Race Recap and Recollections

Today I just did a little flutter kick for my 44.  I was going to add a bar raise with my arms but decided to just go with the leg kicks.

[youtuber youtube=’http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U3-JVDkowTc’]

I counted a right/left flutter as 1 rep – another simple move for the 44.

So, Saturday night was my 50 mile race.  It didn’t go quite as I had planned.  I’m still not sure that I can make a coherent post about it but I’m going to at least put my thoughts down.

hanging out before the race
hanging out before the race

We got to the race site around 4:45 I think – I picked up my number and ankle chip then we all just stood around for awhile.  (over an hour!!)  It was nice to chat with some of the other runners and find out who was an experienced ultra runner and who was a newbie.  The girl in the pink headband, Lauren, was also running her first ultra.  The guy in all black, Scott, (conferring with us next to the cars) is a very experienced ultra runner.

count-down timer start/finish line
count-down timer
start/finish line

There were only 20-25 people in the 50 – most people prefer the 100!!  The race started right on time – 6:00pm.

[youtuber youtube=’http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A1-fJJFm-uI’]

The start – everyone is happy and perky!!!  The temperature was nice – about 60 I think.

2 guys took off right from the beginning, then a group of 5 of us stayed together for the first 4 miles (until the 1st unmanned aid station).  We were running about 9:50 pace at this point. Mistake #1 (remember the run/walk plan?)

Everyone else stopped at the aid station – I kept going.  One of the guys was quick and caught back up with me so we ran together until about 9.5 miles.  I was feeling great and running a nice easy pace.  When we came to the first manned station, my running partner stopped – I did not.  Mistake #2

By this point it was dark so I had to fish out my knuckle lights and I had my headlamp attached to the front of my camel back.  The hills were becoming more and more frequent and big!!!  I just kept running (ignoring my Garmin every time it went off to say WALK!!). Mistake #3 

Around mile 13 something I passed another unmanned aid station (without stopping!!).  Mistake #4

By about mile 15, I was freezing (just wearing my shorts and shirt) but I didn’t want to stop and put on my jacket (it was tied around my waist) and fish my gloves out of my camel back.  Mistake #5

Mile 17 was the first aid station where we would see our crew so I was holding out for that.  I got there and thought I was good – just frozen.  Chris helped me get my gloves on since I couldn’t even bend my fingers to do it myself.  I put on my jacket (just a light weight one) and took off again.  Mistake #6

I was under 3 hours at this point – stupid, stupid, stupid!!!  It was almost 9 pm and all I had eaten for the day was 3 pieces of pizza at about 11:00 am.  Mistake #7

When I left the aid station, I decided to start utilizing my run/walk plan.  My Garmin was set to let me know – 4 minutes of running, 1 minute of walking.  I did this for 3 miles (to get to mile 20) and then decided to walk a little more.  Every single part of my lower body from my toes up to and including my butt was one solid cramp!  

By this point, I had run 10 miles completely by myself in pitch black darkness (except for my little lights) and I was freezing.  I knew that I still had 5 miles until the next aid station but that I would see Chris again when I got there.

My new buddy, Scott, caught back up with me around mile 22 – I was walking at this point.  He stayed with me a bit and made me eat some nasty ginger thing and take a salt tablet.  He asked what I had eaten at the aid stations – I told him nothing.   He asked if I had walked up the hills (his words of advice before we started) – of course I hadn’t!!!  Mistake #8 & #9

He told me just to hang on until the aid station/turn-around at mile 25 and to eat something there and put on more clothes!!!

I thanked him for hanging with me for a bit but told him to keep going and not fall behind because of me.  Around this time, I started seeing runners coming toward me every once in awhile – 100 mile runners.  Their course  had them run the 25 miles that we had as an out-and back for their last 25 miles.  Most of the 100 mile runners had a pacer with them for the last 25 miles!!  (50 milers weren’t allowed pacers)

I’m not gonna lie – I felt like a loser walking before I even hit 25 miles when these people had already run 75+!!!!!

Around mile 23, my Garmin battery died!!!  Great – now I had no idea how far/long till the aid station.  At this point there might have been a few tears.  

I don’t know why my feet, knees, hips, butt, legs – everything – was hurting so much!  I’ve run further many times so I don’t know what the cramping was all about.  I think the cold may have contributed (it was around 42 degrees after the sun went down).  

All I could think about was that running should be fun!  And I was not enjoying a single thing about the race.  In fact, I was hating all of the different aspects of it!!!

  • gravel roads with lots of large rocks
  • cattle guards
  • hill after hill
  • the complete darkness
  • the isolation
  • the freezing cold
  • knowing that I was going to have to repeat these long lonely 8 miles between the 2 crew stations after I turned around
  • not having a Garmin to let me know the distance (not sure why my battery died – maybe all those alerts that I wasn’t using)

I finally decided that I was just going to get to the 25 mile station and instead of turning around I was quitting because I was at near melt-down point.

When I finally saw the lights I might have cried again – and then it took me forever to get to them.  I saw Chris open the back of the car and went straight over to it without checking in.  I told him I was done!!!  I let him take my ankle chip off and take it over to the check-in site to withdraw me.  

We had put some sleeping bags in the car and he rolled one out for me to lay on and covered me with the other – it took me the entire 2 hours before we were home to stop shivering (I still had on my gloves and everything).  

By the time we got home it was around 1:30 – I had peed about 15 minutes before the race started (so around 5:45) and after taking a hot bath, I finally peed around 2 am before going to bed.  (I know that y’all want to know how often I pee!!!)

I don’t know if I was dehydrated and that caused the cramping in my entire lower body or if it was the hills and rocks, or the fact that I didn’t utilize my run/walk plan or the lack of any fueling – I just know that I made a decision on that dark and lonely stretch of 8 miles to stop at the half-way mark and I will have to live with that decision.

I know this was a long rambling post – my thoughts are still somewhat jumbled.  At this point I have no plans to attempt another ultra – the point at which I hate everything about a race and running is not something I want to experience again.  

Happy Monday – I’m going to take one more day to recoup and then get back to my normal routine!!


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