I had questions. Here are the answers:
a) yes, my large quantity of training did help me do much better with 50 miles. I did finish; quitter didn't rule this time.
b) 50 miles always hurts.
Short report: 50.12 miles, 10h47 min (from Garmin without indoor pit stops, but including on-course aid-station), 11h20 total elapsed.
Splits for 10 miles:
2:01 (all jogging)
2:08 (started some walking)
2:21 (haha, barely moving)
Longer but still not very long report:
-On Friday, I slept in until 8:30am and left for Cape Girardeau at 11. Drive was very smooth. St Louis was not a pain. Ate dinner at Panera and got to the race site a little after 6.
-First thing, the RD, Bryan was chowing down a huge sandwich but he immediately said hi. He said he was happy to see me back. He got my plaque from last year (Senior women's champion, well I won the women's division too, but the open plaque went to the other woman who was only 42).
I changed my clothes and put my shoes on. I was ready about 15 min before start.
-Biggest happy face : Runningsister (aka Angela)!!! http://runningsister.blogspot.com/2011/02/black-warrior-50k-21911.html
Runningsister has cancer, but she still goes to ultras. I met her last year and have been following her blog. So I was INCREDIBLY happy she came. (she was in it for 24 hours, not like sissy me only doing 12, and she had done an ultra last weekend too)
-It was cool (50F, about 10C) and a tiny bit drippy. We started at 7 pm (about 35 of us, most of them doing 24 hrs as the "normal" 12 hour entrants were doing it during the day but cheap me didn't want to spend any money on a hotel).
-I ran the first 2 hours with Mike, a big young guy (really cute, but I didn't see his face until morning).
-For the first 3 or so hours, I was trying think up an excuse to quit and save face. I was totally discouraged when they posted that I ran only 18 miles in 4 hours. Cr@p, at that rate, I won't even make 50 in 12 hours, let alone in the 10.5 hours I really wanted to finish in. I was certain I couldn't last for 50 miles and kept thinking my right foot was going to howl pretty soon and end the matter (it never really did as I finally got that shoe right).
-At around 4 hours, I suddenly remember my mantra: Spirit of the Lord remind me to...accept your grace full love and present peace. "Things" started to go better and before I knew it, I realized I had finished a marathon and 50k seemed do-able.
- There was a sudden downpour around 15 miles. I was right by my car so quickly decided to get the pvc rain coat. It stopped pretty quick. and it rained 2 more little times so I wasted some time with coat putting on and off (I might have been the only wuss who did this)
- It seemed like a race of the gimpies. Everyone, even the young guys, looked at little ouchey from time to time. Some of the older guys looked positively listing and lame. But, dang, these people kept on (I would've quit).
-Ultra races have a tendency to strip away the big talk and flashy dreams that the training leaves you with. Its all a matter of truth. Either you keep going or you don't. There is no glamor. Everyone pretty much runs in their own little hell, wondering how they'll make it. Its all mental. My brain never seems to want to do it, and I have to somehow get past my own thoughts. Somewhere along the line, all your numerical idealisms fall away and your only hope is to keep going.
-At about 35 miles, I was down in the dumps again and asking for help, saying, "You do this, I can't." Then, I thought of a new prayer: Spirit of the Lord run with me...Teach me I am light and set me free. Things started to go pretty good again. Around then I walked a bit with Runningsister. She asked how my goal was coming. My answer included this gem, "I've only been walking on that hill over there." She laughed and said, "You know things are bad when you think there is a hill on a completely flat course."
-About 3:30 am, the sky looked sort of bright and I heard a bird tweet. I first thought, how can it be getting light already (and in the western sky to boot). It took me a long time to realize the brightness was from the moon, which was full, but I never got to see until it was about 4:30 am.
-At 47 miles (how the F*ck did that happen) I informed the lap counters that I was stopping at 50 miles. We agreed I had 3 laps; and Bryan the RD heard this conversation.
- At 48 miles I said, "If there is a God, thank you."
-When I got to the counters to start the last lap, I made a big deal out of it being the bell lap saying, "ding ding ding ding." The last lap, one blister finally decided to start yelling.
- At 49.5 miles, I said, "God, I'm not taking my will back. I still don't think I can finish on my own. You are still in charge."
- I finish 50 laps. The Garmin says 50.2 miles. The counters suddenly say, "Bryan said you wanted to run 50 miles but that is on 49.2 miles." I say, "I don't care what you say. I did 50 laps and my Garmin says 50.2. I get the buckle for 50 right?" "Yes." So into the building I go. (Bryan came over later and apologized for the counters. He had heard the 47 mile conversation and passed me twice on the course since then so he knew I ran the laps. He said it should have been about 50.18, which is what my Garmin got)
- I get my buckle.
- I didn't quit! (even though I passed my car 50 times) I think this is because prayer took my mind away from me and I was running on a higher power.
- My gear was parked near the nurse. I asked her if she had something clean to pop a blister. Ummm, no (after a frantic search through a kit). Ok, you must have an alcohol wipe? Oh, yeah, I'm sure I have that. Ok, the nurse seemed appalled at my feet. But I actually think they look very good, I mean really good. I've seen them in much much worse shape. But she did help me carry my stuff to the car and filled my coffee cup.
-On the road home. The first 100 miles was a little tough on keeping the eye lids open. But after that I was fine and made the drive with only 2 stops.
Thats my story and I'm sticking to it. Ultras always hurt, but they hurt less the more milage you do.