Hammie's Wild Rose 50k

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Hammie
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Hammie's Wild Rose 50k

Postby Hammie » Mon Jun 02, 2014 10:58 pm

Sit down with a cold drink. This will be a long one!

I wasn’t even totally certain why I signed up for the 50k – “why not?” seemed like the best explanation I could think of. It was new & challenging and I was ready for something different.

Training was fine – nothing earth-shattering, just lots of running. It wasn’t ideal – I didn’t do any back-to-back long runs, very few midweek long runs, and no tempo runs or speedwork. I figured I wasn’t doing this to go fast, just to do it! It’s been a busy year with life & work, and the passion for lots of hard running just wasn’t there. As I said to CinC at one point, I wasn’t interested in training harder, so I was just going to lower my expectations instead. I think that was a good approach, because it got me through the last few months trained, uninjured, and with my enthusiasm intact.

Friday night, I volunteered at the race expo. I was supposed to be working package pickup, and ended up working the late registration table. It was crazy busy! For 5 hours, we went almost non-stop. I can believe that they sold out every event, because we were selling whatever spots were left at a fairly fast pace all afternoon. It was a lot of fun, and even saw a few people I knew from work. I had come early to pick up my package (as well as my DH’s and my mother’s) & do a little retail therapy. I managed to catch up with Habs that evening for a few minutes during a break.

Saturday was the “mandatory” ultra meeting. I met Spirit, Ken B, and Mrs Ken B for the first time, and saw Turd, ian, and Habs too. Saturday night I had trouble sleeping. I was nervous about this race in a way I haven’t been for quite a while. I woke up at 4am Sunday, then just lay in bed until 5. My DH and mother took the C-train with me (the 10k didn’t start until 7:30, but they came early to keep me company) and I was down at the stampede grounds by 6:30ish. It was a zoo!
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Despite the crowds, Turd found me a few minutes later, and we lined up.
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National anthem, wheelchair start… then our start! We were off!

The Gingerbread Man passed us almost immediately, but Turd pointed out that he was “only” running the half. We ran together for the first 1 or 2 km, then our race plans diverged and we went our own ways. My plan was to walk all of the aid stations, drink Gatorade until I couldn’t take the taste anymore, and eat some gummies every 5k. I’m usually terrible at sticking to my own plans, but this time I knew I’d suffer if I didn’t. If I never eat another Power Bar gel blast, it will be too soon.

It was nice to split from the half marathoners at 9k, as it thinned us out a bit. Not as much as I expected – the last time I did the full here in 2012, it got pretty sparse and lonely after the split. With the sell out this year plus the ultra, there were significantly bigger crowds. Despite the higher numbers, they still only had 2 portapotties per aid station, so I spent a several minutes waiting in line at one around 12km! Oh well. I had a little trouble concentration from 13k to about 18k, and I was feeling a little discouraged about how long this race was and how hot it was getting. The crowds were a bit of a boost, and I made sure I took every high five offered to me by little kids. Around MRU, there was one little old lady sitting in her wheelchair outside one of the seniors’ homes, wrapped up in multiple sweaters and blankets. As I ran past, I could hear her calling out “I think you’re all marvellous!”. I wished I could have stopped to chat.

Between 20 and 30k, I started thinking about some of the people I met on Friday night at the expo and other people that I know because of running. Like the 2 young women who had talked each other into doing their first 10k together, and were so excited to get actual race bibs! And the lady who made me promise that her 10k bib number was the fastest number I had available :lol: . And one of my residents who was walking the 5k with his 3 year old and brand new 1 month old baby. And one of the nurses I work with who was running her first half marathon. And my DH and mother, who were both doing the 10k and would be done already. And my 6 year old son, who will be doing track and field summer camp for a week this year, because he wants to run with DH and I. It was a great reminder about what I value about running. It put me a very positive frame of mind, and I think that 10k was my fastest (~1 hour). At around 28k, I saw M, who I know through CinC, cheering in Kensington, and seeing her (plus knowing that my family would be just up ahead) gave me another big boost.

The section along Memorial was the best of times, and the worst of times. It was hard, but not in the ways I was expecting it to be (if that makes any sense). I had thought that the same scenery twice would be hard, but I barely noticed it. The first 8k loop was great. I saw lots of people I knew out cheering, and all of the total strangers cheering were pretty enthusiastic too! I had mentally broken down the rest of the race into the two 8km loops and then 5km to the finish. All along the course, I got a kick out of the spectators who would read my name off my bib and cheer for “UltraMelanie”. I high fived anyone who offered a hand. I hit the turn around in Parkdale, and headed back to Kensington. I passed my kids again, and my DH got a great photo of us:
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One of my son’s classmates came down with his mother, so I had quite the cheer section going. That gave me a boost back to Kensington and the turn around for the second loop. They slap an orange plastic bracelet on you to show that you’ve done the first loop, and when you come back with the orange bracelet after the second loop, they send you on to the finish. As I ran past my kids again, I joked to them that it was my version of Wonder Woman’s bracelets of victory. Suddenly, though, it started feeling really hard once I hit the 39k point. I was starting to struggle, and the heat was feeling very oppressive. As I headed up the overpass over Crowchild Trail, I saw a familiar looking person ahead of me. It took me a while to catch up to Habs, but I think she was feeling the same way I was. It was starting to become a real struggle. We talked for a moment or two, then kept on slogging.

I had to talk myself into keeping going to the turn around. I was walking through the aid stations still, but resisting the temptation to walk at other times. I walked briefly in the shade under the Crowchild underpass, more to enjoy the shade than anything else! My only goal now was to keep on going. I passed the 42.2k timing mat, and the thought of 8 more km seemed daunting. I thought the 42.2km point would be motivating, but it felt like exactly the opposite. I promised myself that I would run past my kids so they wouldn’t see me walking, and I did it. My DH was playing the very catchy “everything is awesome” song from the Lego movie on his phone for me as I passed – I’m glad I didn’t hear it too clearly, or I would have had the most annoying earworm for the rest of the run! I started to remind myself that I can run 8k, I just had to keep going.

M was still in Kensington, and hugged me again. There really should be an award for spectators who willingly hug sweaty, disgusting runners. I was starting to shake the discouragement I had been feeling in that last few km, and that got me going again.

I had been practicing some mental tactics for this section. My only goal was to keep my chin up, shoulders back, and run. I took 2 walk breaks, but that was it in the last 5k. Every time I hit a km marker, I mentally pictured how far that distance was from my house on my usual running routes. I reminded myself that I could easily run that far any day, any weather. I carefully avoided thinking about running 45+km before running that distance, but whatever keeps you going! I had to avoid thinking about my parents waiting for me at the finish, because I would start to get a little worked up. I was relieved that someone was already helping the guy I saw on all fours vomiting in the shrubbery in the east Village, because otherwise I would have stopped to help! I could see the Saddledome in the distance – it was only 2km, but boy did that look far away! I passed Turd, who was unfortunately walking in his gimpy ankle. Finally, I passed the 49km marker, and I felt FANTASTIC!

For the last km, I kept picking up speed. Mentally, it was also good to be passing people who were walking in the end of the marathon. I really could not believe that I had just run 50k. I felt surprisingly good – better than I’ve ever felt at the end of a marathon. I made the turn in front of the grandstand and charged for the finish! The only surprise left was the clock – I didn’t run with a garmin or watch, and I had guessed that I’d be in the 5:20-5:25 range for finish time. The clock said 5:14:xx (which is what it said online originally, but oddly today has been changed to 5:15:xx. Strange. But not actually important.)! One of the volunteers tapped me on the shoulder and pointed me to the fence at the side, where my parents were literally jumping up & down with excitement. I hugged them over the fence, then got my medal and beer mug and shuffled out. Meeting up at Turd’s afterwards was great – it was nice to sit down with people and hear about everyone else’s races. And it wore out my kids so they fell asleep in the car home and went straight to bed when we got home, which meant I could do exactly the same thing :lol: .

I’m feeling surprisingly ok today – a little stiff going down stairs, but nothing unexpected. My blisters are gone, and the idea of being able to sleep in an extra hour every day this week is a welcome one. Unlike everyone else, I haven’t ruled out doing another road 50k, but it sure as heck won’t be anytime soon! Next up is my first tri in July, then the Seawheeze half in August, and the Portland Marathon in October. Plenty to keep me busy and out of trouble for a while.

Final numbers for the 50k:
10k 1:03:50
20k 2:08:37
30k 3:09:10
42.2k4:24:28 (chip 4:21:17)
50k 5:15:13 (chip 5:12:03)

ETA: had to add a picture of the "stuff" - beer stein, ridiculously large belt buckle, and orange finisher bracelet.
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2014: the year of new awesomeness!
Rogers Insurance Run for L'Arche Half March 22 - done
Calgary Marathon Wild Rose 50k June 1 - done
Stampede Road Race 5k July 6 - done
Magrath sprint tri July 12 - done!!
Jog for the Bog 10k July 27 - done
Seawheeze Half Marathon August 23 - done
Subaru Banff Sprint Triathlon September 6 - done
Blitz Duathlon September 21 - registered
Portland Marathon October 5 - registered

RobW
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Re: Hammie's Wild Rose 50k

Postby RobW » Mon Jun 02, 2014 11:24 pm

Congratulations on your 50K! Nice report too.

Nice Fall marathon choice. The Portland Marathon is a great race!

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Jwolf
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Re: Hammie's Wild Rose 50k

Postby Jwolf » Mon Jun 02, 2014 11:33 pm

Wow- what a great report! And a great race too. I am amazed at your mental strength and perseverance. I hope I can take some of this forward as inspiration for my own future races. :)

Congratulations again.
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Re: Hammie's Wild Rose 50k

Postby marymac442 » Tue Jun 03, 2014 12:21 am

Awesome job
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Re: Hammie's Wild Rose 50k

Postby Dstew » Tue Jun 03, 2014 12:34 am

Great report and I remember the little old lady sitting out there by herself and I did see a number of people go up and thank her for her support.

I agree with you about the pottiee situation as I used the bushes near 12 K mark with 2 Portas and 6 people in a line that was not moving.


I do understand your decision about not ruling out another 50 K as all indications are they will be running that race next year as I am also significantly less sore then after any marathon I had run but just 7.8 K too far for me.


You have inspired me to commit to running my next marathon without a watch.

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Re: Hammie's Wild Rose 50k

Postby trixiee » Tue Jun 03, 2014 5:44 am

Congratulations Hammie!
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Re: Hammie's Wild Rose 50k

Postby HCcD » Tue Jun 03, 2014 5:55 am

Congratulations, on an awesome race ... :dance: :dance:
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Re: Hammie's Wild Rose 50k

Postby Habs4ever » Tue Jun 03, 2014 7:41 am

Great report Hammie. You captured the feelings perfectly. You rock!

I think we need to do a few more training runs together. You can come here for one this time. :wink:
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Re: Hammie's Wild Rose 50k

Postby scrumhalfgirl » Tue Jun 03, 2014 7:58 am

awesome! CONGRATS!
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Re: Hammie's Wild Rose 50k

Postby purdy65 » Tue Jun 03, 2014 7:58 am

Well done Hammie! Such amazing support you had from your family and RM'rs. You are a blessed lady!

Congratulations!
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Re: Hammie's Wild Rose 50k

Postby IronColl » Tue Jun 03, 2014 9:01 am

Great job Hammie! I am so impressed that you could race without a watch. That says "relaxed running" to me!
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Re: Hammie's Wild Rose 50k

Postby bnn » Tue Jun 03, 2014 9:19 am

You made me cry :) nice positive mental attitude, great race, great report!
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La
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Re: Hammie's Wild Rose 50k

Postby La » Tue Jun 03, 2014 9:27 am

Way to go, Hammie! Welcome to the 50K club! ;)

:clap:
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Re: Hammie's Wild Rose 50k

Postby deerdree » Tue Jun 03, 2014 9:40 am

i love this report! the pictures are fabulous. :D

congratulations, hammie! everything is awesome, when we're living our dream!

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Re: Hammie's Wild Rose 50k

Postby Spirit Unleashed » Tue Jun 03, 2014 9:54 am

Great report. Your time was awesome. Nice to meet you. Nice pic of kid high five.


Aside: When you mentioned CinC, I remembered that on my run, I passed a guy wearing an escape from Alcatraz shirt and told him he was supposed to be in San Francisco. He said he wished he was in San Francisco.
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Re: Hammie's Wild Rose 50k

Postby ian » Tue Jun 03, 2014 11:05 am

Who runs a basically perfect race in their first attempt at a new distance? Apparently you.

Hammie wrote:The Gingerbread Man passed us...

As expected. You can't catch that guy no matter how fast you run.

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Re: Hammie's Wild Rose 50k

Postby 5km » Tue Jun 03, 2014 12:15 pm

Congratulations!!

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Re: Hammie's Wild Rose 50k

Postby Avis » Tue Jun 03, 2014 3:19 pm

Congratulations! I think you are marvelous, too. I loved your report with all the ins and outs and ups and downs that you experienced during that long, long 50k. Loved the photos, too!
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Robinandamelia
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Re: Hammie's Wild Rose 50k

Postby Robinandamelia » Tue Jun 03, 2014 8:20 pm

Congratulations, you did so great! Awesome support it seems as well. Way to get it done when it got tough! Love that you beat your goal too... Nice bling. Enjoy some well earned rest.

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Re: Hammie's Wild Rose 50k

Postby Marg » Wed Jun 04, 2014 4:31 am

Simply awesome! Congratulations!
I thought that the orange bracelet was a shoe horn... lol. Glad to know what it is now.
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Re: Hammie's Wild Rose 50k

Postby Tisha » Wed Jun 04, 2014 11:22 pm

Avis wrote:Congratulations! I think you are marvelous, too. I loved your report with all the ins and outs and ups and downs that you experienced during that long, long 50k. Loved the photos, too!

Yes, what Avis wrote. Those ups and downs made me cheer you on (yes, I know after the fact) through to the finish line. Mental toughness you have in spades!

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Re: Hammie's Wild Rose 50k

Postby chunkymonkeymelonhed » Thu Jun 05, 2014 10:05 am

Loved this report Hammie! The picture of you going in for the high five with your kids reminded me of Victoria and my boys doing the same :D
Congrats on the 50K- great result!!!!
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Re: Hammie's Wild Rose 50k

Postby CinC » Thu Jun 05, 2014 1:54 pm

ian wrote:
Hammie wrote:The Gingerbread Man passed us...

As expected. You can't catch that guy no matter how fast you run.


He was probably making his way to Drury lane...wait that's the Muffin man. oh I digress.

WDx50! (Well done times 50!) which is something that M would have texted you if she had your cell number! I'm so glad that she was there to give you the hug that I would have given!

Congratulations on a stellar race and experience - I'm excited to be a part of your first tri!

2014 - the year of new awesomeness!
Race Hard. Race Happy.

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Re: Hammie's Wild Rose 50k

Postby BJH » Thu Jun 05, 2014 2:58 pm

Awesome! Congrats. :) :) :)
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Hammie
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Re: Hammie's Wild Rose 50k

Postby Hammie » Thu Jun 05, 2014 3:29 pm

Thanks for the kind comments, everyone! I can't get over how quickly I'm back to feeling normal. A little stiff on monday, but nothing major. I might go for a run tonight or tomorrow to get back into it.

Dstew - I highly recommend racing without a watch. It takes away any chance that I'll pay too much attention to it, and has really forced my to pay attention to my running, not my time.

Habs - love to! Just promise me you won't kill me with hills or heat!

Spirit - I saw the same guy and thought of CinC too!

And CinC - I can't wait for the tri! Turd has offered his lake for some open water practice, and the bike rack is already mounted on the car!
2014: the year of new awesomeness!
Rogers Insurance Run for L'Arche Half March 22 - done
Calgary Marathon Wild Rose 50k June 1 - done
Stampede Road Race 5k July 6 - done
Magrath sprint tri July 12 - done!!
Jog for the Bog 10k July 27 - done
Seawheeze Half Marathon August 23 - done
Subaru Banff Sprint Triathlon September 6 - done
Blitz Duathlon September 21 - registered
Portland Marathon October 5 - registered


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