will do great! I can not say I have ran that far so I can't get advice from experience. But I did run a trail half with 4 creek crossings, so wet feet pretty much the whole time. And I've ran 20+ milers with wet feet from wet grass and such, I just glide the crap out of my feet and that seems to help. On the 20 milers I did change socks and re-glided my feet and that seemed to help. And I can't attest to to trail toes (the link below) but my group of Ulta runners in my town some of them swear by it..
  • sarahc001
    sarahc001 Posts: 477 Member
    Another vote for taking it slow. Last weekend I did a 12h "run as much as you can" looped course. Going out slow (while temporarily frustrating) and running my own race was really important, and a good learning experience. The front runner in the first 6.5mi loop ran her first lap in 1:02:41 (9:39 pace) and her 6th loop in 2:46:40 (25:35 pace) for 39mi in 9:55. Five of us all started slower and managed to complete 52mi. My first lap was at an 11:13 pace, and my 8th was at a 13:53 pace. There are other things that went well, including not wasting time at aid stations and planning my drop bag....but pacing was really important. As for creek crossings, I have started spraying my feet with benzoin and putting on thin injinji socks while my feet are still wet. When the benzoin dries it becomes sticky, and the socks stick to my feet. There ends up being no friction between my foot and the sock, and I did not have a single blister! Good luck!
  • SonicDeathMonkey80
    SonicDeathMonkey80 Posts: 4,489 Member
    You're a warrior, so I got nothing for you. Just kick *kitten* and smile like you always do.
  • tappae
    tappae Posts: 568 Member
    I ran a 40 last year and got frustrated with the slow pace early on. Somewhere around mile 4, I had fallen in behind a couple of guys that were just clearly more fit than me and they were running with a girl that had no shoes (she did the marathon distance). After a really slow split, I decided to pass them and hit out on my own (it turns out it was faulty mile marking and not that slow of a mile). Anyway, one of those guys caught me about 26 miles later. He ran the last 10 miles almost an hour faster than I did and passed almost 10 more people on his way in. I guess what I'm saying is be more like him and enjoy passing people like me!
  • DonPendergraft
    DonPendergraft Posts: 520 Member
    Well, how did it go? :)
  • KateRunsColorado
    KateRunsColorado Posts: 407 Member
    Thanks for all of your advice everyone!

    It was a long, slow day but I did it! Finished in 12:31:16....I was hoping for under 12 - but considering this was my first 50 and it was blistering HOT out, I'm just glad I finished - and enjoyed most of it.

    I will be posting a blog post sometime in the next week, so I'll be sure to share it when I'm finished.

    <--- My new profile picture is during one of the water crossings. I ended up LOVING them - it was my favorite part of the race. I put body glide all over my feet before I started and it seemed to work because I ended up without any blisters!
  • sarahc001
    sarahc001 Posts: 477 Member
    Congrats! Just a shot in the dark, but was it Belmead? I heard that it was pretty hot out, and know there were stream crossings...
  • jturnerx
    jturnerx Posts: 325 Member
    That's great to hear! On a hot day I bet those creek crossing felt awesome. I'll lay down in one if it's a hot day!
  • jturnerx
    jturnerx Posts: 325 Member
    Aren't pickles awesome? lol I'm doing my last 50 miler of the year this weekend and I'm putting a small jar of pickle juice in my lone drop bag at the turn around point. It's also going to be a hot one and I wish we had some stream crossings but it's dry as a bone. We've been given a heads up about bees and wasps so that will be extra fun. ;)
  • KateRunsColorado
    KateRunsColorado Posts: 407 Member
    Yes! If it weren't for the pickles and the aid stations having ice, I don't know if I would've made it! ;)

    (Bees and Wasps sounds HORRIBLE btw....good luck!!!)
  • DonPendergraft
    DonPendergraft Posts: 520 Member
    Loved the recap. I hope my 50M goes as well as yours did. It seemed like you had a lot of fun and didn't kill yourself. Also, a time to be proud of!
  • Abakan
    Abakan Posts: 361 Member
    congratulations on a fantastic achievement, loved the recap and photo's.