Well the Hachie 50 has come and gone and once again I have lived to tell you all about my experience! Running 50 miles is surely no small feat, and requires lots of training to arrive to the starting line healthy and ready to go. This year the challenge was quite tough, as we dealt with all of the elements- heat, humidity, rain, and jumping over deep muddy puddles. So let me share my adventure with you and take you on a 50 mile journey.
I arrived to Waxahachie race morning feeling a little worn out from the work week but excited about taking on the day. It had been a challenging week for me work wise- quite draining actually. The one thing I’ve gotten pretty good at though through this journey of running ultras is handling adversity and smiling through the pressure, stress, and the pain. I mean it had truly been the kind of week where you are just so mentally drained that you want to spend the entire weekend on the couch with a beverage in hand. But I knew that I had trained my tail off for this race, so I needed to keep my eye on the prize which was that finish line. I truly kind of went into this race with the intent just to finish in roughly 10+ hours. This was the 4th time I’ve done Hachie, and my 5th 50 miler! So I went into it with a strategy of course and it is always fun to see who shows up to this race. It is so well organized, and the Waxahachie Running Club truly spoils us every year with terrific swag. I mean how many races do you run where they give you your own outdoor chair (with drink holder), 50 mile belt buckle, and bag of goodies (and TX local honey yum yum)? I was overjoyed at all of the goodies and they really do step it up and exceed my expectations every year.
This year we had a bit of a storm roll through in the morning (welcome to spring time in Texas where storms pop up just about every second). So with that the race ended up being delayed 30 minutes – which was no big, it allowed me time to use the potty, collect my thoughts, and take my time before go time. So at 5:30 AM we were off into the darkness! The course itself is a 10 mile loop though the park that we run a total of 5 times. I personally love looped courses because I am able to have easy access to my runner fuel and things and mentally it helps me to count down how many loops I have left. The morning rain eventually tapered off and gave way to some extreme humidity and heat. The park is mostly shaded but starts with this section of the course that is ALL SUN. They put a sign out there too and called this part of the course the DEATH MARCH which I thought was funny. Especially towards the end it truly does feel that way.
The first couple of laps went by pretty smooth, I made sure to drink a mix of water and electrolytes often, stopping at pretty much every aid station. One of my amazing friends who was running the 50 mile relay, Blanca had a HUGE bowl of pineapples. She saw me looking a little tired once I hit loop 3 and gave me some pineapples as fuel to help me stay hydrated. Can I just tell you that pineapples may be my MOST FAVORITE FUEL ever now? Who knew…they were just what I needed at the time when I was feeling overheated.
I really enjoyed chatting with a few friends on the course, and one of my fellow blog readers (HEY FRITZ!) was out there running her very first 50 miler! We ran together for a couple of loops before I had to let her go…she was picking up the pace and looking damn strong. The heat was really starting to take a toll on me and the heaviness of the work week was weighing on me, mentally. I just wanted to be done. I rode out the highs and lows though, this entire race. From feeling good and high energy to just feeling like I wanted to walk. My legs felt heavy and close to about mile 40 I really started shuffling. My music really helped me stay in the game even though I wanted to quit and found myself just kind of running solo. At a certain point I realized that it may be possible that I may be a top female finisher so I tried to just keep moving. Relentless forward motion! Towards the last stretch, I saw another 50 mile girl who was not far behind me and she still looked pretty strong. I knew, without a shadow of a doubt that if I slowed down any more…she was going to take that podium spot from me.
So…I dropped the hammer and bit and my determined will just kind of took over my body. I started feeling good and saw that finish line calling my name. My legs got a bit of a burst of energy and I went on in fishing strong and feeling so proud of myself. That 3rd place female award was staring me in the face. I DID IT. I PLACED. For the 4th dang year. IN A DANG ROW. I couldn’t believe it. I could have really given up many times during this race because of how I was feeling In general. But I didn’t. I went there and did what I had been training so hard for and didn’t let LIFE get in the way. And for that, I was so proud.
Hachie 50, you teach me something every single time that I show up to tackle you. The main thing…KEEP SHOWING UP. No matter how you feel. You may just surprise yourself.
Did anyone else out there run the Hachie 50 or any other fun race this weekend? Tell me all about it!