My training was a little rocky leading up to the 2015 Sun Mountain 50 miler. The week after my first race of the year, the Diez Vista 50k in April, I managed to strain my left hamstring. A couple of weeks after that, I rolled my ankle pretty bad while running on some technical trail at night, resulting in a grade 2 sprain.
Rainshadow Running’s Sun Mountain was my first 50 miler back in 2013, and I’d always wanted to go back to see by how much I could improve my time. After getting injured at the 2014 Diez Vista 50k, I had to skip last year’s race, so there was no way I was going to miss out on toeing the line this year. I just wasn’t sure if I’d be able to finish. But if I was gonna run, I would aim for about 7:45 and top 10 overall.
Two weeks ago I traveled to Winthrop, WA to run the Sun Mountain 50 miler. Since moving from road to trail about this time last year, I had run a few 50 km ultra marathons but this was my first time running anywhere close to 80 km.
The race was a huge success for me and I finished in 8:49 for 16th place, despite several of us taking a wrong turn that may have cost us 15 minutes or so and adding a couple of miles.
My goal was to finish feeling strong, to enjoy the experience, and to learn a little more about myself and about running into what had been unknown territory.
Here are the 3 lessons I learned…