Novembre 13, 2017. J’ai Couru 50 Miles! C’est Fini. I Did It!


I ran 50 miles in 11 hours and 30 minutes –

C’est fini!  Je suis très heureux.  Mais, je ne peux pas parler français.

Intesting enough, I could not remember much of anything while I was running let alone French.  I actually resorted to singing 99 bottles of beer on the wall, which actually worked quite well.

The first 5 miles I ran with two friends.  Then both of my knees started to hurt.  Thinking that maybe I was not relaxed enough, I decided to run on my own so I could run at a more relaxed natural gait (not adjusting to their rhythms and cadence).

For the next 32 miles I stuck to a 4 minute run, 1 minute walk routine.  I had a lot of knee pain. On a scale of 1 to 10, it was at a 7.

Luckily, I would see my husband (sweetest, most supportive guy ever) about every 10 miles while filling up my water bottle and grabbing pretzels and oranges from the aide stations.  His gentle kisses and encouraging words helped so much.  Oh and popping a few pain relievers – didn’t hurt either.

At mile 37 I knew I could finish but I was in a lot of pain, but still a level 7.  The pain was bad but it was not getting worse.  Each mile I would say “ok, it’s not worsening – keep moving.”

I walked the last 13 miles!  Oddly enough, at that point, I was able to walk faster than I could run.  I walked the last 13 miles at a 15:30 minute per mile pace singing 99, 98, 97, 96 etc…bottles of beer on the wall.

As the sun set I put on my headlamp to light the now dark trail, and focused all my energy into a driven march forward.  I knew I’d finish the race and I couldn’t wait to do so.

So many emotions to explore and so much time alone to do so.  Yet as I marched, all I thought about were those darn bottles of beer on the wall.  All the while asking God over and over to help me finish the run.  Quite the mental contrast.

I tried to speak French dans ma tête. Mais, c’était trop difficile.  I can never remember how to say the number 14 in French.

Oh – quick side note…remember my period that was due on Saturday, the day of the race, It held off till Sunday morning – is that luck or what!  And drum roll please, NO STOMACH ISSUES.

Today, aside from being unable to bend my knees fully, I am fine.  I have a few blisters on the tips of my toes – but otherwise, I feel great.

I will honestly say that my French studies suffered over the last 3 months.  I’m not sure learning French while running works for me.

I want to thank you.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!  Thank you for the encouragement and support!  I thought about you while I was running – and how I did not want to let you down.  You kept me accountable and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.


50.47 miles in 11 hours 30 minutes and 47 seconds.  Average pace of 13:41 minutes per mile.  5167 calories used.

It was quite the adventure.  It was a beautiful day, about 47 degrees Fahrenheit and sunny.  No rain, no wind.  A perfect day, full of happiness and friendship. The trail was amazing, rock walls and fallen leaves, wooden bridges and old train tunnels.

Now, I need to put some energy into French.  Not sure where I’ll go from here – probably the 100 K.  But for the next few weeks – I’ll be working on the knees and dreaming of returning to France late next year.

Life is beautiful.

Merci Beaucoup Mes Amis.









Author: suzlearnsfrench

My name is Suz and I'm addicted to France and all things French. I can't speak French, but I'm working on it. I've been working on it for 33 years. I'm married to a man who is half French and our running joke is "my next husband will be full French." However, I'm never giving this one up.

13 thoughts on “Novembre 13, 2017. J’ai Couru 50 Miles! C’est Fini. I Did It!”

  1. Bravo! Félicitations à toi …. j’suis très heureux de lire ceci! I knew you could do it and you should be SO proud of yourself. I look forward to sharing more of your French journey and hearing more about your running …. but maybe not tous ensemble!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Merci Beaucoup. It was rough and my poor toes are a mess. Now onto the real challenge – French! I’m so much better at the physical challenges – but I am really going to focus on French this winter. I’ll be good for my body to rest. Thanks for the support.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Well done you!!! I can’t think of the metric conversion of 50 miles without looking it up but know it’s a LOT of kms, You should be proud that you managed to finish! Your feet will heal and the pain in your knees subside, then you will have this amazing medal and great story to remember this by. It’s definitely an achievement that even many marathon runners can’t say they have managed so cherish the victory!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m doing the Brew City Half-Marathon on April 14th in Milwaukee! I live in Chicago, but a friend and I thought it would be fun to try something in a different place.

        One of my favorite things to do when I travel is run where I’m staying at. You see a lot of interesting sites and I learn the lay of the land quickly too! So I’m excited to add Milwaukee to the list of places I’ve run!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. How exciting – and what a great way to see different places. I hope it’s warm by April 14th – but not too warm. An overcast 50 degrees is my perfect half marathon weather. Pls let me know how you do. I’m still planning my year but hope to do the Papa Johns Ten Miler in Louisville in April.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Thanks Suz! I most certainly let you know how it goes! I’ve got my first 8 mile training run scheduled for this weekend!

        I’m looking forward to reading about your running and French exploits!

        Liked by 1 person

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