Whenever you are doing your best at something, no matter what the outcome is, it's NEVER in vain. I've trained hard for a month for this 50 miler last year, the same one I'm planning on doing right now, and I know that even though I only signed up for in at the spur of the moment, I didn't do too well, having to walk more than 10 miles of the course. I felt weak during that time, thinking about all that planning that I did within that month, and thinking about how it all felt worthless, but in fact, it was because of all that training and studying I did that I was able to continue on that race. I felt like giving up during that run, but I refused and kept on going. The outcome wasn't what I wanted, running slower than what I knew I could do, but I finished. The hard work that I did was not in vain, rather, it was what kept me from giving up.
Yesterday's 15.8 mile run really is going to help me with my 50 miler, which is coming up in less than a month from now. I ran that 15.8 miles in 1:59:29, running an average of 7:33 min/mile. I felt great when I ran that, able to run that without any extra energy intakes (aka food) and only with water fountains that were at the park I passed through. Having run a marathon at a 6:43 min/mile pace, this might mean nothing, but knowing that I'm psychologically ready to run this race, this 7:33 being an easy pace means a lot. I'm almost ready for this continuous run of 50 miles. I'm planning on finishing as close to 8:20 as I can, which would put me at just at 10:00 min/mile, which would be good enough for me to get top 5 in last year's race. This 50 mile race that I would be doing is a lot harder than other 50 mile races because of the mountains and trails, so I'm excited about what I can do this time around. Over 8 hours of running is going to be one long journey, but now that I have a 12 hour (62 miles) race under my belt, I am very confident with what my body is capable of doing.
Knowing this, I know that there's always a chance that I'll crash and burn, trying to improve considerably, compared to last year, and I'm willing to take my chances on that, and see if I have improved that much on this hilly course. However, no matter what the outcome is, the hard work that I've done to prepare myself for this race is going to be worth every step I took during the days I was training.