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Rocky 50: Scared-of-the-dark, electronics fail, huge PR

By April 7, 2014 One Comment

February 2014, Huntsville Texas, 2014


Race goals:

#1 – finish under 13 hours

#2 – don’t get injured, lots of racing ahead

Strategy agreed with coach – go out easy for 25 miles, test nutrition plan & enjoy the race! Pick up the last ½ if feeling good.

Rocky pack

Early start!  Remembering the traffic backup for last weekend’s Rocky Raccoon 100 (I did race support) – arrived at park at 4:30.  Not much traffic, time for short nap in car * theoretically* but waaayyy too nervous.  Just fidgeted & got out to pee 6 times.

Dropped off my bin with nutrition, extra clothes, batteries, etc. Plan was to use Infinit for all-liquid nutrition (worked great for Ironman) & gels.  Solid food not a workable option for me as I tend to see it again (ewww…).

Start w lights

6 a.m. start! so very dark with misty fog, bits of sleet & snow. Glad for layers.  Ran soooo carefully – I’m a chicken in the dark! Ridiculously slow pace using handheld flashlight to see the roots & rocks (see “don’t get hurt” goal above.) Tried to appreciate the coolness of all the runners moving out in the dark – while being terrified of tripping, ankle-twisting fall.

1st loop – came in at 16.8 miles feeling good! Looking forward to music & hitting my stride. Picked up nutrition, encouragement (awesome coach & crew!), my iPod & headed back out. Turned on music… & iPod flipped out, bouncing between songs, cutting out, gahh!!  Futzed with it for a bit & gave up. Too pissed. Checked my Suunto for average speed to find that it, too had quit – time still running, but no longer recording mileage. Sunspots?? Meteor shower?? Argghh!! Gave up & turned off my watch – even knowing I was moving forward, seeing it stuck on 19 miles was completely disheartening. Put it behind me (mental test!) and found I liked the freedom of running electronics-free just fine.

2nd loop – feeling stronger at 30 miles than I did at 6, yay! Sun was up but not too warm. Beautiful.  Started feeling a bit like too few calories – tried Ramen noodles from aid station. Nope, didn’t sit well.  Decided to stick w Infinit, gels, &Coke.

3rd loop – getting done! Elated to be on the last loop. Steady forward progress. Had not mastered the “fast-hike” – so stuck with slow jog, Ironman-shuffle pace. & then, surprisingly, it got easier – feeling better to run faster than slower.  Even with nasty blister I could feel forming on my left foot, even with low-on-calories, no music, no watch — & I’m zooming for the last miles.  At least, it felt like zooming.

Rocky 50 finish


Finish time =12:23, 50-mile PR by 1 hour, 27 minutes! & over 2 hours for this course.  Sore, tired & very happy.


Next up: Prairie Spirit 100, March 29-30th, Ottawa Kansas



Author Isabelle

Endurance athlete, writer, Chief Dog Smoocher

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  • Theresa says:

    Isabelle you are a brave ultra athlete. You are both a fine tuned body whose spirit is anchored in being fearless… and a spiritual warrior..for you continually set new goals for your body, mind and spirit and set out and “Feel the Fear…and do it anyways!” Cheers – Love Theresa