Running the big 50 @ Dirty Girls 12 hr trail race

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Jerome Drayton
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Running the big 50 @ Dirty Girls 12 hr trail race

Postby UltraQueenga » Sun Aug 10, 2008 9:17 pm

A rainy and cool day in Mansfield, ON yesterday for the second Dirty Girls trail run. I signed up for the 12 hr run sometime after Niagara Ultra, but had it on my mind since late-May. I was filled with hope, but also a fair bit of curiosity and stress about embarking on my first ever distance beyond 50k. I could visualize 60-65k, even 70k on a good day, but things would get blurry and scary after 70k. Every time I set out on a new distance or time limit, I get quietly afraid of what could happen. My biggest fears in these long forest events: 1) getting lost, 2) getting ill/injured, 3)falling and ending my race in a ravine, in that order and all at the same time. But luckily, Dirty Girls has a well-marked 10k loop course where if you stopped in the middle of a trail you probably wouldn't spend more than 3-4 minutes before seeing/hearing another runner. As for dangerous, aggressive terrain, well, there isn't much on this course, mind you, tripping on tree stumps and roots is very popular here. ;-)

Before this race I was trying to come up with a goal and a plan, but neither materialized before the actual start. Last year was very hot and I struggled to finish 42.5km. This year I was vaguely hoping for 70k-75k given the cooler temperatures and my overall fitness. Loosely, the plan was to do 40k in the first 6 hrs and 30-35k in the second 6 hrs and see how I'd feel, assuming I had no bowel issues or accidents. I didn't really get a chance to do the math and figure out my times for the loops, so I decided to start out conservatively. Kind of. Mike was saying to watch the first 2 loops and then I'd be fine for the rest of the race. Another runner friend left me with his piece of advice: "Don't be afraid to walk."

I sort of watched my pace, but more in the sense that I wouldn't go too fast and aimed at maintaining a comfortable, even pace. I walked most of my hills and on some loops even the long tedious "hillclines" (those confusing portions that are neither hill, nor incline). Every now and then I'd speed up a bit and have fun on the fast parts of the course, but for the rest of the race I tried to keep a steady pace. My Garmin was unreliable for anything beyond recording laps, so here they are:


The 6hr mark caught me at km 45 at the aid station and I was thinking I was okay, but wondering what I'd do for another 6 hrs. The rain soaked us repeatedly since about 9AM and I was sometimes feeling cold. Surprisingly, I had no blisters, even though my feet were wet after the first 10k. I contemplated running with a garbage bag on to stay warm, but decided to just keep moving.

After my 5th loop, I started noticing fatigue and bad thoughts were coming to mind. I was praying for a bit of warm sunshine, but all we got were brief periods of sun and cloud. I was slowing down to almost a shuffle, which was really making me desperate. Km 55 caught me at around the 9 hour mark and this is when I decided to pop some Advil and start to focus. The Advil kicked in by the time I left the main aid station after 60k / 6hrs 33 min. I had a nice snack of boiled potatoes, banana, Heed and coke. I headed out on the 7th loop with more optimism and almost 2 hrs 20 minutes till the 12 hr mark.

I was having a great 7th loop and I decided that I'd do one last loop and stop after an nice round 80k/50m no matter what. That thought kept me running a faster loop and I was actually looking forward to my last loop, which turned out to be a weird mix of 2-speed running: very fast and very slow. At times I was feeling happy that I'd covered this much distance and would soon call it a day. At the same time fatigue and pain set in and the rain was starting to feel chilly. I was slow. My Garmin warned me that the battery was low (after about 8 hrs! :evil:!), so I was checking it every minute, plus I strapped on my old sports watch to time my last loop.

At 75k, the people at the aid station tried to plant temptation into my mind and persuade me to go for another half loop, but I explained to them that this is my first time running past 50k / 6hr 36 min, so going home with 80k/50miles is a nice accomplishment for me. I thanked them and picking 11:11 as my goal time, I began to chase it.

Finally, after 11:04 I crossed the start/finish line and told the time keepers that after 8 loops I'm pulling out. I thanked all the volunteers in the timing tent and at the fuel station for keeping me going. I felt so happy with 50 miles in 11:04! I know there was room for another 5k till the 12 hr mark, but I didn't want to be greedy. Also, I just wanted to get inside and start warming up a bit.

DH covered 90k and is very happy and very sore. All in all, a great weekend spent running and hanging out with some amazing ultrarunners. It was nice to see Mike and got a chance for a brief pre-race chat with Dave, who passed me in the 6hr van looking rather dazed after his 52.5k. Congrats on your distance, dave! Unfortunately, I didn't meet the other maniacs running there, but hopefully we'll meet at a future one, right, Ron? :lol:
Ultrarunner again

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Abby Hoffman
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Postby Doonst » Sun Aug 10, 2008 9:34 pm

Wow Kinga, that's amazing! You're such a trooper and getting to be a real pro at this distance stuff. You'll go far!
next up:

This broken wing will fly again
One fine day
This blackbird's mute gonna sing again
One fine day

So all you sinners come out
And all you drunkards crawl out
Come into the light of one fine day

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Postby Robbie-T » Sun Aug 10, 2008 9:43 pm

I'm with Doonst you really are becoming an ultra distance Pro!! Congrats!
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Postby Lightning » Sun Aug 10, 2008 9:44 pm reading your reports!! You are unbelievable. Congratulations on your 80k run. What an accomplishment! :D
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Postby dwayne_runs_far » Sun Aug 10, 2008 10:04 pm

Way to go!

I totally get what you mean by the 'hill-clines', seem too easy to walk, but too hard to run and later in the race they can kick your butt.

So is it the 24 hour next year? :-)

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Dr. S
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Postby Dr. S » Sun Aug 10, 2008 10:32 pm

WOW Kinga!!! You did so well on your first long ultra!!! 11h is totally insane!! 50 miles! Wow, I'm in awe, very happy you had such a good race and not feeling sick. You rock!!!

The quote below made me laugh outloud!!

My biggest fears in these long forest events: 1) getting lost, 2) getting ill/injured, 3)falling and ending my race in a ravine, in that order and all at the same time.

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31 halfs (PB 2:10)
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Postby turd ferguson » Sun Aug 10, 2008 11:39 pm

Wow - congrats on a big accomplishment.
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Postby waynerdog » Sun Aug 10, 2008 11:56 pm

Holy smokes girl! 50 miles in just over 11 hours?!!! :shock: You are a machine!!

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Sir Crashalot
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Postby Sir Crashalot » Mon Aug 11, 2008 6:12 am

I have no idea what to say.... except Wow!
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Jerome Drayton
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Postby Strider » Mon Aug 11, 2008 6:28 am

Congratulations on a very huge accomplishment. Sounds like it hurt a bit, but you are one tough cookie. Very impressive performance.

See you in Haliburton, but till then, enjoy the recovery.
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Postby FishHog » Mon Aug 11, 2008 6:51 am

I'm the first to admit that I think you Ultra people are absolutely nuts, but congrats on a great race.

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Lynn Williams
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Postby dgrant » Mon Aug 11, 2008 6:59 am

Awesome, awesome stuff Kinga. Especially considering you continually bang these (marathon or longer) races off, month after month.

Your running portfolio is becoming quite spectacular.

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Bill Crothers
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Postby lovethehills » Mon Aug 11, 2008 8:10 am

:shock: Whoa, how's that for a read first thing Monday morning! You are so awesome Kinga! Seriously inspiring.
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Postby Engmomma » Mon Aug 11, 2008 8:44 am

WOW!! What a humbling distance. Way to go.
The Summer of Eng is over.

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Bill Crothers
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Postby casual-runner » Mon Aug 11, 2008 9:14 am

Congratulations :clap:
It is an amazing achievement.. and a milestone to 100K ? :)
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Postby Ed Fizz » Mon Aug 11, 2008 9:29 am

Simply awesome Kinga!!!! :D

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Postby QuickChick » Mon Aug 11, 2008 12:52 pm

WOW. That is so awesome, Kinga- you are a star! Way to go.
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Postby CinC » Mon Aug 11, 2008 1:10 pm

amazing is all I can say!

that and Congrats!
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Postby pts » Tue Aug 12, 2008 11:49 am

Wow- amazing, absolutely amazing. :shock: :D


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Postby anners » Thu Aug 14, 2008 8:08 am

shamefully i'm late reading this as your official fan, but WOW...80k...absolutely amazing!

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Lynn Williams
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Postby scrumhalfgirl » Thu Aug 14, 2008 8:15 am

wow - you're amazing!!!! What a fabulous performance - simply awe-inspiring!
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Jerome Drayton
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Postby UltraQueenga » Thu Aug 14, 2008 8:18 am

casual-runner wrote:Congratulations :clap:
It is an amazing achievement.. and a milestone to 100K ? :)

Hopefully. I've got my eyes on a buckle. :wink: A belt buckle, that is, which comes as a reward after running 100 miles. Someday... perhaps...
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Postby BJH » Thu Aug 14, 2008 8:32 am


You're nuts, girl.

Way to go! :clap:
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Postby West Grey Runner » Thu Aug 21, 2008 7:20 pm

Unfortunately, I didn't meet the other maniacs running there, but hopefully we'll meet at a future one, right, Ron?

Congratulations :lol: on your finish, that so inspiring 50 miles!

I meet up with your Husband Steven in the first loop. The conversation started “Hey I saw your pictures from the Artic Marathon” … the running community is rather small!

I thoroughly enjoyed my 6 Hour Solo. I fell a little short of the 50K goal, 47.5 5:45:22 , but this was my first venture past 30K do I was happy just to be moving at the end!

I will be back next year, maybe it will be my first 12 Hour.

Here I am after 47K, I am sure I had another 20K in me :!:

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Postby HCcD » Thu Aug 21, 2008 8:34 pm

:shock: :shock: congratulations on a totally awesome achievement kinga .... :clap::clap:
Race Results: ... unner=HCiD

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