Hi, hey and hello! What a marvelous weekend it was. I am here to recap some ULTRA trail racing!! Saturday I ran the Possums Revenge 56k (roughly 34.8 miles- I know right, odd distance but I love it!!) at Possum Kingdom Lake. Let’s review and see how it all went down!
First of all, I was all too excited to do this race because this was the first time I’d ever been to this particular trail. The trail system sits on a gorgeous lake with a ton of rocky climbs and scenic overlook. Honestly it was probably one of the most scenic races I’d ever done! PK Lake is a good 2 hours from where I live. Going out there kind of felt like I wasn’t even in Texas! We don’t have many beautiful lakes out here in North Texas so when you do find one, you know it is a real gem. A lot of folks even camped out the night before. I stayed at a hotel with some trail buds and we got up and got out there quite early.
The race had a 52 miler, 56k, 17 miler and then an 8 miler. The course was quite HILLY and very rocky, with a few stretches of trail that had all SAND! So a lovely mix of terrain that kept things exciting. I really was not sure going into this race how I would perform, especially seeing as I ran a 50 mile race 2 short weeks ago! So really I went out there to check out the trail, and also run with this particular race company that is putting on my 2nd 100 miler in December.
The 56k’ers took off at 7 am. Temps that day also soared well into the 90s, which made for an interesting late morning & afternoon. Actually due to the heat quite a few folks dropped out of the race completely. The heat actually made me wish a few times that I was running the 17 mile race but I toughed it out to finish the ultra. Mostly because I’m stubborn and I really wanted to get another ultra checked off the list. So I really took my time out there with the climbs and all of the loops that we had to do.
Just one of the gorgeous overlooks from the TOP…seriously heaven.
Often during this race I found myself alone in the woods again, with my thoughts. This part really is one of the reasons I truly LOVE trail ultrarunning. I’d see the occasional runner as it got hotter and later in the day, and we all gave each other thumbs up, good job etc. It is always fun too getting to know folks out on the trails. I always love meeting people from ALL walks of life. The volunteers at the aid stations were all top notch as well, making sure we had plenty of ice and water, as well as yummy snacks and pickles/electrolytes to keep us going in that heat.
When it was all said and done, this race was not quite as runnable as I thought it was, and I resorted to a lot of power hiking and of course tried to get some pics of the amazing scenic overlooks from the top.
Being alone with my thoughts out there was quite wonderful as well. Peaceful and really helped me to deal with facing the tough terrain and how that translates to dealing with adversity in my life as a whole. Running trails helps me realize how dang tough I am and how I am able to power though with determination. Also what I found interesting is all of the random thoughts and words that were floating around in my head as I made my way through the course. One word that kept popping up surprisingly was Kujichagulia– I swear I know to some of you that are at all familiar with Kwanzaa that this sounds strange as all get out- I mean really we are not even anywhere near Christmas?! I went home when the race was over to look it up because I don’t really celebrate that holiday but also because I couldn’t stop thinking about that word as I made my way up and down rocks and roots in the heat. The word actually means self-determination in Swahili which really was spot on with my mood that entire race. It took a ton of determination to get me through, and battle with my thoughts when things got hard.
At the end of the day I finished, I wasn’t the fastest out there, wasn’t the slowest. But I crossed that finish line with a smile on my face and feeling like I had won a lot of battles in my head that day.
Some days are days you just need to let go of the expectations, hold on and see where the day takes you. Relentless forward progress and self determination will get you far. Always.
Overall results here.
How was your weekend?! Run any awesome trails lately?
16 thoughts on “Possums Revenge 56k Trail Race Recap.”
Great job Chelsea! Your perseverance is inspiring and the views are gorgeous:)
Truly inspiring!! I wish I was as comfortable running alone with my thoughts!!
🙂 Thank you!
Awesome job!! I love how running can really test your mental strength. I haven’t been able to run regularly in the last 2 years since I’ve been in graduate school, but I’m graduating soon and I’ve put trail running and running an ultra on my list of goals (along with running a sub-4 marathon)!
Fab!!! You can DO it lady! Thanks for visiting and happy training!
Wow 56 K is FAAAAR!!!
I did not run any trails, but I did walk in a very swift manner away from a nut on the subway.
HAHA!! Yes, it is far for sure!
Nice running- sorry it was so hot though! Funny, I just heard of Possum Kingdom Lake on HGTV show the other day and then you run a race there. 🙂
Omg that is hilarious! It is beautiful and nice off the beaten path country vibe!
That was definitely your word! Way to go!
Isn’t that nuts!? Such a random word!! But powerful! haha
First, I just love that someone thought (and was right) that Possum’s Revenge would be a good name for a race. I crack up at the names of ultra races! 🙂
Question for you — You may already a have a post like this somewhere (I’m sure I could search!) but do you have any tips for first time 50k’ers? I’ve done a 25k once and am signed up for my first 50k in November. I registered for a 30k between now and then also just to get more acclimated but I’d love to hear your advice! I feel like I’ve got a decent training plan but tend to fret about logistics, what to carry, running with wet shoes due to creek crossings, running in the dark on trails, strategies for when to power hike vs when to run, etc.
Yes I did a post for first time ultra runners but honestly there are a TON of great resources online for all the logistics. Check out ultrarunning magazine online too! They have been an excellent resource for me over the years. And yes…dark trails…wear your headlamp and bring extra batteries!!! https://thedancingrunner.com/2017/05/09/4-ways-to-nail-your-first-ultramarathon/
Found your review when I Googled the race…I’m doing it this year! LOVE your photos.
YESSS!!! Best of luck and enjoy it!