I recently finished UTA50. It was an absolutely amazing experience because not only was it my first ultra-marathon but it was also my first race since I injured myself. It took me over 5 months to recover and since I injured myself in a race last year, I went in very anxious as I didn’t want to fail again.
It wasn’t a “dream race” – with a course change the night before from the wet weather conditions and a change in start time, most of my race plan was completely altered. I did the best I could to adjust but I wasn’t ready for the technical start to the race.
The new route sent off us onto a technical trail and since I was lucky to start up front with the top 15-30% of runners, there was immense pressure to push through the trail at a pace faster than what I would have preferred. Added to the anxiety around staying injury free I buckled and for the first time in a race I panicked.
I lost a lot of time from that moment doubting my ability to keep up with the pack but I think my proudest moment was deciding to sacrifice time and pace to let others pass and complete it at my speed. I needed this event to shake my existing pre-race injury fears and not getting a “fast time” didn’t mean I failed… If anything finishing injury free and “rungry” for my next challenge made me even stronger than what I was before!
It’s the first time that not only did I feel like I’d accomplished something physically – but also something mentally.
I had fellow fisiocrem athletes Rachel Allworth (from Rachel’s Runners) and Julianna Nagy with me to help support me along the way. Having people to run with and share the race experience with was amazing. They knew exactly what to say to keep myself and other runners on the track going strong.
I was amazed at the end of the event. I expected my legs to hurt but nothing could have prepared me for the amount of back pain I had given the amount of gear we had to carry. I celebrated my race with a well earned sports massage and a lot of foam rolling!
I feel like I’ve beat my injury race demons now and I’m looking forward to my next race where I’ll be ready to give it my absolute all.