I cannot believe I am running this trail right now, I thought to myself Sunday morning.
It was my fault in more ways than one and I had no one to blame but myself for “overextending” myself.
I finally threw away my excuses a few weeks before and decided that I would compete in the Blackwater 50K trail race in February 2018.
I have had the goal to compete in an Ultra Trail race for a handful of years now and had initially set my target of completing a 50K by the time I turned 50. Keep in mind that this goal popped into my head when the most I had ever run was a 5K.
The 50K goal was cemented for me when a (possibly) well-meaning family member made an offhand comment that I couldn’t do it.
Hey, them’s fighting words to me! My husband knows that you never tell me I cannot do something. (And no, Andrew was NOT the person who made that comment. He knows better after 25 years together!)
I’m a few years ahead of schedule but I knew if I didn’t commit and register for the darn race, that it would be too easy to keep putting off.
I am currently training for the Blackwater Half Marathon in November which kicked my booty last year.
What the heck. My training is going well for the Half Marathon. There’s no reason I can’t run almost four of them back-to-back, right?!
I just needed to recruit another crazy person to register for the race with me to keep me motivated.
Enter my friend and running buddy, Amy. We are the same age and she’s just as crazy as me.
It took a little bit of arm twisting but then she decided she was all in, sister.
Since Amy is not doing my half marathon training with me, she told me that if she’s going to compete in the 50K, that we better start training on the trails now.
“I have my 10 mile training run with my half marathon group on Saturday. How about Sunday morning instead?”
“Perfect. Pick me up at 6am. I found an 8.8 mile trail we can run,” Amy texted back.
I hadn’t really thought through the little fact that I had never actually run 10 miles before, let alone back to back long runs. (I had to stop running my last Half Marathon at mile 9 with leg cramps but, by golly, I all but crawled across the damn finish line.)
Well, we can always walk and my half marathon training schedule did call for me to run again on Sunday anyway.
Enter, Alabama football Saturday afternoon.
Andrew and I decided to watch some of the game at Captain Fun’s on the beach. We had heard it is Crimson Tide football headquarters for the games.
Boy, were they right! No cover charge, free food with a drink purchase, great music, and free shots after every touchdown. (Yes, you read that last part right.)
Let’s just say that I had a little too much fun on Saturday afternoon.
My 4:30am alarm on Sunday came might early but I promised Amy I’d meet her at 6am so off I went. (I’m nothing if not committed.)
Once we finally hit the trail, it was actually really fun despite running uphill the entire way (how is that even possible when you’re doing a loop?), dodging about 50 spider webs in our path, and running an extra 3 miles longer than expected.
Yup, that’s right. We ran a total of 11 ½ miles on Sunday morning. So much for ONLY 8.8 miles!
All of that with an aching body from my 10 miles the day before and an aching head from my (too much) fun at Captain Fun’s.
Goes to show you that a woman on a mission can accomplish anything.
That, or I’m just extremely stubborn.
Wonder what Amy has in store for us next weekend?
Kristen “Nothing Gonna Stop Me Now” Marks
P.S. Click here to check out my video interview with Rodney and Cindy Daniels who's daughter, Tiffany, has been missing since 2013. They are on a mission to teach other parents how to protect their young adult children, including using powers of attorney.