OMG! I just signed up for my first 50 miler!

….and My Story Runs On….

Are these the words seriously coming out of my mouth and fingers now? Seriously?!  OMG, it’s still crazy to me that they are….

I remember when I used to be a distance walker and I wouldn’t have even considered being a runner.  Training miles to complete the Breast Cancer 3-Day with my Las Bombas team for 6 years.  I even walked 100 miles in the middle of summer in 2012 for Marriage Equality (had started running at this point).

I remember when I used to go hiking and I would see trail runners. I’d call them freaks in my head….who would want to go running on a trail? That just looked stupid and certainly a good way to hurt yourself. (Running Tips for Beginner Trail Runners)

I remember when I said I would never do more than a 5K. Why would anyone ever want to run any more than that anyway?

Well, as you write your own running story, my biggest piece of advice is: NEVER SAY NEVER.  As of today, according to Athlinks, I’ve run:

  • 22 5Ks
  • 6 10Ks
  • 16 Half Marathons
  • 5 Marathons
  • 1 50K (not on Athlinks)
  • and a bunch of various distances in between.

I’m not telling you this to brag!  I know people who have done way more than this!  We are all writing our own running story so by any means, please don’t compare yourself (this is my #1 rule for beginner runners and why my blog is called My Own Running Story).

Before I injured myself from overuse last year, my next goal after my 1st 50K was to do a 12 hour race.  I was hoping to do 50 miles in that time but I knew that would be aggressive.  I also injured myself so had to drop down from that event.

Once I healed, I took baby steps as I started getting back into my normal running routine.  I knew at some point, I would be making this crazy decision.  I started toying around with the idea of doing 2nd 50K (signing up for the McDowell Mountain Frenzy by Aravaipa in December)…..then I did it…I started googling 50 mile races since I would already be training for a 50K.

Can someone explain to me why pretty much most ultra races go from a 50K to a 50 miler?  That’s a 20 mile difference!  Nothing in between?  Well, OK then….I guess that’s the next distance to do then…

I started thinking about Aravaipa’s Coldwater Rumble race in January.  They have a 100 mile race which would give me 32 hours to complete 50.  No problem!  I could take a nap in between if I wanted to…..

But then, while at the AZ Distance Camp a month ago, I started talking to my friend Elaine.  She’s an Ironman and already completed the Old Pueblo 50 miler last year. She’s a great athlete and one of the nicest people I know…as a matter of fact, I met her while training for the 3-Day and she joined our team.  She started talking about Antelope Canyon….

First question: when is it?  It’s on 2/20/16….WHAT?  The day after my 45th birthday?  I love doing things over my birthday weekend!  I ran my first marathon on my 41st birthday.
Second question:  what’s the cutoff?  15 hours…that’s an average of an 18 minute mile…sounds doable but average that for 50 miles…starting to get a bit freaked out…
Third question:  how is the route?  Does it loop?  What’s the scenery like?  Well, first of all, you are in Antelope Canyon. The only way to see this canyon is if you go with a tour or you do this race.  I started googling race reports and looking at pictures and videos from previous participants. The scenery looks AMAZING!  But wait…. there’s 30 miles of sand?  I have to go down a 30 foot rickety ladder into the canyon?  There are points that may not be suitable for someone who is afraid of heights?  Yikes……

After weighing out the pros and cons for quite some time….AND Elaine texting me with something like this “They serve birthday cake at one of the aid stations for February birthdays..”…AND remembering what I tell everyone all the time:

“Always do what you are afraid to do.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

I went to sign up…….AND it was SOLD OUT! What? After taking all that time to make the decision and it’s sold out?


I emailed the race director, gave him my sob story about my birthday AND how this was my first 50 miler AND I’m on the Board of Directors for Girls On The Run AND this was going to be my fundraiser event….He told me we could get on the waiting list and chances were pretty good (we were the first two on the list!).

Long story short, we got on the waiting list (I think I was the first one!) and we are now both in….$180 later, Happy Birthday to Me?!?!

I’m pretty freaked out about it but I know I have a lot of people in my life that have done these and can help me. One thing to remember is that it doesn’t matter if it’s your first 5K or 50K…Fear is fear and it can hold us back from doing new things….so regardless of where you are in Your Running Story, the choice is yours:

Forget Everything And Run


Forget Everything And Rise

I’m rising…still doesn’t mean I’m not scared!  BTW, I’ll be writing another post about my Girls On The Run fundraiser but here is my link.

From My Running Story to Yours….
(if you feel inspired to share your comments, do so below…I want to hear your story too!)

0 thoughts on “OMG! I just signed up for my first 50 miler!

  1. Suggest the Malpais trail at SanTan Regional for sand training and a super-sized pair of gaiters. Sand is a whole different world.

  2. Antelope will be my first 50 miler as well! The thought of that much sand is scary, but hoping the scenery will make up for it…can’t wait!

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