Cayuga Trails, preventing the burnout

I’ll be honest, the weeks heading into this race were not the best for me. I was tired. Tired of all the emotions I was dealing with. Tired of trails. Tired of what I was training for.

I wanted to run on the roads.

I wanted to stop falling.

I wanted mindless, easy runs.

So I took them. I needed a trail break. To get back to what I love, not who I think I should want to be.

I do enjoy trail running, but I know I also enjoy running the roads as a part of my training.

So for the past three weeks, as I became emotionally more tired, I used road running to help me process and feel. At that point, trail running reminded me of things I was trying to let go. I needed a break.

On the Monday of race week, I didn’t think there was a chance in Heaven I’d be rested for this race. I felt like Many on the Genny was yesterday. I could feel burnout coming.

A few days before the race, my pep started to come back. I took a day off, I ran with my good friend Bailey a few times, I let go of any goals I had for the race.

Show up, try hard, finish. Have fun if I can.

On the start line, I bargained with God asking Him to see me to the finish because my dad was coming. That’s all I wanted. To finish in one piece so my dad could see it.

The first 20 miles

I ran with a few other ladies, Kelsey from MA and Cassie from Canada. Scott Parr, my good buddy from #TrailsRoc was also in and out, usually ahead of us. These miles were actually the hardest physically for me, which isn’t a good sign in a 50 mile race. To put it bluntly, I had the shits. Every few miles. I also rolled my ankle really badly on the decent into Buttermilk Falls. It’s still swollen, but walking on it doesn’t hurt. Quite quickly I thought my race could be over. I’m not stupid, I heard the crunch. It was rough. Talking with the women I ran with got me through the first half of the race. Thank you ladies.


At the halfway aid station, I actually grabbed my iPod. I knew I’d be running alone either behind the girls or in my own world (talking uses energy). I simply didn’t want to be alone with my own thoughts. I also grabbed a bunch on salt potatoes and cold brew at this point. I started to come back. Not just in terms of the race, but in terms of trail running in general.

The back end

Sabrina and Sarah, the two front runners were pretty far ahead of me, but I started to move fluidly and well, so I didn’t really think about it. I enjoyed myself! Imagine that! To be honest, the second half was much better mentally. I listened to my iPod, the Rich Roll podcast to be specific and it was nice to have a companion I didn’t have to talk back to. I made a wrong turn before the last aid station which set me back probably 10 minutes, but that really isn’t horrible in my opinion. If anything, I ran faster and proved I still had my legs. The shits basically stopped (I had nothing left at that point) and I decided to bring it home.

Papa Bear was waiting after all.

It was quite a fun day. I must highlight my friend Sabrina’s race. This is her third attempt at this race, not having such a great time the past two years. Well, she came back this year, broke the course record and came in 6th overall. If that isn’t persistence and belief in herself, I don’t know what is.

The second place woman, Sarah Keyes is a fellow Beast Coaster and had a very strong showing as well. I was proud to be at the same race with these ladies.

The fourth place woman was a masters athlete! I truly hope I am as badass as she is in a few years. She also had fabulous long blonde hair, which I adored.

For a men’s recap, check out Jason Mintz’s blog, as he obviously experienced that first hand.

I needed this race to happen like it did. It was either make or break. A bad race, I’d probably pull out of Twisted. No sense training when I’m burned out and not excited for it. However, I came out of this ready to try again. Ready to eat some trails. Ready to recover and then get Twisted for 100k. I have some belief again.

A note of gratitude to Ian Golden and my Red Newt Racing team who has supported me for a few good years now. Thank you to FLRTC for all the help, gear and community (Zoe where were you?!?! 😉 Thank you to my favorite aid station at Buttermilk Falls, #Trailsroc (Eric I still have not received my MOTG tee shirt, please and thank you).

Thank you to my parents, siblings and coworkers for their love and support. I know you all have my back.

Next up: I’m sleeping till Twisted Branch so see ya

3 thoughts on “Cayuga Trails, preventing the burnout”

  1. Congratulations on being a BEAST and powering through! It has been a bit since I have run an ultra, but I remember that feeling of everything turning around at the halfway point. That’s the beauty of long races. You should be very proud of yourself, Ellie!

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