3 weeks after my last 50k, I was unsure how I'd do on this one. I was hoping I would not have IT band issues as I had last year (and 3 weeks ago) but a finish time near last year's would be nice.
|Long line of runners early on.|
|Still a bit crowded on the nice trails|
I knew from last years race that each of the next 3 sections would take about 40 minutes each. It helped knowing where I was on the course, but I realized I wasn't feeling that great and was hoping for the next aid station a little too much. No pains, but just slowly increasing leg fatigue. Course was still enjoyable as people passed me every so often. Played leap-frog with a number of runners as they obviously spent more time at each aid station. Came thru the next aid station (mile 9.4) another 2 minutes under 2012 time. That would not last.
Third section was the most difficult (of course it's all relative) with the "Spiderwoman" section. It's a short (.75mi) section that goes up, loops around, and comes back down. I wasn't pushing thru this section - just getting thru it - and that was fine with me. Next aid at Mile 12.7 and the last section had a nice view overlooking the Broad River and some rocks. Picture time!
It was early here that my legs really began to fail me. Thighs weren't just weak - but getting sore. This just confused me. I know I had run a 50k 3 weeks earlier, and I had a cold the full week before (that kept me home yesterday), but sore?! I was also getting a hot spot on a toe...but held off doing anything about it. I came to the halfway point aid station and in my desire to not stay long, left it without even thinking whether I needed anything out of my drop bag. 50 yards out of there, I realized it - stopped - thought for a moment about dealing with my toe, then continued on.
Halfway in 2:50. Faster than last year, but that last section seemed shorter (don't remember the difference, but it was a good 5 minutes faster).
The second half got worse and more miserable by the mile. Lower/middle back started to hurt and didn't let up. I dealt with my toe at mile 15 or so and as soon as I sat down and bent my leg to remove my shoe - a fierce cramp shot thru my thigh. I have Never had a cramp like that during a race. And at Mile 15? I was in trouble.
No blister on that toe, but I loosened up my sock and that was at least taken care of. That cramp though - man that hurt. (I'd feel the resulting soreness from it for the next 3 weeks).
A few people I knew were behind me would come into the aid stations as I was leaving them and we did that for few a few aid stations until they finally caught me near the end.
My legs were sore enough that I couldn't even run the flats. The soles of my feet began to hurt at mile 21 and didn't let up either. The first half I was doing 10-11 min miles...I came out of the halfway AS doing 14's. Slowed to 16's thru Spiderwoman. The last 4 miles, my lower left leg became so sore I could not run the downhills either and walking was only with a limp. I had been able to at least shuffle thru some downhills prior to that, but those last miles were brutal. A handful of runners passed me the last miles and I could do nothing about it.
I never doubted I would finish - not once. A few people asked how I was and with all my issues were surprised that other runners had dropped out in obvious better shape than me. There was no reason not to finish this. I was in pain, very uncomfortable with my lower back, but I really wanted that "bison 50k" pint glass!
So - finish time of 6:39:57, only about 2 minutes slower than last year (yes, I struggled last year for a while too). I did run in the last 100 yards or so to make it look good.
I was not a happy camper. It was good to see some people though (Jason S, Jason S, Seth, Dan (RD), Viktor, Bo M, Joe P, William S, +) and the volunteers were always SO Helpful! Thank you!! I still ove this course and if I ever get my confidence/motivation/ability back to doing ultras, this will be on my list.
Where do I go from here?
|View of the finish area|