What Does 50K Feel Like?

One of my triathlon teammates (thanks, Marisa!) commented on my blog yesterday and said she’s looking forward to reading what it feels like to run 50K. So am I! I’ve been wondering what it will be like and how I’ll feel running that far. I’ve run four marathons and, while each has been a completely different experience, they’ve all served up a wide range of feelings, both physical and emotional. What’s interesting to me is how quickly everything can change. In at least two marathons I went from feeling strong and great to suddenly feeling terrible in a very short time. I attribute this to going out too fast and have worked on changing that.

I plan to run the 50K slowly. It’s not a race for time. I really want to enjoy it. At the same time I’ll be running for about 5 hours and it’s inevitable that there will be lows to go along with the highs. I’m sure everything will hurt at some point. I hope I won’t want to stop but I know that may be a factor I’ll have to work through.

On Saturday I ran 15 miles at one of my favorite places to run – Burke Lake. The temperature was 16 degrees and from the outset I didn’t feel great. I had made sure to eat oatmeal in the morning so I should have had enough energy, so my sluggishness must have been the result of something else. I hadn’t had a particularly good night’s sleep so that could have been a factor. I had ridden my bike the day before and wondered if that was contributing. Whatever it was, it was making me miserable. I pretty much ran in a fog, hardly noticing the beautiful winter scenery.

At one point, halfway through the run, my fingers started burning really badly, as if I were getting frostbite. I had on two pairs of gloves and my hands should have been warm at that point, but something was cutting off my circulation. They stopped hurting after about 10 minutes, during which I clenched and unclenched by fists to get the circulation going, but it was a little scary, especially as the pain was so bad I couldn’t focus on anything else. Thankfully I had some good company (thanks, Bridget!) to talk with. I’ve ordered some mittens from Brooks so hopefully that will help.

This weekend I’m racing the High Cloud Snapple Half Marathon. The weather is supposed to be warmer than last weekend so I’m hoping my hands will stay warm and I can enjoy the scenery along the C&O canal!

Comments

  1. I’m glad I inspired you to keep writing…love learning from you and although 50k is not something I ever want to do I definitely will love hearing what the experience is for you. Very inspiring!

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