PALO DURO TRAIL RUN 2012: My First 50K

This post has been published in the March/April 2014 issue of the running magazine Marathon and Beyond. If you haven’t subscribed already, you’re missing out!


  1. iRuniBreathe

    Again: You are amazing and Congratulations.
    This was a great race day summary! I love how even though the headlamp battery went and your Garmin started to fade and your quads were roasted, you kept going. That’s an endurance runner for sure! I think knowing yourself and trusting yourself was the greatest gift you gave to yourself to be able to start – and finish – this event.
    Three is also my favorite number. How weird is that?

    • Mind Margins/Run Nature

      Thanks! I think having a main goal of “only” finishing meant that I could enjoy the experience much more than if I had set a time goal. There is a time and a place to push yourself and race, but trail racing is a little different that way–at least for me it is. In the end, I had to trust the training to get me to the end. Even with the two week break, I felt ready on race day. And there really is nothing like spending 7 1/2 hours running with a good friend.

      • Mind Margins/Run Nature

        They were! You need to do a 50K next, Tania. You would love it, too (though I wouldn’t recommend Palo Duro unless you find some serious heat to train in up your way)!

      • iRuniBreathe

        Your posts have inspired me to consider it, for sure. There are a few 50ks that happen more locally here and are a great community event. And they definitely don’t have the heat. Maybe next year?

      • Mind Margins/Run Nature

        You’ve got plenty of time to train for it. I bet you have some nice trails to train on up there, as well. Or you could run some 20K trail races beforehand to see if you like it.

  2. Nicole Studer

    Congratulations Angela on your first ultra! You guys all inspired me throughout the race, especially after I saw you at the aid station during the second loop. It was wonderful reading your depiction of the race, as it brought back many fun memories for me as well. Thank you for the wonderful pictures. I finally have a good shot to add to my facebook profile!

    • Mind Margins/Run Nature

      And congratulations on your very first 50M race, Nicole! What an amazing win! It was so great seeing you at the aid station, and then having your husband tell us later that you were in first place. We were so excited for you. I’m really glad we were still there when you crossed the finish line. It was such a great experience.
      I have more photos that I will be posting the link to when I get them ready, and we have a few videos as well.

  3. Julie

    Congratulations!! It was so hot in the afternoon. I was so glad I was only doing the 20K this year! Great pictures, great finish time and great race report! So glad that you loved it!

    • Mind Margins/Run Nature

      Thank you, I really had a great time. Congratulations on finishing the 20K! I can’t image doing a 50M on that course, especially in that heat. Too bad the race wasn’t this weekend with the much cooler temps.

  4. mlchaplin

    What an amazing race re-cap. And an amazing race! I haven’t even run my first marathon yet and already I’m looking forward to my first 50k.

  5. Jenny Turnage

    Oh, Angela I am sitting here with tears in my eyes. So happy you finished. So happy to hear how you loved the race. So happy to hear there were no falls. I felt the terror of running blind as I read your descriptions. So happy you just concentrated on finishing, not your time.
    You must submit this for publication together with all your training. All runners, past runners and future runners need to feel your joy and your pain. All will learn from your experiences.
    Remarkable writing as always.

    I feel the same way!! Glad you finished successfully and uninjured.

  6. glw

    Well put, great post, having been there this brings back great images of a great run…..Spielt der Kopf eine wichtigere Rolle als die Beine? I think you will learn if you run more and more of these ultras that it’s your mind that you train and that….. will carry you through.

    • Mind Margins/Run Nature

      It was great seeing you out there on the course, Greg. We must both be subscribed to Trail Running Switzerland. I like this: Ein Ultra ist ein Marathon in den Beinen und einer, zwei oder drei im Kopf. So true!

  7. Pingback: A trip to Boston & a longer then expected hiatus « Low Sugar // Low Carbs // Long Runs
  8. KC

    That’s great Angela! Reading your description reminds me of something I was told about ultra distance races (be they running, triathlon, or anything): when you have trained sufficiently and tapered correctly, the race itself is your reward. I’ve never taken part in any event that long but the longer distances I have run (or swam, biked and run 🙂 where I have been fully trained, tapered, and prepared, it doesn’t even feel like I’m participating in a race. Rather, it feels like the race is flowing out of me, or that I’m making the race happen. It’s almost like I’m performing in the theater and I’m playing a role that was written for me. This time and this place is where you were supposed to be. (Maybe that’s slightly tacky, but there’s a reason it’s called a runner’s “high”) Congratulations! your friends are all proud of you.

    • Mind Margins/Run Nature

      Thanks, Kurt! That’s a great way of describing a really great race, that if you’re sufficiently trained and tapered the race is the reward. It certainly felt that way in Palo Duro. I also like the way you describe it as the race “flowing out of” you. For me it’s about everything coming together, kind of like a perfect storm of everything good.

  9. AndrewGills

    Firstly: Are you sure you’re American if you don’t like PB???? 😉

    Importantly! Congratulations!!!! You did awesome! 7:30 is the same time as I ran for my first ultra, which was only 45km.

    It looks like it was a fantastic and amazing event. The scenery looks wonderful and the heat would have been such a challenge. If I’m ever in the US I’ll have to come check out that course because the desert looks like a beautiful relaxing and harsh place.

    • Mind Margins/Run Nature

      I know! What can say about the peanut butter? I also don’t like chocolate milk or coffee, so I’m kind of strange that way. But I am American enough to like a good hamburger, and I’m Texan enough to love a nice, cold beer!
      You must come to the US and do some running in the desert. It’s my favorite place to run. There’s something about all that emptiness–and, yes, the harshness, as well.

      • AndrewGills

        I also don’t like coffee. I like the smell but can’t stand the taste. I love tea though (all types of tea). When I went to a conference in Orlando last year I made myself a resident in the international delegates area because they had tea for us … couldn’t get it anywhere else in Orlando.

        You would love Australia if you like the emptiness and harshness of the desert. Our Outback is like that … We just don’t have many events in the Outback because it is so harsh and remote. But it’s amazing out there. I hear the Desert Marathon around Uluru (formerly known as Ayrs Rock) is stunning. It’s very expensive because it’s a full package with accommodation etc. But if you ever come to Oz from the US it’s worth saving for …

      • Mind Margins/Run Nature

        Yes, I think I would love the Outback. I’ve never been to Australia, but it’s on my list! You should try to make a trip to Utah one day. It’s not as remote or unsettled as your Outback, but it’s beautiful desert country.

  10. gtarallo

    I am truly amazed and awed by your accomplishment!! You are one very tough and determined lady. So glad that after all the ups and downs of your training, it all paid off. Wow…what’s next???

    • Mind Margins/Run Nature

      Thanks, but I didn’t do anything you also couldn’t do. You just have to build up to it and put in the training. Looks like I might be training for a 50 mile race in early February. Maybe I’ve gone off the deep end . . .

  11. SeniorRunner

    Wow, I’ve been waiting for this for a long time! Reading this, I could actually feel the intensity of your effort and sense of accomplishment. My one 50K was mostly on roads and had just a few small hills, so you were dealing with an entirely different critter. Thanks for sharing!

  12. therunningtangerine

    Awesome job! Sounds like you had to dig deep near the end, and you still did awesome!

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