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Fitness Friday || My First 50K. The Longest Distance I’ve Ever Run.

Welcome to Fitness Friday #49!

Celebrate fitness. Celebrate good health. Celebrate friends. Celebrate fun.

June 9, 2012
Terre Haute, IN
12 hour relay and ultra (my first 50K!)

 Quite honestly, just thinking about this experience, as a whole, overwhelms me. The emotions, thoughts and feelings are many. So, for now the beginning and the end of the Hawthorn Half Day Relay and Ultra, my longest run ever!

Earlier this week I talked about how it felt arriving at the event (you can read about it here). I was seriously in awe of the athletic ability and experience that surrounded me. I was [temporarily] consumed with thoughts of who I am not. The key word being temporary.

How far can I run? 31.16 miles! My longest distance ever and my first ultra!

The Beginning

Meet our support crew. Our son, Alec. He was our everything, cheering section, Gu deliveries on the course, photographer, nutrition advisor (he made me eat when I didn’t feel like it) and hydration expert …you name it. He did it.

Meet The Incredibles 🙂 We were going to run trails for 12 hours. 2- 5k loops (one leg) at a time.

One part of my plan. All of the iFitness belts I’ve collected? Perfect for whatever I needed during the course of the day. A bib holder only. A belt with 2 water bottles and bib holder. A belt with 1 water bottle add-on and bib holder. And having my bib on the belt made changing clothes all the more efficient.

Double chips. The race director said the chip company advised it just to make sure every lap counted.

Waiting. By this time I was calm and confident. Focused. Not accomplishing our goal wasn’t an option.

And just like that the 12 hour countdown started!

Just a LONG walk in the park. Right? At the  27 miles point I told many strangers, “that’s the longest distance I’ve ever run.” Most often they congratulated me and asked how I felt and all I could think of was stronger than ever!

The first tag. I loved this part of the race before and after each lap. Every tag made me think about a connection that Chad and I share.

This was my last lap. I will never forget crossing that finish line! Just a little happy in this shot 🙂

We did it! Together we ran 60+ miles! Our goal was 60.

And, Chad and I won the masters coed team of 2 championship! No way! Seriously! I have medals from almost every race I’ve ever run but never have I WON a medal for doing the thing I love most. Running! And my first running trophy!

I loved the fact that my trophy actually had a female runner on top!

Thoughts on the beginning and the end:

  • After my initial [temporary] freaking out I started and ended with confidence. I no longer doubt the significance of a positive attitude.
  • With the exception of 3 pretzel rods because I seriously needed the salt, I ran the whole race on a plant based and gluten free diet. My 30-Day Plant-Based Gluten Free Challenge continues!
  • There are things I will do differently next time (because there will definitely be a next time). As well as things I will do the same.
  • Feeling out of my element was unfounded. The other runners were so supportive and helpful. As it turns out pace and experience didn’t matter. We were all out there for the same reason. A love of running.
  • Recovery has gone amazingly well. No pain. Not even any soreness. My energy level returned to normal late Tues. I’m convinced it’s the plant based diet (more on that later).
Now I’m consumed by what’s next! Run the same distance faster? Run further? How can I challenge myself next?
More on the race coming up:
  • the food,
  • hydration,
  • and my interactions with the [expert] runners.



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63 Comments

  1. Congratulations!!! That deserves a celebration 🙂

  2. Congratulations Jill! You never cease to amaze me with all that you accomplish. Hooray for your first ultra!

  3. you are a beast!! I seriously am in awe of you right now! I believe that your diet helped too – lots of anti-inflammatories in those leafy greats 😉

    1. I’m a beast?!?! I like the sound of that 😉 Thanks Kailey.

      I’m sure the leafy greats played a big part in my success. The more I research the more I’m convinced switching to a plant based diet works for me!

  4. congratulations! That is really awesome! And what a great support crew. I can’t wait to hear all the runnerd details of it all!

  5. SO SO excited for you! Welcome to the club 🙂

  6. Congratulations on winning!! Doing a fantastic job and saying to your self in the last lap thank god im done. I’m glad you got a female trophy. I cant believe you two ran 60+ miles together. EMT’s would have carted me off to the hospital. LOL
    Have a great weekend!!

    1. Thank you Lilli. I actually crossed the finish line asking myself “How much further did I think I could run?” 🙂

  7. AMAZING Jill!! And so awesome that you and Chad did this together! LOVE!!

  8. Wow, Jill. You are a magnificent role model for those of us who are just starting out. More power to you and your wonderful family!

  9. That is awesome!! great job and it looks like you both had a wonderful time!

  10. first and foremost congratulations on 1) first ultra and longest run ever and 2) finishing top in your division.

    I was mighty impressed you ran all those miles in reg running shorts (i’d have horrible chaffin) and a tshirt (i’d be a sweaty mess)

    I also thought it was neat that your team was 212— are you familiar with the significance of that. If not, you should youtube it— extremely motivating (for me) there are a ton of versions… here is the first one i ever saw http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BLtMemBHbXo

    1. Thank you Lisa. I had no idea about the significance of 212. That is so cool!

      What would you wear for an ultra? I’m always looking for ways to improve even if that means changing what I wear.

  11. That’s awesome Jill! I am so proud of you for doing that! Next up, you should do a 50k race somewhere! I always knew the running community was awesome, but it wasn’t until I hung out with the ultra crowd that I realized there was a new level of awesomeness. I am glad you did this; it gives me more hope of trying to do it myself!

    1. Thank you Kyria! Without a doubt you can do it!! I think the 50K is on my calendar for the fall with a 50 miler in 2013.

      The ultra runners were amazingly supportive. A new level of awesomeness is a perfect description 🙂

  12. You are awesome! Great job Jill:) What a great event to do with your husband. So excited for you:)

  13. Just amazing. I love that you two did this together, and you totally deserved that award! Congrats to you! I’m inspired to attempt one someday… need to work my way back up to the marathon distance first!

    1. Thank you Laura. From someone that inspires me with every blog post your kind words mean a lot 🙂

  14. Great job!:) Any advice for someone running their first 50K next month?

    1. Hi Jen. I’ll post more later but first and foremost eat early! Don’t wait until you feel hungry. And if you’re like me and don’t typically eat right before or right after running, practice now. Small amounts of what you will be eating during the race.

      What race are you running?

      1. Thanks Jill, I am not soemone who eats during or soon after running and have been trying to work on it. I am running the Afton 50K, super hilly trail course, ugh!

  15. Congratulations Jill! I am so inspired by what you and your husband do together. Amazing. I love the smile at the end of the race. And I love the support from your son. What an inspiring family. Congrats.

  16. Wow. I can’t imagine running that distance. Congratulations on the accomplishment!!

  17. Congrats Jill!! Seriously you are amazing! That huge smile at the end says it all!

  18. I am in awe. What an achievement! Someday I would like to take my running to the next level and do an ultra marathon. Thanks for being so such an inspiration! I can’t wait to read about your nutrition and food post.

    1. Thank you! I say go for it! If you set your mind to it you’ll be amazed by what you can accomplish 🙂

  19. Congrats, Jill! Woohoo! You won! That is so awesome. You are right, that photo crossing the line, you are just beaming. 🙂 and I’ve always loved how your whole family supports each other, including your son. Its so cute that he was you advisor during this race.

    1. Thank you Maria! I couldn’t do all that I do without their support. So very grateful!

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