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My Ice Age 50k Race Recap 2017

I've been procrastinating writing this blog post...I don't want to come to terms with the race being over. I have a serious case of PRD (post race depression).

The months of preparation, hundreds of training miles, strength work, all came down to one race, and the day was perfect :)

The weather was amazing, sun was shining, light breeze in the air, the day was setting up perfectly.

This was my first real ultra race...I had done a few longer distance runs before, but more or less did them for "fun". But it was funny, I wasn't even that nervous! The night before a road race, my stomach is in knots, I can't sleep...but what I've learned about trail races is the whole vibe is much more chill (which I sorta love). (side note: the race is so chill, I literally forgot to put my number on til after the first out and back of the course!! - oops)

The night before the race, I laid out all my gear, mentally going over the checklist in my mind, I was READY.

[obligatory pre-race picture]

The morning of the race, the Edge Athlete Lounge team (aka my running family (minus one who was already out there crushing the 50M course)) gathered for a little pre-race picture, some motivation, high-5's, and to get our gear organized.

[The Amazing Edge Athlete Lounge Family]

The start gun went off, and it was time...

The Ice Age 50k Course (Kettle Moraine, WI)

The "home base" (aka Start & Finish) was at the Nordic Trailhead. The course consisted of an out and back on single track (out to Horseman's Park), followed by two loops on the Nordic Trail.

I decided I was going to stay conservative on the first out and back section, I knew it was more technical, and plus I wanted to be smart early on in the race, conserve energy, and try and keep my legs (and mind) fresh.

This section was single track, narrow, and winded up and over hill after hill until you finally reach the turnaround, there were some flat stretches, but they were few and far between, and it was rocky. It was hard to really get into a rhythm. This part of the course was pretty mentally taxing, it was great to head back to the Start/Finish and see my kick-ass crew! 13 miles down - I restocked my hydration vest with all my race necessities, grabbed a quick PB&J and was on my way!

The way the loops broke down was perfect. I kept the first loop moderate, I didn't want to "blowup" before the final loop, that is where I knew MY race started.....

I planned to leave it all out there.

Hold nothing back.

Regret nothing.

The first loop went by pretty quick (relatively speaking, ha ha - it was still 9 miles). But since the path was wider, and there were a few more flat stretches (a few, someone lied and said the loops were pretty flat... except for the huge hills, yes, it was flat - ha ha, but for a girl from Chicago it wasn't that flat) I felt like I could find some sort of rhythm.

[one of the not so flat portions]

As you approached the Start/Finish area, there were Saucany signs, right before the course opened up to the base camp. I saw the Edge flag and my crew, and they immediately put a huge smile on my face, it was so nice to see fa

miliar faces. At this point, I had been on my feet for 4+ hrs, and it had gotten hot.

Thank god my amazing crew convinced me not to leave camp without a handheld, I needed it, the heat was more intense than I realized.

[my super amazing supportive husband & crew]

And in my eyes, now was the point where it was all or goes lap 2!

I told myself on this lap, the final push, the last 9 miles, I was going to give it everything. I started out and said any stretch that was runable I was going to run.

My goal was sub 6 hours, and I was GOING TO MAKE IT HAPPEN.

I started picking up the pace, and powering up the hills, and crushing the downhills. I felt good, don't get me wrong, things hurt, but the goal made the pain go away.

I hit the last aid station before the finish, and BTW the volunteers of this race were seriously the best, between helping you refill bottles, to having ice cold ginger ale (which was heaven), to some of the best pb&j's ever, and just being so freaking motivational, from cheering, to commenting "you look great" (I'm sure I didn't look "great"), to letting you know the very important information "there is free beer at the end, and food, tons of it".

And with that I was off...there was just about 4 miles to go, and I was all out. I was exhausted but kept my eye on the trail (and my watch to make sure the goal time was in sight). The energy surrounding me was amazing. Every runner cheering each other on, knowing the finish was in sight!

I recognized the section where I was close to the Start/Finish and dug deep, and tried to push my pace even more!

[tree-lined section of the Nordic Trail, my favorite stretch of this race]

I could see the finish, and started to feel all the emotions you feel as the finish is in sight:

smiling huge smiles...

holding back happy tears...

excited to be done...

sad for it to be over...

and beyond grateful for my amazing husband and crew for dedicating their day to helping me achieve a dream...

and the finish!

{that's a huge PR smile on my face! was hoping to go sub 6 hrs today and dug deep, kept my head in the game, and made it happen!}

now - what's next :P

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