My Attempt at 50 Miles

On Sunday, I was in Wisconsin attempting my first 50 mile ultra-marathon. I was hoping to be on here today talking about my awesome finish... but the Ice Age Trail had other plans for me. When I hit the 38 mile aid station, I missed the cut-off time and had to drop from the race. It was my first DNF and it hurt like hell. But that is part of the beauty and inspiration of running... here is a little race report about some key things I learned Sunday about running long distances....

http://www.myfitnesspal.com/blog/LoneWolfRunner

Replies

  • snowflake930
    snowflake930 Posts: 2,188 Member
    I have nothing but admiration for your amazing accomplishment. You are awesome to just attempt this feat! Good luck on your next attempt, you are part of a very small percentage of people that run/complete marathons. It is awe inspiring to witness these athletes and you are to be applauded. Congratulations!
  • skippygirlsmom
    skippygirlsmom Posts: 4,433 Member
    Great blog post. You may not have finished, but you certainly didn't fail. You'll definitely get it next time.
  • LoneWolfRunner
    LoneWolfRunner Posts: 1,160 Member
  • goanothermile
    goanothermile Posts: 98 Member
    Wow.

    My hat is off to you for having the guts to train and try it. I also respect that you being open about having taken a shot and not succeeded the first time out.

    Some good lessons there. I really like your point about how "one lapse of judgment can set off a chain reaction of race-killers." You nailed it. I've never attempted a 50-miler but I have had races go right in the ditch. Every time I could trace it back to some bad choice I made that kicked off the first falling domino.

    Thanks for your post. Best wishes for the next time around.
  • jdhcm2006
    jdhcm2006 Posts: 2,254 Member
    This is really inspiring. I just started jogging about a month ago, and I hope to be able to go 5 miles by the end of November. 38 or 50 is completely bananas to me. But maybe one day I'll be able to say I ran 38 miles straight. You've definitely inspired me to keep going. I hope to complete a 5k in December. Thanks for the extra motivation!
  • LoneWolfRunner
    LoneWolfRunner Posts: 1,160 Member
    edited October 2014
    And here is one last thing I want to throw in... even though I didn't finish, my brother who got me into running three years ago, did... celebrating the suffering and the finish with him was worth everything....
  • sarahc001
    sarahc001 Posts: 477 Member
    I DNFed my first ultra this summer in an experience that could be called nothing other than soul crushing. Made some similar mistakes- I forgot to eat breakfast and at mi 13 I was starving...grabbed some bacon, which literally ran through me...I'm also sure I went out too fast...anyway I couldn't eat (should have forced myself to anyway) and kept getting slower and slower. I couldn't believe it when I was pulled after not making a cutoff. I had always believed that if I was willing to keep going I would finish. A friend who has far more experience was kind enough to rehash the race with me and go over my (numerous!) mistakes. He told me that though I'm sure to make mistakes in the future, at least I won't make these SAME mistakes again. Small comfort, but next time I will be better prepared, and so will you. :-)
  • maybyn
    maybyn Posts: 233 Member
    Well done to you and your brother. The course looks beautiful.

    While I did finish my first ultra this year (100km), I was not as prepared as I should have. I too learnt so, so much from the experience. I was very inspired after the ultra and immediately made plans for the next one which I'm doing early next year (another 100km).

    Like you and the poster above, I will be making sure that I won't make the same mistakes again and I'm sure that when you do your next one, you too will do better. Coincidentally, I had an attack of jitters just a couple of days ago and am planning to do more mental conditioning over the coming months to prepare.

    Good luck for your next one.
  • italysharon
    italysharon Posts: 195 Member
    That's amazing. Congratulations on the 38 and can't wait to hear about next time :smile: I felt so awful after finishing 26.2 I can't imagine how hard it is to get the nutrition right for longer distances.
  • aarar
    aarar Posts: 684 Member
    Congrats on an awesome effort. 38 miles is an absolutely amazing accomplishment that few people ever do and you should be very proud of yourself.
  • SonicDeathMonkey80
    SonicDeathMonkey80 Posts: 4,489 Member
    38 miles is no joke. I think getting swept at an ultra is a rite of passage. Yeah, it sucks, but still... 38 miles. Damn! My hat's off to you!
  • dlr165
    dlr165 Posts: 118 Member
    I have nothing but admiration for your amazing accomplishment. You are awesome to just attempt this feat! Good luck on your next attempt, you are part of a very small percentage of people that run/complete marathons. It is awe inspiring to witness these athletes and you are to be applauded. Congratulations!

    +1
  • MeanderingMammal
    MeanderingMammal Posts: 7,866 Member
    Regardless of anything else, outstanding effort.

    Good to read your lessons from it though.
  • jturnerx
    jturnerx Posts: 325 Member
    edited October 2014
    I've DNF'd at two ultras so far. I'm sure I'll have more. I've experienced when things have gone like clockwork and epic blow ups. It happens and there is no sugar-coating how much it sucks. But you've already taken the best, first step and that's examining your decision making and learning from those lessons moving forward. You'll be armed with more knowledge and better prepared the next time out.
  • LoneWolfRunner
    LoneWolfRunner Posts: 1,160 Member
    I think getting swept at an ultra is a rite of passage.

    Yeah.... I like that... I guess if running long distances was nothing but fun easy finishes, what would be the point, right?

  • LoneWolfRunner
    LoneWolfRunner Posts: 1,160 Member
    sarahc001 wrote: »
    ...grabbed some bacon, which literally ran through me...
    This is first time I ever heard of bacon at an aid station... while I love me some bacon, I am not sure I can conjure up a scenario in which I would want to slam some during a race...lol... but it is amazing some of the things we think are good ideas a few miles into race...
  • adventurousone
    adventurousone Posts: 3 Member
    Wow! I mean you really have to be in the .00000000001% of the population that could ever do 38 miles! Amazing. Great job!!!
  • Tillyecl1
    Tillyecl1 Posts: 189 Member
    You did brilliantly, 38 miles is a bloomin' long way. Sometimes you have to actually experience something to learn what you need to know in order to complete it (I also did an "electrolyte unknown" at my last half Ironman, not good ended up vomming in a bush). You will totally nail it next time :-).