I generally tend to be a”Say Yes First, Ask Questions Later” kind of girl, which usually works out well and sometimes has dire consequences. Like every Monday or Wednesday night when say I yes to a 5 mile morning run the next day, and then hate myself when the alarm goes off at 5:25 a.m. Morning runs always sound like a better idea in theory than in practice.
In this week’s edition of “Paula Says Yes to Absolutely Everything” I found myself on a 28 mile trail run on the Colorado Trail with Heidi for her birthday ultra run. Heidi had asked me during a 5 a.m. morning run at Wash Park a few weeks ago if I wanted to go on a huge trail run with her, and naturally it was early and I wasn’t thinking clearly so I said yes. Well actually originally we had tossed around a 50K or six hour fun run in Boulder but since I am a government employee on furlough we decided to go the free route and run on our own.
This was most definitely not my most well thought out “yes” ever. Actually there were several factors setting me up for failure:
- The only double digit run I had done since the Pikes Peak Marathon was the Golden Leaf Half Marathon, which was not my best race ever.
- I had hiked Missouri Mountain with Heidi and her husband on Monday (#funemployment!) and conveniently picked up a cold along the way.
- In our original plans Heidi and I had no bail point. My mom was concerned that I was going to end up hiking 20 miles by myself. I was too.
Luckily as plans developed Heidi’s husband Chris agreed to “crew” us. He was going to meet us 11 miles into our run, and we would have the chance to bail if necessary. I talked to Graham on Friday night and was like, “Yeah, I’ll definitely just be running 11 miles tomorrow. No way I can go the whole way!”
I could not have asked for a better scenario in Waterton Canyon to finish the day. The last 6 miles of our run were a gradual downhill on a gravel road. However, my body was just in pain from the previous 22 miles we had already run so they weren’t necessarily the most enjoyable miles ever. I was pretty stoked when we reached the marathon point and kept going. It was officially the longest I had ever run, and my kind of, sort of, “technical” first ultra.
Heidi and I picked it up on our last mile. It hurt to run but it almost hurt even more to stop running so we finished our last mile strong. I was so happy when I heard Heidi’s Garmin beep our 28th mile, and I knew we were done.
Overall I am so glad I said yes to the run. It’s good to have friends that push you and make you do things that you had no idea you could do. A huge thank you to Heidi and Chris for getting me out there on Saturday!
Additionally, I am so pumped about the next chapter in my running career. If I can go out and do a 28 mile trail run on 12-15 mile weeks with no double digit runs what can I do if I actually train?! I think I’m going to have fun finding out next year… This probably was not the last run on the Colorado Trail for Heidi and me. North Fork 50 Miler, here we come!