Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Stone Cat 50-Miler Race Report, Part II

Third Loop

When I picked up Sara for the third loop, I started to melt. I think I held everything together for the first 25 miles because I knew I had no choice - I was out there alone, and there wasn't anyone to whine/cry/complain to. About 2 miles into that third loop, I had my only real "low" moment of the day. I was tired, we had already covered 28 miles, yet I still had 22 miles to go. I started to cry, and Sara just let me be. She talked to distract me, I read the note Caitlyn wrote for me, and I slowly came out of it. I reminded myself of why I was doing this, and that I had come way too far to mess this up now.

We shuffled our way past the 32.5 aid station, and I knew I only had 5 miles until what became known as the "victory lap". I got a little too confident, and took my eyes off the leaf covered "rooty" trails for a hot second. And then it happened  THUD.  I felt HARD on my left hip, and knocked the wind out of myself. I did the 10 point check to make sure I wasn't injured, and although I was fine, I was rattled. Sara encouraged me to get up and start walking, so I didn't seize up. She gave me the motivation I needed to immediately take a deep breath, and just move past it. I was now running to see my "crew" again, and head out for that final victory lap!!

Jess and Jo re-filled my Camelbak, I grabbed more Healthy Bites, and Jess also threw some gummy bears at me. In all the commotion, I forgot to grab my last pack of Clif-Bloks.

Still Smiling... 
Fourth Loop

I was giddy heading back into the woods - incredibly tired, but so damn happy. Once I was back on that trail, I KNEW I would finish. Realizing I was out of Clif-Bloks at mile 40, I was going to have to switch to gummy bears and coke to carry me through. It worked like a charm; thanks Haribou! It was SO MUCH FUN to say "this is the last time I'll run up this hill", "this is the last time I'll trip over this damn root!", etc. We had so much fun these last miles. I got a silly smile on my face about 28 different times when I thought "oh my God, I'm ACTUALLY doing this!". All of that hard work, so many miles, so much sacrifice, and I was DOING it!! My hips were tight, left shin angry from all of my tripping, and hand throbbing from the fall, but I was so ecstatic. Watching the miles count up through the 40's was simply surreal; something that's just so hard to put into words. With 5 miles to go, we ran into Scott and Lisa, and all worked together for those last miles. It honestly couldn't have been more perfect.

10 hours, and 38 minutes after the dark start of a GO GO GO, I crossed the finish line of my first 50 mile race. I smiled, I cried, and I wanted to just collapse. I was exhausted and sore, but it is a moment that I will not soon forget.

Final Steps.. 
Nothing beats finishing with good friends...
my new finisher shirt! 
And a special thanks to these girls (and their men!), who were instrumental in keeping me positive all day long. They also kept everyone updated on twitter and Facebook. These girls stood out in the cold, all afternoon, and said all of the right words at the most perfect times. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I love you guys!

Somehow I never got a picture with Sara, but I don't think the role she played on Saturday needs any explanation. Without her, I know I wouldn't have had as strong of a race. It takes a damn special person to go out and run 25 miles, at almost 7 months pregnant, just to help a first time ultra-runner cross that finish line. Thank you Sara, for everything. I'm so lucky.

The night before the LA Marathon - those are Census headbands that came in our race packets. 
Yep, that picture is an accurate description of us; no shortage of good times when we're together.

So there it is, my tale of 50 miles. It was hard. It was amazing. It was so much more than I thought it would be. As I sit here 4 days later, I'm still deliriously happy. I'm so proud of myself for committing to this race, especially when everyone said "you just had surgery, there's no way you can do that!".

The take home message is this: If you put in hard work, and a whole lot of heart, the sky is the limit. If I can run 50 miles, I promise that each of you reading this can achieve anything you want. Dream big my friends.

And finally, I couldn't write this report without including the reason for everything I do, and by far my biggest fan!

Thank you to everyone for all of the calls, texts, tweets, messages. I am incredibly blessed to be surrounded by such amazing people.

Now onto the next adventure - Sara and I are tackling the Philadelphia Marathon next weekend, as her final hurrah before the baby comes! 10 days to go!


  1. Loved every minute of it, glad so many people could be there for your success.. congrats you 50 mile finisher you! And Sara, jeesh, this baby is going to have quite a few stories to tell. Cheers ladies!

  2. Awww!! You made me all teary all over again! I can't say it enough: SO SO SO PROUD and INSPIRED by you my friend, you crushed this goal and I feel lucky to have been there to see even a little bit of that day, those epic moments, that big finish! And you are absolutely right -- dream big, always. Reach for the stars and then some!!! Yeehaw! ;-)

  3. Love reading this. Love reading the JOY in your words and pride and most of all, I love that I was there for it, to witness an incredible accomplishment. You are nothing short of amazing, in every way. as a runner and athlete, as a mother, sister, friend and kindred :-) XOXO

  4. Congratulations Meaghan! I think it was pretty courageous of you to take on this challenge after your injury. Doesn't it feel good to prove people wrong!

    Good luck in Philly, I'll be there running the full.


  5. Wow. so amazing! When I read the part about running 28 miles and still having 22 more to go, it really sunk in how far 50 miles really is. The farthest I have ever ran is 26.2 miles so it gave it some perspective. I hope to do a 50k sometime soon 50 miles is insanity (in a good way)

  6. Wow. WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW! Amazing journey Meaghan. You are a rockstar!!!