Those have been two of her tipples of alternative as she toasted turning into the first girl to run 50 kilometers in beneath three hours on April 13, her time of two:59:54 on a course close to Eugene, Oregon, besting the earlier record by nearly seven-and-a-half minutes.
“I did get gifted a ton of bourbon and whiskey and we had this really nice one that was aged like 66 months or something — it was beautiful.”
The celebrations have been well-earned. A seasoned marathon runner who had by no means beforehand raced past 26.2 miles, Linden clocked a mean tempo of 5 minutes, 47 seconds per mile over 31 miles to dip beneath the three-hour mark and take the record from Britain’s Alyson Dixon.
Racing past the marathon
The 37-year-old Linden determined to tackle the 50km record to fill a gap in her racing calendar that may often have been occupied by a spring marathon.
Last October, she accomplished a novel feat — dubbed “Destober” — that concerned operating a distance corresponding to every day of the month: one mile on the first day, two on the second, earlier than finally ending with a 31-mile run on October 31.
That proved a catalyst for making an attempt the 50km in April, the build-up to which concerned operating between 110 and 115 miles every week with grueling velocity classes included into her lengthy runs of 20, 22, 24 and 26 miles.
The coaching was designed to put together Linden for racing past the distance of a marathon.
“I was going through 25, 26 miles and you start feeling that marathon fatigue where your feet are kind of sticking to the ground, your energy levels are low and you still have a long way to go,” she says, reflecting on final month’s occasion.
“What was very specifically challenging on this course is that we came through that 26.2-mile mark and then you head away from the start/finish line.
“You’re getting additional away from residence to a level, despite the fact that you are really getting nearer; that was an enormous psychological problem.”
With no fans lining the route and only a pacemaker for company, it proved to be a new racing experience for Linden. Sticking to the target pace on the out-and-back course, which wound along a deserted bike path near Dorena Lake, required a focused mindset.
“It was these lengthy stretches of completely lovely surroundings,” says Linden.
“There are horses on the facet of the street galloping alongside at the similar tempo as us and it is lovely, however you would simply simply go to sleep … as a result of there was no actual vitality round it.
“Physically, I just felt super locked in and very well prepared … the main challenge was that last five, six miles where it was like, ‘I’ve never been here before and I got to keep my head on to make sure I get the record and the sub three.'”
‘Shooting large’ in Boston
With the 50km distance not acknowledged by World Athletics, Linden’s time would not rely as an official world record — as an alternative described as a “world best” by the sport’s governing physique.
But so far as she’s involved, all of it means the similar.
“It’s just words, right?” says Linden. “When you simplify it to the general public, no one in the world has done this before, and that’s still pretty special.
“If we are able to make the occasion extra well-liked and extra individuals begin to do it, perhaps World Athletics will rethink their stance on it.”
Having competed at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics, Linden narrowly missed out on a spot in the US marathon team for Tokyo, finishing fourth at last year’s trials in Atlanta where the top three qualified.
“Win Boston is all the time the objective once I enroll and it will be attention-grabbing to see how the fields come collectively and what it seems like in the fall,” she says, with the race moved from its usual April date amid the pandemic.
“I’m excited to give you the option to prepare at residence in Charlevoix, Michigan, as a result of I believe that space is simply good for getting ready for a Boston-type course. I’m positively taking pictures for an enormous one in October.”
And when it comes to ultra-running — defined as any race further than a marathon — the 50km record might just have been the start for Linden.
“It is intriguing getting into that unknown and going like, ‘I’ve by no means been right here earlier than,'” she says.
“It was all so international and contemporary and new, and I believe it made me enthusiastic about the additional and the longer distances … it is all about difficult myself and testing these unknowns.
“There’s obviously a ton of distance left to go there. I think I could see myself going a little bit longer and flirting with that stuff for a while.”