I did my first ultra marathon in Moab on November 18, 2017! Moab is one of my favorite places on earth because… Canyonlands National Park and Arches National Park. The race was in Canyonlands. I just really love, love, love the red rock and everything about the place. Even though 50 miles is long, it is some of the most beautiful landscape. I had to soak it all in. I didn’t mind being in it the whole day. I just can’t get enough.

It was a long time- a shout out to my brother in law, Lane Brooks, who it ran it as well! Thank you, Lane, for registering for the race three days earlier and running it with me! Conversation helps pass the time. Plus, it’s just a very long ways to go on your own. We met other runners along the way… Thank you, Keaton, from Ouray, Colorado, for the fun conversation we had with you too!

I didn’t realize how much hard rock I’d be running on. I love that stuff- all the slick rock trails. But at about mile 36, I started feeling the fallout from running on rock in barefoot shoes for such a long time. My right foot and left knee were getting bad, not to mention my big toenails are blue. It’s a lesson learned for the future… I love my barefooot shoes for many reasons, but I should probably switch to something more substantial if I’m going to run 30 miles or more on solid rock.

I was surprised at how good I felt the whole race! I came down with a bronchial infection 5 days earlier and was on an antibiotic. I’d had a rough week, so I was worried about doing an ultra marathon. Thankfully, I felt great the whole time. I don’t think I ever hit a wall because we just did it at a great easy pace, with the intention of finishing before the cut off time, especially before dark. (I definitely felt better at the finish of this race than any of the mountain bike races I did during the summer.) I’m very grateful I had this experience. I would do this race again (if Kevin and Maxwell will ride mountain bikes on the course with me!).