Vermont 50k – 2019

Vermont 50k | happyfitmama.com“I should have had a beer.”

It was around mile 18 (I think?) when I came upon an “unofficial” aid station of the Vermont 50k that was blasting music, handing out beers, fruit and pickle juice. I seriously considered the beer but opted for the pickle juice instead and carried on down the trail.

Within a half mile I suddenly felt an intense burning pain in my left ankle. I looked down and saw a swarm of bees on my ankle, happily stinging me through my socks.

First thought: GET OFF ME!!!

Second thought: Why is it ALWAYS my left ankle!

Third thought: Were those wasps or bees?!?! I’m fucked.

Fourth thought: I should have had a beer.

Before we get into all that drama, let’s go back to the beginning of my very first 50k.

I woke up Sunday to a gorgeous early fall day. The trees were just starting to turn colors. The temps were in the upper 50s for the start and wouldn’t get much higher than the low 60s. The skies were blue and things were feeling good.

I was nervous when we gathered at Mount Ascutney at 7:30 for the racer meeting. I kept trying to tell myself that this was no different than going out for a long run in training. Soon enough, it was time to head down to the starting line. I was so busy chatting it up with Ron and the kids that I didn’t even realize that we had started until Ron said, “You are going now.”ย 

Another reason why I love trail races more than road. So chill and no pomp and circumstance. Just go!

The first few miles are a short stretch of paved roads and mostly gravel that take you past the picturesque Vermont things – lots of green, brown cows, rolling hills and sunlight filtering in through the trees. I made a point of power hiking up the steep hills and then trying my best to let gravity do the work on the downhills.

The first aid station was at mile 3.8. I was carrying everything I needed (water, a bottle of Tailwind, I didn’t need anything so I took the sharp left turn onto our first stretch of trails. It was mostly ATV/Snowmobile type trails that were wide and easy to run. I must say that I am SO impressed with the trails that we ran. They were absolutely dreamy with little to no rocks/roots (at least for the first half of the race).

The next aid station appeared at mile 7ish and I made the decision to bypass that one too. I had plenty of water, a bottle of Tailwind, Clif Cubes, and Honey Stinger Chews.ย  We popped out of the trails and hit gravel roads for till the next aid station at mile 11ish. It was there that I decided to partake in the buffet of my first aid station.

O.M.G.

I’m so impressed with aid station volunteers. The food spread is ridiculous. Quartered sandwiches of PB & J, turkey, cheese, cookies, gummy bears, pickles, pickle juice, boiled potatoes and salt, chips, pretzels and an assortment of drinks.

Vermont 50k | happyfitmama.com

It was at the Margaritaville aid station that I found the deliciousness of boiled potatoes and salt with a glass of Coke to wash it down. The salt from the potatoes was AMAZING. It powered me through for miles afterwards just having the taste of it in my mouth. SO GOOD. I would look forward to my next dose at every aid station from the duration of the race.

At this point is also when we started to see the 50 mile mountain bikers. It was interesting sharing the trails with them. I’m not going to lie, it started to annoy me later in the race during the single track technical portion. On the steep inclines, we’d pass the bikers but then they’d catch up with us and blow past us on the downhills. I became quite aware of the squeaking sound of bike brakes and making sure I remembered which way was right or left when a biker said which way they were going around you. Everyone was super nice so it was all good.

Side note: Did you know that there is such a thing as tandem mountain bikes? I had no idea!ย  They were flying. I have so many questions – how do they handle the technical spots and the corners that are so narrow?!?!?

Anyway, I finally got to see my crew at the next aid station, Greenall’s at mile 13ish. As we popped out of the trails and ran down a grassy field of switchbacks, I started to get teary eyed. I was excited to see my family and just overwhelmed with the sense of “OH MY GOD, I’M DOING THIS!”

I spotted Ron and the kids right away, grabbed some potatoes and Coke, and promptly sat down to remove the KT Tape off my left foot. I had put it on for extra stability but it was irritating my arch. I quickly put myself back together, emptied out my wrappers, and restocked my supply while Ron refilled my Tailwind.

Vermont 50k | happyfitmama.com

Kisses all around and I was off again. It would be another 15 miles before I could see my crew again.

The next 5 miles was a mix of steep trails and roads. I was feeling pretty good. Hiking the climbs and kind of cursing the super winding switchback single track. It made me feel dizzy with all of the back and forth. We looked like ants marching although some ants were on bikes.

And then the bee stinging incident happened. We popped off the trails onto a gravel road that had a super long climb. I should mention that I have only been stung by wasps before. Never bees. However, when I was stung by wasps, probably 14 years ago, I had an allergic reaction complete with tongue and facial swelling. And no, I didn’t have an Epi-pen with me.

When I swatted the bees off of me, I realized that it was bees not wasps. However, since I had never been stung by a bee before, was I going to have the same reaction? My ankle/lower leg throbbed and burned. I saw at least 4-5 bees so I know I had at least that many bites.ย  As I continued up the hill, I pulled the Benadryl out of my pack, took a dose and prayed it didn’t make me too sleepy that I was stumbling all over place. I didn’t have any signs of an allergic reaction so I knew I’d be ok.

The next 10 miles were kind of a blur of one foot in front of the other. The trails got more technical which meant more leap frogging with bikers, more power hiking the ups and being conservative on the downs. My quads were feeling it but I was shocked that my ankles (well, minus the burning, throbbing part in my left ankle) and knees were achy. I had a steady stream of positive mantras going through those miles – I am strong. I will not fall. I will not roll my ankle. I forced myself to not think of the bee stings. If I did, it would have sent me down a rabbit hole of negativity.

Vermont 50k | happyfitmama.com

After what seemed like forever, I could hear people cheering and came upon lots of cars. Johnson’s aid station was a welcome sight (although the super steep driveway was just a cruel joke). Ron and the kids were there to give me kisses and hugs to power through to the last 2.5 miles.

Now 2.5 miles doesn’t seem like that much distance. That’s not the case when it’s the last 2.5 miles of a 50k and there’s at least 1 mile (or at least it felt that long) of tight switchbacks up a wide open grassy field that was steep. Eventually, I made it to the trees and into the trails up and over Ascutney. The trails in there were beautiful. I’m sure I would have appreciated it more if I just wanted to be DONE. There were signs that counted down the miles and soon enough I could hear the finish line sounds as I popped out of the woods onto the grassy ski slope switchbacks down to the finish line.

Let me just say, running switchbacks to get to a finish line feels really, really cruel. So close, yet still so far away!!

I crossed the finish line, grabbed my medal and promptly laid down in the grass.

I freakin’ did this thing that I’ve wanted to do for years!!! YES!

My #1 goal was to finish with a smile on my face and not hating everything about running.

Mission accomplished!

Vermont 50k | happyfitmama.comGoing into the race, I told a few people that I didn’t think I’d want to do another 50k. Maybe I’d be a one and done or at least done for a few years. My training plan was very doable but the long runs near the end were very time consuming. I love running but I’d love to do more than just run on one weekend day.

But…never say never until you’ve run at least one. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Vermont 50k |happyfitmam.comThis post is long enough but there is so much to more to say. Like how I ended up at Urgent Care on Monday evening because of the bee stings. Or how running a 50k felt easier than a marathon. I’ll save that for another post.

And congrats to anyone who is still reading this ultramarathon of a blog post. Phew!!!

Linking up with Coaches Corner.

CBD Lemon Drop Bites

CBD Lemon Drop Bites | happyfitmama.com

This is a sponsored post on behalf of Barleanโ€™s. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting companies that I love.

Back in May, I shared my first foray into CBD oil with a recipe for CBD Thin Mint Energy Bites.

Well, Barlean’s is back with another new flavor of CBD hemp oil – Lemon Drop. Before we get into how amazing this stuff tastes (it’s so good!), let’s cover what CBD hemp oil really is. I had a conversation last week with coworkers about what CBD is and there’s still ideas that it’s marijuana. Folks, IT IS NOT GOING TO GET YOU HIGH. Read on for all the facts below:

Any who, with CBD oil being so popular right now, it’s hard to know if what you are buying is from a trusted brand that has legit ingredients. That’s why I like getting my CBD from Barlean’s. I use Barleanโ€™s products all the time. They have been in the business of making healthy oils and supplements for nearly 30 years. They know their stuff!

Barleanโ€™s CBD Hemp Oilโ€™s can be taken straight up by itself or mixed into anything else (just as long as itโ€™s not heated above 225 degrees Fahrenheit. When I saw the Seriously Delicious CBD Hemp Oil in Lemon Drop flavor, I immediately thought of the lemon cake loaf from Starbuck’s. You see, Ron and Lukas LOVE that loaf. Personally, I think they love the frosting more than the actual loaf. If I’m being completely honest,ย  we all know that the frosting is the best part of anything.

CBD Lemon Drop Bites | happyfitmama.comThat being said, I skipped the frosting part. Womp, womp, womp.

I know…I’m no fun.

I loved how these bites turned out. It tastes kind of like a doughnut but smaller and more nutritious. They may look like meatballs (so says Lukas) but they taste amazing.

With only 6 simple ingredients, these CBD Lemon Drop Bites are easy to whip up and enjoy in no time flat. And it won’t give you a big crash and burn sugar drop thanks to no added sugar.

Enjoy these easy and seriously delicious CBD Lemon Drop Bites for a quick after workout snack or any other time during the day.

CBD Lemon Drop Bites | happyfitmama.com

CBD Lemon Drop Bites
 
Ingredients
  • 1 Cup walnuts
  • ½ Cup almond flour
  • ⅓ Cup coconut flour
  • 2 TBSP Barlean's Flax, Chia and Coconut Raw Energy Powder
  • 3-4 TBSP Barlean's Lemon Drop CBD Hemp Oil
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Place walnuts in a high powered food processor. Blend until broken down into small pieces.
  2. Add almond flour, coconut flour, and Raw Energy Powder. Blend.
  3. Add Lemon Drop CBD Hemp Oil and vanilla. Blend until "dough" is formed.
  4. Using your hands, take desired amount of dough and roll into balls.
  5. Once all dough is rolled into balls, place in refrigerator for 30 minutes until hard.
  6. Keep CBD Lemon Drop Bites in fridge.
  7. Enjoy!

ย 

Do you use CBD oil?

What’s better – the loaf or frosting?

Last Week’s Workouts

Last week's workouts | happyfitmama.comLast week’s workouts were somewhat of a haze.

Thanks to my wonderful children who love to share, I was blessed with a head cold that had me battling sinus headaches for the majority of the week. I’m so glad it happened last week rather than race week! I’m back to feeling human again.

Monday

35 minute walk with Max

Strength training

I woke up quite stiff and achy from my 25 mile trail run on Sunday. I opted for more time in bed rather than hitting the gym. I eventually laced up my sneakers and grabbed Max’s leash for an easy, “let’s get the legs moving” walk before work. By the time I was done, I was feeling a little more human.

Later in the day, after I was done with my patients, I did a quick full body strength session on the machines and with dumbbells at work. Quick and easy!

Tuesday

50 minute run, 5.17 miles

Morning Flow Yoga @ Bending Bodhi

I woke up with a congested head and feeling achy. I couldn’t tell if I was achy from my cold or from lifting the day before. In hindsight, I should have probably skipped my run. I felt blah for all of it. Nothing felt good.

Last week's workouts | happyfitmama.com

What did feel good was yoga. My legs felt 100% better after class and the congestion seemed to get better.

That is, until later in the day when I crashed hard from a sinus headache.

Wednesday

30 minutes Elliptical

Strength training

I woke up Wednesday morning feeling somewhat better. Not 100% but well enough to hit the gym. I kept it on the lighter side on the elliptical and with strength training.

I felt great leaving the gym and for the rest of the morning but was hit with another sinus headache later in the day and ultimately left work early to head home and smash my head into a pillow to make the pain go away.

Thursday

45 minute run, 5.06 mile run

Morning Flow Yoga @ Bending Bodhi

Thursday was a new day! I woke up feeling fairly normal except for a stuffy nose. I met up with Charles and Kyle for hitting up some of the hills in town. It was a balmy 37 degrees. Yes, you read that right. 37 degrees. It feels way too early for this.

I pulled out the long sleeves, hat and gloves but there was no way I was wearing capris or tights just yet. I’m holding on to shorts for as long as possible!

And to be completely honest, 37 degrees didn’t feel as cold as I thought it was going to be. So that’s a win, I guess. Sigh…here we go!

Friday

REST DAY!

Saturday

92 min trail run, 8.46 miles

With “only” 90 minutes of running on my plan for my last long run and a morning of soccer, archery and more soccer, I was out running before the sunrise with Kyle on the trails. It was SUPER dark and we heard some questionable animal sounds when we got to the trail head so we opted for a few miles on the road to gain a little light. And for whatever animal to finish it’s business.

We kept the pace easy and I was super cautious not to do anything stupid one week out from race day. Kyle had planned on an hour of running with me but we had a couple of roadblocks that included a detour through a corn field (my worst nightmare come true). I joked with Kyle that it was my way of making her run longer with me. It worked because I only had 14 minutes to run solo then.ย  Hahaha!

Last week's workouts | happyfitmama.com

I was almost back at the trail head when I see two men walking towards me with shotguns. I think that scared the shit out of me more than the bear last week. Thankfully, they had hunter orange on so I quickly realized they were hunters. I knew that hunting was allowed on those trails but I never really thought anyone would. It’s a very popular spot for people to walk, walk/run with dogs and to mountain bike. Most wildlife is spooked away by all the people. And it just seems to risky. I may be staying away from the trail for a bit or at least dressing in head to toe hunter orange.

Sunday

31 minute run, 3.43 miles

Super chill miles with Max. It felt like summer but is definitely looking like fall. My left knee/top of shin was feeling odd when I first started running but went away. Phantom taper crazies???

How was your week in workouts?

Linking up with the Weekly Run Down.