Well…I hadn’t started the year with the thought to run a 50k. Heck! I wanted to run my first marathon…and that was a feat in itself!
After my marathon, I was ready to NOT be training for a bit…but I couldn’t help but start back into training after my spring pacing experiences 🙂
Through the summer, I met new running buddies, the newest being Michelle and Mel in a nearby town, and ran several long runs with them on Saturdays.
These gals were training specifically for a 50k the first weekend of October. Sadly, this race didn’t turn out as planned for either lady… Michelle kept her mind set to running and FINISHING a 50k this year and she started looking for another race to complete her training cycle.
When she told me about the Kansas Rails-To-Trails Prairie Spirit Trail 50k, I was interested… I had been doing a marathon training plan over the summer to keep my miles for the “2,016 miles in 2016” Challenge close to pace… And the distance between a marathon and 50k weren’t all that different… (runner’s thoughts…)
The race is know as a flat, “easy” course.
On a whim, I decided to run the Kansas Rails-To-Trails Fall Ultra Extravaganza Prairie Spirit Trail 50K with Michelle…but I knew I was going to take it “easy” because 1) I wanted to give Michelle the best chance to finish, and 2) I still have a couple races to pace this fall (I didn’t want to completely trash my legs…).
Packet Pick-Up & Pre Race Dinner
I got off work early so I could get to the packet pick-up and pre-race dinner.
Location: Celebration Hall, Ottawa, KS
The small scale dinner was cooked spaghetti, ground meat, tomato sauce, salad, dressing, bread, cake and drinks. With 85 or so people registered for the event, there wasn’t a huge spread, but plenty for anyone to eat 🙂
Since I planned on staying with family in Ottawa, my in-laws came out to pick up little man.
I never sleep that great the night before a race…and a new room in new surroundings didn’t help either. At least I have slept relatively well over the past week!
My alarm went off around 5 am and since #flatlindsey was ready to rock, I was ready to run in no time!
View this post on Instagram
Wow…I am used to being a self sustained runner, probably over prepped fuel wise, but better safe than sorry!! #flatlindsey is ready for the Prairie Spirit Trail Fall Classic 50k!! • #first #first50k #50k #railstotrails #prairiespirittrail #ultra #ultrarumner #runner #trail #trailnerds #overpacked #prepared #overprepared #nuunhydration #runhappy #garminrocks #beatyesterday #naturalfuel #natural #bodyglide #aftershokz #honey #showerpill #htwo #yearofnuun
I grabbed my hydration pack, water bladder, HTWO, drop bags, and shoes and headed out the door around 5:30 am.
I headed down the road to pick up Michelle! With her little family in town, I thought it would be easier for them if they could sleep in a little 🙂 We headed to Price Chopper because they have a Starbucks inside 🙂
Coffee in hand, bananas purchased,…ready to go!
Back at Celebration Hall, the 100 mile runners had already left, but we were able to watch them pass from the first out-and-back before heading south for the next 48.5 miles (and then the 50 back!)! We then settled in for a bit and relaxed 🙂
Michelle and I made the rounds to the bathroom several times before we took off… (not the best idea after all – possible info later).
After a bit, the 50 mile runners lined up and were off on the trail as well!
Before our pre-race meeting, we stood by the trail and watched the 50 milers go by!
Once our meeting was over, we headed back inside for last minute bathroom breaks, check the map, and to grab everything we didn’t send out to the drop bag locations. Ekkkk!!
View this post on Instagram
Ready to ROCK the Kansas Rails-to-Trails Fall Ultra Extravaganza Prairie Spirit Trail 50k – that's a mouthful!! • #first #first50k #50k #railstotrails #prairiespirittrail #ultra #ultrarumner #runner #trail #trailnerds #nuunhydration #runhappy #garminrocks #beatyesterday #naturalfuel #natural #bodyglide #aftershokz
The start was just outside the main building…so we all just meandered out. I was enough to the outside in the back that I am in most of the starters pictures (the light purple top, constantly fidgiting with my pack or watch…). Smiling because I am looking forward to the adventure…or because this was a CRAZY idea?! Who knows…
Mile by Mile
Well, this isn’t my typical mile-by-mile tracking…because that is a lot to think about for 31 miles!! Instrad, I kept track of a few passing thoughts in the beginning…and a little throughout. This kept me thinking about other things and not about the crazy feat I was able to accomplish – even finish!!
Pre- chilly, enjoy it NOW!
1- warm up, run your own race!! Let them pass! Turtle club! (Biggest mantra of the day : Run Your Own Race. Yeah, I could have started out a little faster and kept up with Michelle and her new pal,…but I knew that I needed to conserve as much energy as possible…)
2- first turnaround…yep, last finisher (for now!), run my own race, run my own pace! “Have a great day” to passing runners 🙂 (Wow, I was REALLY optomistic to start…haha! No passing happened for a while…but slow and steady kept me moving throughout!!)
3- mile 2.5 honey…never too early to start! (I guess I also kept track of a little of my fueling…just in case I plan to do something crazy like this again…)
4- close to home base! FAMILY!! (My Aunt and Uncle that I stayed with were on the side of the trail waving me by! That was so fun to see them!!) Sweating…but feeling good! Headwinds picking up…uphill 17, downhill finish… Here we go!
5- 4.3 the trail starts!
“Running isn’t about winning the race. It’s about taking on a challenge and working hard to complete the task.” –random passing thought from livinglovingrunner
Under the highway…this is fun! Thank you trucker who let me cross!
6- 2 runners behind me…must have stopped to pee…probably pass me soon 😜 natural wind block and shade (while thee sun is low)
7- 2 apricots at mile 6, beautiful trail! Closing the gap on runner ahead, first water “stop”, passed at 6.5
8- got lost in my thoughts…running, finishing…getting bored…what do I do when I’m bored? Eat! Mini pack of sport beans down the hatch!
9- 8 miles in 1:42 – 8 hour goal with reach! 🙂 Passed ol’gent…not in the race but put for a morning stroll; keeping “pink runners” in sight ahead (running Galloway too)
10- miles 9&10 talking to mom, lost in thoughts about mom, talking to God about mom…smile for the camera!!
11- 1 apricot at 10, AIDE STATION!! Amazing spread…avoid eating EVERYTHING. Potty…back on the road!
12- started BibRave podcast! (This was the last time I really tried to keep track of my thoughts… I kept my Aftershokz headphones on me all morning and now was the time to start listening and zoning out!)
13- started intervals around 12.5 (I started really needing to take a little break…what better time to start my 5:1 intervals. I had them running the entire time before now, I just wasn’t listening to them… Oh well. I was still feeling good, I just wanted to maintain that “good” feeling as long as I could!)
14- honey @13, starting to slow down…head wind picking up, feet starting to get achy, podcast helps pass the time! 1/2 banana @13.4 (boredom eating)…getting warm out 😳
17- saw Michelle!!
18- AIDE STATION! Dad was there! Yay!! Banana #3 in the pack! PB&J in the tum 😊 Stuck around the aide station too long, legs feel stiff and heavy… (This was the turnaround point of the 50K distance! I knew that I was close to the tent when I saw the silos…I had no idea my dad was going to be coming out 🙂 My Aunt text me and said that he was coming but didn’t know when or where. It is a good thing that I took a little time in the tent before leaving or I would have ran off when he showed up…ha! Nothing like a familular face to pump up the spirits!)
19- mile 18.5 1/2 banana
23- bring on the shade!! 😓
24- Body Glide as lip balm…I’ll take what I can get!
25- AIDE STATION!! Dad brought me another banana…cold towel, fresh Nuun water,…GETTING HOT.
26- so many snakes!! Cactus on the trail?! So hot…
29- last water!!
30- (text from family, “where are you at?!” – my response, “ALMOST THERE!”) So close!
Somehow, I was able to walk to the building to start the recovery process…or at least to clean up!
…and get some food. Same spread as the night before…but all I got was some pasta.
Feet on the table in real life — not good, you are grounded!! Feet on the table post 50K — I wasn’t the only one…ha!!
View this post on Instagram
I'm alive!! And upright!! 😆 • I had a great time running the KS Rails-to-Trails Prairie Spirit Trail 50k today!! The crew stops were awesome and yes, I super over prepared, but I didn't regret it a bit! • My dad was able to make it out to the Richmond turnaround, the 2nd Princeton stop, and the finish line!! ❤️ I loved seeing him get so excited for me!! • What next?? A bathroom break, quick @showerpill cleanup, change, eat, and find some cold water 😆 • #first #first50k #50k #railstotrails #prairiespirittrail #ultra #ultrarumner #runner #trail #trailnerds #nuunhydration #runhappy #garminrocks #beatyesterday #aftershokz #irun4aidennicole
Banana #5 for the day…
This race was one of the craziest ideas I have had for a while (probably since my marathon in April) but I am soooo glad I took the chance! There was a lot of radio silence in my mile-by-mile thoughts once I turned on the podcast…but those were the times that I really had to dig deep and just push through the pain. My finishing time was 7:25 and I wanted to come in under 8 — talk about a win!!
I am so glad that I went out for this 50K…but now my half/full marathon aide stations have a pretty high bar to live up to!
I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment and start a conversation!
More Ways to connect with Lindsey from LivingLovingRunner :