I have had many friends ask me about my first 50k ultra experience, so here goes.....I loved it! A friend of mine, Rita Weaver told me many months ago, "Running an ultra is a lot different than running a marathon. It's a lot of slow running for hours upon hours. The people at the events are so helpful and caring. It isn't an environment where you are competing against each other, instead everyone is helping everyone. Kind of sounds like that might be your style." Well she nailed it. My coach Mike Cornelison who is an ultra runner told me the very same thing. I talked to my husband about it and he told me he was behind me 1000% and knew I could anything I set my mind to. A very good friend of mine Rob Gowler, told me I was ready and he knew I would love it. I knew in my heart this what I really wanted to do, I could feel myself being pulled towards it.
It was such a fun day. 31 miles on a 10K out and back course. By mid morning it was so hot out with no wind that I was stuffing ice into my hydration vest where the bladder would go to keep me cool. Both Joyce Pak McPherson and I were filling our hats with ice to keep our heads cool. I could hear my coach's voice in my head telling me to drink often and eat early. I could feel the love and support from my husband Glen in my heart telling me I can do anything. See, I am not good with heat so this was a good test for me. I was sucking on my inhaler and moving forward. And EVERY time I saw another runner, there was ALWAYS encouragement given both ways, ALWAYS! I had so much fun even though I was shuffling my way to the finish. My running time was 7:10 and total time on the course was 8:55. My total time could have been less and I will learn to be more efficient but on this day, my first ultra, each time I was at the aid stations the folks (Yen Darcy) were so nice and helpful, asking how I felt, what can they do for me. I was so blown away by the compassion and caring spirit. They gave me hugs and cheers, dumped water on me to keep me cool and offered unending support. Every time I saw Joyce Pak McPherson we would stop and smile, talk for a minute or two then hug each other and off we went. I did a lot of crying that day, for many different reasons but mainly because I was so proud to be out there following my dreams. I met many new friends that day. I was tired but so very happy. So happy that I have signed up for another ultra in May (12 hour ultra) and then another one in Sept (24 hour ultra). Go for your dreams, don't limit yourself. Whatever you want to try, go out and test yourself! You will never know unless you follow your heart.