Screen Grab from the Weather Channel’s photo recap.

Click here to view 20 photos of race day and the course from Weather Channel.
This will give you a feel for the elements we faced. 


Over the weekend, I finished my first 50-mile race. It was the North Face Endurance Challenge (shortened to 47 miles due to weather) and here are 20 things I learned over my 12 hour and 5 minute adventure:

  1. It was pouring rain and I was wearing gloves, so if I clenched my fists, water would pour out. Fun.
  2. For some reason, I love running trails in a beanie. It’s official. Makes me feel like a wild-wilderness-man.
  3. I may have looked like a fool in my red poncho, but my shirt (except for sweat) stayed dry all day. Boom.
  4. Having volunteers call you by name can be disorienting. My brain can’t process 30 miles in that my name is on my bib and that you can read.
  5. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches cut in quarters are the perfect fuel.
  6. Skittles, although delicious, served in the cold are really difficult to eat. I powered through though, thank you.
  7. Drinking rain while you are running counts as hydrating, right?
  8. I still prefer Coke over Pepsi, but the latter still does the trick mid-race.
  9. Mountain Dew, even with the ideal name, was not a gamble I wanted to take.
  10. Referring to worms and lizards as “crazy wildlife” during a trail race can be humorous.
  11. The weather may be intense if when your shoe gets stuck in the mud, you’re thankful your foot didn’t come out.
  12. With 12 hours of running through wet shoes and soaked socks, only having one blister (that never affected the run) means the run gods were on your side, even if for only one day.
  13. Never thought I would be able to run for 12 hours without listening to a single song.
  14. Having a reminder (the First Lady’s bow) can really help during tough sections of a race. It will also bring a smile to your face.
  15. Your finger tips can prune outside of the bath tub.
  16. If you have too much — or leftover — laundry detergent in your shorts, it will make tiny suds when combined with the rain.
  17. If a social media nerd is nervous to bring out his phone to tweet or post something to Instagram, the elements might be intense.
  18. I now understand the story of the tortoise and the hare. I may have not been running fast, and I may have walked when I needed to, but I sure as hell finished that thing at my own pace.
  19. Social media and the running community has made me a better runner. FACT.
  20. After burning almost 6,000 calories, EVERYTHING looks delicious.


What it would have looked like on a clear day. (Click to enlarge)


Here are the questions from yesterday’s comments:

Michelle of NYCRunningMama
So what’s next for you?? 100 miler?!?

Already? I just finished my 50 this weekend. That’s like the “when are you having a baby?” question on your wedding day? I would expect nothing less from a rock star runner like yourself. 100 is on my list of things to do, but I have no time frame for that right now.

Angela of HappyFitMama
Could you eat a PB and J sandwich now or does it make you want to gag? :)

I was surprised at how great they tasted and worked. I don’t really eat them regularly, but I’m sure I could manage one. Over the 12 hours, I had 5-6 quarters, so that would be a 1.5 sandwiches.

Nancy of LittleFancyNancy
What are your plans for your shoes….frame them??

Here is the AFTER photo. Right now they are sitting outside. I need to clean them and try to get them dry. They have under 100 miles on them, so I’m hoping to still use them in the future. I could always nail them to the wall as an art installation.

Kat of SneakersAndFingerpaints
How were the feet after being wet and muddy?!

They feel really good. My feet and legs aren’t that sore. I was expecting to be a stumbling mess. People pay good money to have mud treatments… I guess I did the same and the running was a bonus.

Beth of ShutUpAndRun
A 50 miler is a long term goal for me, so yes I will have a million questions for you…eventually.

I’d be glad to help, but you are a much more accomplished runner than I am. I can definitely show you the fashionable benefits of a poncho and how to tie a nice bow at the end so it doesn’t flap around when it isn’t raining. You’re welcome.

Lindsay of CotterCrunch
Did you hear me cheering?

Absolutely! Did hubby think it was weird that you were shouting my name at 5 in the morning?

Meghan of LittleGirlInTheBigWorld
Will you do it again!?

I don’t know that I would do THIS particular race again. It was such an epic adventure that another round might fall short in comparison. Would I run another 50 mile race? See the next question.

Bonnie of BonnieLangFitness
Along with others, I’m wondering if there are more in the works for you!

I was looking at 50 milers the day after. LOL. I am in no rush to register for one immediately, but I am actively looking for one that will fit into the 2013 schedule. I’m trying to figure out my marathon schedule at the same time to see if they can work together.


What about you? Would you do a 50-miler?

Would you go any further?