Lessons Learned From My First 50K

I found this post in my drafts, from way back in May 2015, shortly after I ran the Brazos Bend 50K. I don’t know why I never published it, but I decided to go ahead and do so now!

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1) Put Vaseline everywhere…. OK, so I could and maybe should have learned this lesson already, but after getting drenched with rain during the 50K, I chafed in a lot of new places, specifically my back from the hem of my sports bra. Also my lower back from the waistband of my shorts, although that has happened before. I have started coating my toes in Vaseline before putting on my socks, but I now realize I need to do this in other places where my clothes are a little tighter and would be rubbing my skin more closely. Even if it doesn’t rain, sweating a lot will create the same results.

2) My Garmin doesn’t last long enough for an ultramarathon – The battery life of the Garmin Forerunner 10 is 5 hours, and mine actually lasted 5 hours and 57 minutes before dying for good. By the time this happened, it was actually OK with me, because I really didn’t care about my pace or time anymore, and since the course was a loop, I already pretty much knew about how much longer I had to go. But in the future, if I ever want to do a 50-miler or 100K – and maybe I would consider doing one next winter/spring – I might want to get a more expensive model with a much longer battery life.

3) If you can run a marathon, you can pretty much run a 50K – Yes, reaching 26 miles and still having to do 5 more is no joke and can take awhile, depending on the state of your body. But if you can make it to the finish of a marathon and not be pretty much dying, you can do five more miles and finish a 50K. Even if you have to walk the rest of the way, it is completely doable and just requires a lot of mental fortitude.

4) My stomach can handle some things out of the norm – I drank ginger ale and Coke and ate pickles during this race, which all were different things I hadn’t tried in races or during runs before. Good thing they worked out fine! I still wasn’t brave enough to try many of the other food items at the aid stations, like PB&J sandwiches or candy or chips, but I was definitely glad I was able to take in something other than gels.

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