Willis River 35k/50k Race Report 2017

A Joke:

How do you make God laugh?

Tell her your plans.

I set out on the Willis River 50k today, hoping to run faster than my 6:30 time from last year. I felt well trained and rested going into the day.  I checked my phone about 7 miles in, and I was on pace, feeling great, and enjoying myself on the trail.

The weather was perfect for running, 44 and cloudy. I was chatting with a few people around me and then…I rolled my ankle on a root. I heard some crunching. I had pain, I had nausea. I walked for a minute, and then…I ran again.  Slowly at first, I looked ahead and wasn’t losing any ground on the guy I said to “go ahead, I’m fine” when it happened.

I quickly settled back into a rhythm and I felt okay, but not 100% stable, but confident and comfortable.

At the 10 mile turnaround, I met another runner named Hunter and we ran for about 4 miles together at the same pace.  We had a slight uphill leading to a road and an aid station, and when the ground leveled my ankle started hurting.

Maybe the endorphins wore off, I’m not sure, but all I could do was walk.  I made it back to the 35k checkpoint on my own power, walking for the last hour, and waited for my ride to check in.  I let him know I was done and he decided to cut his run short and head home. I was very thankful to go home, although I had a book to read in case he wanted to run the entire 50k course.

What did I learn from this experience? I was glad I wore more layers than usual because when I was only walking instead of running I cooled off quickly. I had also decided to have a mantra during my run today, which I got from a book, called “Love Yourself As If Your Life Depended On It“.  The strange part is, I never got upset or unhappy that things didn’t turn out as I planned.  I was able to be present and listened to what my body needed me to do in the moment.  I ran when it felt okay, and walked when that was all I could do.

I didn’t need to set a PR, I didn’t need to prove myself to anyone.  I only needed to honor what my body needed in the moment, and that made me happy.

It was a great day in the woods, what else could be better?