So I completed my first 100K 8 days ago. And I feel... good. And maybe not just good. I feel great! I'm not entirely sure what this means. Let's see if I can explain.
I completed my first 50K in 2009 and felt awful. My knees hurt for days afterwards. Going up and down the stairs was a challenge in itself. At that time, I was convinced that I would never be able to do anything more than a 50K. Then in 2010, I did the Groundhog 50K and felt great... then I did the Oil Creek 50K again and felt strong.
Immediately, I thought the 100K could be in my grasp, but I knew a solid year leading up to it would have to take place. Unfortunately, I was ridiculously injured for a huge amount of time. I still ran the races I planned. I did the Just a Short Run 1/2 Marathon in March, Glacier Ridge 50K in April, the Pittsburgh Marathon in May, Finger Lakes 50K (33 miles) in July, DNF'ed the Beast of Burden 24 hour race in August... but I LEARNED from that DNF. Nighttime SUCKS. I am so glad that I had the opportunity to deal with a night race before Oil Creek.
I went in to the 100K with zero expectations other than to finish. I didn't care if it took me the entire 31 hours that I was allotted. I finished the first loop and was tired. Well sure I was. I just ran 31 friggin' miles! I tried to convince myself that quitting just because I was tired was unacceptable. Finally, someone said, "Katie! You can't DNF your own race!" That kind of hit me. I wasn't injured. I was tired. And I could sleep when I was done.
I took my time that second loop, enjoying each aid station, thanking all the volunteers, and hearing about the Warriors 50K experiences at each stop. I don't regret a thing. I finished RUNNING. And I was able to go up and down the steps at home one at a time the same day.
In the past week since the race, I've actually run 26 miles. I'm feeling a little pain in my IT band that's causing some minor knee pain and some general muscle soreness. But honestly, after doing 62 miles, I'm pretty pleased with that.
So where does that leave me? I've got a plan to do the 100K again next year... I'll leave it at that. ;)