Hurts So Good.

I am an Ultra Runner. 

Man, that feels good! And yet, it hurts. So. Much.

Yesterday and today I have gotten quite a few texts and emails from friends and family, checking in to see how I’m feeling. Here is a compilation of my responses:

My face still looks like I got hit by a bus.
Still haven’t been able to sleep well.
Getting up and down out of chairs (and off the toilet) is a huge chore.
My ankles are swollen.
I’m a bit of a wreck.
My quads are still extremely sore.
I’m hurting. Bad.

And yet, I have also had a few people ask me if I’d ever run another 50 miler, and the answer has been…Yes! I think I would!

The race was amazing. I honestly couldn’t have asked for it to go any better. It was a 16.6 mile loop comprised of mostly beautiful, single-track trails, that we had to run three times. It rained a lot the night before, so there were some really muddy spots where it was impossible to run.

This was one of those spots. I had NO intentions of taking any pictures (or even touching my phone) during the race. But, this was the equivalent to an ultra marathon traffic jam, so I went for it!
My goal for this race was to finish in under 13 hours. The time cut off was 15 hours. My plan of attack was to start out around a 12-13 minute pace and maintain that until I was physically unable to. And, of course, I planned to stop and eat and drink at all aid stations, and walk up all hills. (That doesn’t sound that bad…right?!) The best advice I received about how to reach the finish line was to, “Start out slow, and then slow down.” Sounded good to me!
So, I started out around a 12:30 pace, and to my surprise, I was able to keep up that pace for almost the entire race! I kept wondering when I’d feel like I wanted to quit, or when I’d just have to walk. But, those feelings never came. It. Was. Awesome. With every new mile I had a new person (or group of people) to think about from my mile dedications, and it kept drawing me back to the fact that I have been gifted a mind and a body that are capable of great things. So darn it, I’m going to do this thing!
At about mile 38, I had the best surprise a girl could ask for…
My parents were there! And I got to see them again at mile 45 (which is actually when this picture was taken) and at the finish line, where they spoiled me rotten, carried my stuff around, bought me a chocolate shake, drove me to my hotel, and then took me out to dinner! Did I mention they’re the best?! 

And I ended up finishing with an official time of 10:33:55! And every single person that has sent me a note of congratulations in any way, shape, or form, has made me feel like a complete rock star! So, thank you all for your love and support! 

Sparkle.Pounce.And then pounce some more.

-Kendra (Ultra Runner!)

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