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My first 50k... AGAIN.

Tomorrow I am off to Moab. Oh, Moab, wonderful Moab. It is just such a gorgeous place.
Us running through Hunter Canyon
I have only been there once, and, ironically (or maybe not) it is with the same crew as I went before--give or take a few poor souls.

Group shot before the race- aren't we cute?

Anyways, if you are so interested in how that trip went, you can read about it here.

The long and short of it is that I went out to do my FIRST 50k, but didn't quite make it. That's right. It was my first "real" trail run and over some really crazy terrain. I hadn't trained for that terrain and did not really know what I was doing nutritional-wise, heart rate, etc. and had a horrible day. (Well, as horrible as can be in such a BEAUTIFUL place. And I am not being sarcastic about that.)

Who could have a truly horrible day when you get to run and see views like this for 5 hours straight?
While the race director put me as an official finisher for the 24-miler, for all intents and purposes, I DNF'd the 50k. Or at least that is how I viewed it.

I was ready to go back the following year (Nov 2010) prepared to redeem myself by rocking the course, but alas the race director decided not to put it on, and another awesome run bites the dust. So, I jumped on the bandwagon and signed up for the Moab RedHot 55k, that is this Saturday.

When I registered, I figured that it would be a good build-up for Comrades and that I would be more than prepared by the time race day came. BUT, somewhere along the way, I started focusing on Miami- a flat and fast course- and I neglected to train for Moab. I guess I "thought" I would have some time after Miami, but really with recovery taking a week and a half and then... all of a sudden I am packing fro Moab. Seriously.

So, reflecting back on what happened in my last Moab trail run, I am ready to suffer. My nutrition is in a better place but my legs and my muscles... I am not so sure about. I did some incline work on the treadmill this past week and I felt like I was dying, even though my heart rate did not reflect it (bad sign). That in mind, I am scared. Scared scared scared that the same thing is going to happen as last time.  This trail running thing is hard and what I learned is that you can't underestimate that. 

WHOOLAH! And there is my revelation. Two things (a) "what I learned" and (b) "you can't underestimate".

While I haven't been training for Moab-like conditions, over the past 15 months I have been learned a lot about myself, negative-splitting, my nutrition, my running, my heart rate, everything. Even though I haven't been training for these exact conditions, I do have a few tools in my pocket that I can call upon to really help me get through the day in a much better way than last time (and this time finish it).

And as far as not underestimating...  I need to go out slow, steady, with a focus on my heart rate. I need to use the tools I have been working on to provide me with the best race possible.

So, here goes. Moab try #2. My goals have shifted since I signed up... and that is ok. My focus is now on finishing the race. AND I plan on making it a wonderful run. I look at it as the real kick-off to my Comrades training as it will be an ultra-distance run with LOADS of climbing. I am excited to be back running in a very gorgeous place with a bunch of my friends. What else can better get me in the mood?