It’s hard to put all of what I went through on Friday into perspective. Mainly because there was a lot that I experienced. Both of the highest of highest and the lowest of lows. It really was one of the toughest things I’ve ever done.
I am working on a more complete race report that I will post either Tuesday or Wednesday. I am taking a little bit more time on it, because it’s turned a bit more into a book than a race report. So there just seems like so much I want to cover.
Anyways, here are a few pictures I took a long the way …
Some saw bleakness, but no matter where I was I saw something and found beauty in it. Not only was it a beautiful way to enjoy God's creations, but it was an even better way to distract myself when my feet wanted to file for a restraining order. #race134 #ponyexpress50 #ultrarunning @joshruns180 @josherwalla
One of the hardest stretches of the race for me. I can't tell the miles difference (in my current mind's eye … probably close to 1,276 miles), but it was a lot. And, it was one loooong stretch. It was scenes like this I HAD to focus on the step ahead me. I couldn't focus on the miles behind or ahead, it had to be a focus on now and the step ahead. It's amazing where that mentality can take as evidence with this before and after. #ponyexpress50 #race134 #ultrarunning @joshruns180 @fight4phat
I was SOOOO ecstatic to have Jill pace me. We've been on many of adventure. She paced me a good 10-12 miles during one of the toughest stretches. She was a lifesaver. And, as fitting as it was, when she rolled up in her car at mile 28 … she caught me with my pants down (I was "watering" plants). Fitting. #ponyexpress50 #race134 #ultrarunning @joshruns180 @fight4phat
I'm so grateful for Jill, if it wasn't for her I would have never gotten over Lookout Pass. It was brutal. You can tell that it was quite the climb and for Mile 40(ish) it was tougher than it may seem to others. But, it was conquered … and that's all what matters! #ponyexpress50 #race134 #ultrarunning @joshruns180 @fight4phat
Got myself in the "pain cave" a couple times. It's an interesting place. It's a place no one wants to be, but it's a place you can't avoid or ignore. You just have to process it and go through it. I used many ways to get through the cave. Some got through it quickly, others not so much. But, as sadistic as it may sound I loved these moments because I learned a lot about myself, my attitude and resolve. #race134 #ponyexpress50 #ultrarunning @joshruns180 @fight4phat
I had an amazing crew with me, especially @gofishin0241 who was my "Meals on Wheels" throughout the race. He and many other @addicttoathlete angels were such a support to me. I love this team. I love these people. Whether it was Tim sharing part of his Arby's (YES ARBY'S!!!) sandwich with me at Mile 40 or Jed being the answer to a prayer at Mile 45.5 … I couldn't have done this without their aid. I'm eternally grateful. No one runs alone on AIIA, no one.
I love this picture. It just shows emotion. This was me at around Mile 42-43. I was done. I was spent. And, I had to give more. I wish I could describe accurately how I felt in those moments of pain and suffering. It was real, it was tough and it was my moment. No one else's but my own, because this was something I chose to do. I'll write more about that on my blog in my race report, because there's a lot of depth to that I want to add. #race134 #ponyexpress50 #ultrarunning @joshruns180 @josherwalla
I wish I could adequately describe to you this moment. This was Mile 45. I was spent — physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually and everything in between. My feet were excruciating sore. Every step was like walking on pins and needles. Even when I sat down on the back bumper of the car to refuel and rest for a moment that pain stayed with me. But, here, was one of the lowest of lows I've experienced not just out on the trail, but life. I'll explain more on my blog, but I was done. I was done. I was DONE. This was taken as I decided to switch shoes to see if that would help. It didn't. But, I knew I just had to keep moving forward as painful as it might have been for me. I took two steps forward after standing up and I just started bawling. And, in that moment of despair I muttered one of the most basic and heartfelt prayers of my life. I told God I couldn't do this alone and I needed someone to be with me. I needed this pain to go away or for me to be distracted enough it wasn't my focus. I got an overwhelming rush of peace that assured me I was not running alone and that someone was on their way. It was no more than half a mile that my friend Jed hopped out of a car and asked if I needed a pacer. I almost wanted to breakdown there again because he was an answer to my prayer. He was my angel. Jed stayed with me until the end, and I couldn't have done it without him. He was my answered prayer. I'll always be grateful for this moment because it taught me so much about suffering, pain, prayer, faith and friends. #ponyexpress50 #race134 #ultrarunning @joshruns180 @fight4phat
I PONY'D UP! Officially done. Well, I was done before I was done. But, that's what made being done done that much more special because I pushed myself past being done. Follow me? After months of training, weeks of marathoning and doing things I never imagined I'd be doing 5-6 years ago … I officially ran my first 50 miler! Is this a one and done thing for me? I can't say no, but right now it's a no. But, ask me again in a few months. I learned a lot about myself out there on the trail. I always knew I could do hard things, but I feel like I expand that limitation tenfold during the race. I learned how to process and deal with suffering. I learned that attitude can affect all of that and it's all by choice not circumstance. I learned so many life lessons out there that I've written down to share later on my blog. But, I'm done! I'm done! I'M DONE! #ponyexpress50 #race134 #ultrarunning @joshruns180 @fight4phat
After about three hours of sleep I headed over to Sugar House Park to volunteer for at @thehauntedhalf. I'm not sure how I kept upright, but the walking definitely helped. And, I can't tell you how much I love this picture from Spinari's photobomb to the awkward guy stretching along the barricade fence. I should be more aware of my surroundings, but hey … I just ran 50 miles, I can't keep that high of expectations. #thehauntedhalf #runtastic @joshruns180 @fight4phat
I DID IT! I DID IT! I DID IT! I'm still processing all of what I just did and most of that will come in a more detailed race report on my blog later on. But, that was one of the toughest, inspiring and most rewarding things I've ever done. The course was full of ups and downs both physically, emotionally and spiritually. If it wasn't for Tim Sedgley crewing me every 2-3 miles I would have been a deadman. And, the miles spent with dear friends Coach Blu, Jed and Jill were nothing short of divine. Gratitude for their part in this cannot be sufficiently communicated in words. They were my angels. I will cherish every moment of this race. I had some beautiful highs and some lowest of lows. And, I relished in that, because I constantly reminded myself that I CHOSE THIS! I could have done anything else with my day, but I chose to experience EVERYTHING I had ahead of me. And, I have a deeper appreciation for many things in my life because I CHOSE TO DO THIS! I am exhausted physically, mentally and spiritually, but I'm smiling. I'm proud of myself … I'm proud of my effort, I'm proud my resolve and I'm proud of every single footstep taken by everyone out there that chose to do this. I have so much more to say in much more detail. Watch for my race report. But, I did it! I DID IT! I DID IT! I DID IT! #race134 #ponyexpress50 #ultrarunning @josherwalla @joshruns180