Everyone Needs at Least One

My Flatrocks 50K Race Report
Friday afternoon Doug and I headed down to Independence KS. It's about a 2 and half hour drive from home. We checked into the hotel and went straight to packet pickup. They were serving dinner so we sat down and had salad with spaghetti and meatballs. It was nice not having to find someplace in town to eat. After dinner we picked up our packet and headed out. Our next stop. Braum's. Peanut Butter Hot Fudge Sundaes. Mmm...The place was a zoo. I think the whole town was there. At least those that weren't at the high school football game and those that were not at the movie house. I guess the big scoop (ha) was the movie sold out so everyone went for ice cream instead.

We drove back to the hotel after our belly's were full and snuggled in for the night.

Saturday morning we headed out to the lake to the starting area. It was foggy. Also nice and cool. We met up with Cynical Mud Babe and Christy and walked out to the starting line area together. After some last minute words from the RD, he took roll call. Yes, roll call. How funny is that? Just to see who was starting so they could keep track of everyone on the course. And when you actually got to each water stop, they would check you in.

We started out on the pavement for a very short jaunt and then right into the woods. This course doesn't gradually get hard. It kicks your butt from the very beginning. Rocks. Rocks. And More Rocks. The whole course was rocks. Here a rock. There a rock. Everywhere a rock. It was a very technical course. Not only were there rocks the whole way. It was up and down and up and down and up and down. I'm not talking little ups and downs. I'm talking rock climbing. It was tough. Very tough.

By mile 2 I was already getting hot spots and blisters on my feet. I knew this was going to be quite a day. I didn't say anything...just kept going. I think it took us an hour to go three miles. My feet were not as agile as they needed to be. My ankles were twisting every which way. I wasn't gliding over the rocks like I wish I could have. I never knew when I landed on a rock if it was going to turn on me, stay or slide under my feet. So...we walked. And walked. And walked. Even while walking, it was hard for me to maneuver over the rocks.

We mustered through the trails. Not stopping to fuel like we should have as we were trying to beat feet to the turn around before the cut-off. I think in 15 miles I had 2 Hammer Gels, 4 electrolytes, some Gatorade and 1 half of a red potato (which was sooo yummy!). I know Doug had much less. Not the smartest thing to do when you're trying to keep going.

About mile 13 I became dizzy and nauseous. Not good. As this was a very tough part of the course. I managed through after taking my 2nd Hammer Gel and some electrolytes. I was really starting to hurt. My muscles were tired and sore. Already. How could this be?, I kept asking myself. Have I mentioned this course was the course from Hell?

I knew at this point, making the cut-off was not going to happen. Doug kept ahead of me. Kept moving forward. I followed, but much more slow. He is so wonderful. He was my Sherpa. My pacer. My support team. My trail blazer. I could not have asked for anything more. He was the best. IS the best. As I started to get emotional, he settled my nerves. As I kept saying I'm sorry, over and over, he kept telling me it was okay. I think I may still be sitting in the woods somewhere right now if it wasn't for his love and support. Thanks Babe. ILY!

So we get to the cut-off about 10 minutes late. The volunteers were great. They were very supportive and asked what we needed. I sat down in defeat. Doug grabbed a Coke. Mmm...another yummy treat. After a few minutes, I think they already knew, but one of the volunteers said we were a few minutes late, but if we wanted to head back we could. Oh God Please...I didn't want to make this decision. You're supposed to tell me I can't go back. I knew what a disappointment I would be to myself and how upset I would be with Doug not being able to finish. But I was toast. Burnt. Nasty. Toast. Doug, being the kind soul he was today, threw in the towel for us. For me. He knew I was struggling and that it would be nothing more than a Death March back.

So with that, I was relieved and sad. I so did not want to go back. 15.5 miles just about did me in. I was afraid that another 15.5 miles might. The concentration alone would have been so hard for me. Picking up my feet to get over those damn rocks could have ended in a disastrous mess. I kept thinking over and over, I'm going to trip over a rock, lurch forward, face plant on a rock and knock out my teeth. I'm not quite sure how many times I replayed that in my head.

With the decision being made, we helped the volunteers break down the water stop, packed up and got a nice air conditioned ride back to the start. It sucked. The hardest part about the whole thing was Doug DNF'ing because of me.

So with a big 'ol DNF under my belt I've been thinking a lot.

Things I Learned

  • I hate my trail shoes
  • I love boiled potatoes with salt
  • I have to fuel my body if I want it to go for me
  • DNFing sucks
  • Trail Running is SO MUCH MORE difficult than road running
  • If I'm going to run a Trail 50K, I need to train on the trails-durrr...
  • Doug is THE BEST. EVER! (I knew that already)

A Couple Things that Made Me Feel a Little Better

"The men who try to do something and fail are infinitely better than those who try nothing and succeed." Lloyd Jones

"You may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you don't try." Beverly Sills

Moving Forward

So now it's time to move forward. It's time to rethink if I want to continue this trail running stuff. It's so much harder than road running. And I feel if you don't do it all the time, it kicks you in the butt when you do. It's so different than road running. Also with today's events and Doug's poor seed tick infestation, we're both rethinking trails. We'll see after a short break.

I am looking forward to the Nike Women's Marathon I'm running with my best friend, Karen. This will be her first marathon and we're going to have such a great time.

It's time for pizza and some relaxation! See ya on the next go 'round.


  1. I'm so sad! Christy & I were so very worried about you guys when we saw you. It's very important to start eating early and keep fueled when on such a ridicously hard course like that. We both struggled with it too.
    You guys picked a doozy of a race as your first 50K.. for not having trained on trails at all you guys did great.. I don't think I could have done it. I fully admire you guys.

  2. Me too! Conratulations to you and Christy!

    I know my biggest fault was not eating properly. You think after running 14 or so marathons I would know how to do that. And knowing that trail running is much more tough, I would want to concentrate on that. I've learned my lesson for sure. My second major fault was not training on the trails like I should have.

    Lessons learned!

    I'm glad you guys had a good time. Yeah...I knew when I saw you guys I was toast. I was just trying to keep my emotions in check when we saw you guys. Thanks for the nice comments girlie. Appreciate it!

  3. DNF does suck, but I think its valuable as well. It will make your first 50K all that more special. Chin up, you did great, and you are an inspiration with all the racing you do!

  4. Sorry things did not turn out the way you wanted. Flat Rock is one hard course. Eric claims it is the 4th hardest 50K in the US. It is always a little too hot even though it's in late September. My wife, Dana, is the gal who gave you a ride back to the S/F. She said you were super disappointed. She did the 25K a couple of years ago and swore NEVER AGAIN. But, I suspect you'll be back at Flat Rock in a year or so for REVENGE.

  5. TZ-First, please tell Dana THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH for being so kind and for giving us a ride back. She was so supportive.

    Good luck to you in your 100 milers you have coming up. Was it 3in 3 weeks? Amazing!

    Thanks for the encouragement. It is greatly appreciated! May see you down in Tulsa next September.

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  7. Kim -

    I think you guys rocked, DNFing halfway through that course is nothing to scoff at, it was brutal out there!

    Coleen and I constantly had to keep reminding each other to eat and drink, I think the concentrating on, you know, not breaking a leg on all the rocks takes away from the habitual stuff like eating.

    I'm so glad I got to meet you both and can't wait to run with you again!

    And p.s. I learned that I officially hate my current trail shoes too - my feet are quite a mess right about now!

  8. We need to go shoe shopping together!

    Thanks for the kind words. Rocks suck!

  9. Kim, I applaud you for attempting such a feat. Just as I'm sure you've told some of the TNT participates, there are plenty of other races for you out there. You're still Kimpoosible....

  10. Kim & Doug, a hearty round of applause for even trying it and for getting as far as you did. Lessons learned, now you know...and you'll kill it next year! Good for you both!!

    Congrats for even trying it because TRY is the beginning of Triumph!!

  11. Kim, let me just say that you and Doug have nothing at all to be ashamed of. You gave your best and that's the most important thing. We all learn lessons with each race. From your description, I'm glad I did not enter this event. I love the trails, but they are much tougher than roads and this one sounds harder than Wyco, which I barely survived only 20 miles.

    I'll bet your hard work will pay off in your next marathon.

  12. Sorry you had such a rough time, nevertheless you did your best for that day. Next year you can redeem yourself on that course. Maybe find another easier, less technical, course next time?

    I'll be attempting my very first 50k Ultra this coming April and your lessons were very valuable for me! Thanks for the tips!!