Sunday, January 27, 2008
Buckeye Trail Winter 50K
I had a blast, runners are really very wonderful people and runners as volunteers are the best.
Woke up at 5:15am and made a quick breakfast for the guys (this is a sorry am going to be gone all day you are on your own meal) and put in the warmer, then I got dressed for the cold, wore the cw-x insulated tight and long sport bra, wore Adidas knit pants over the tight, 2 light tops and a light jacket, hat and gloves. Wore my Adidas trail shoe and wigman sock. Left the house about 5:55am wasn't expecting the snow, so I had to drive slower than necessary, got there around 6:50am, parked and made a quick stop at the restroom before going to pick up my bib. Pinned my bib to my pants, it was actually one I have never seen before, you are not allowed to bend it and you had to give it back, it had some kind of electronics in it.
The course was 2 loops, loop A was 5 miles and loop B 8 miles, so the 50K and marathoners started on loop A and the HM on loop B, just to ease the congestion since this was mainly a single track most of the time, for the 50K you do A+B+A+B+A, so there was a aid stop at the 2.5 mile mark of loop A, at the 4 mile mark of loop B and in between A & B. Let see loop A had all those fun hills to climb and loop B had not only the hills but the big log right in the middle of the trail, the river, and all the roots so you can say both trail was an obstacle course.
My expectation was to do this in 8 hours, for certain reasons, (1) most of my training was on the treadmill, (2) longest race is 13.1 miles, (3) longest training run was on 12/8/ for 22 miles (4) ankle and hip pain and (4) wasn't sure if there was a wall like they always talk about for the marathon.
My feet was cold at the beginning waiting for the race to start but that was it, once we started I was fine, at each aid station I had 1/2 a chocolate danish, a handful of trail mix, a handful of pretzels and 2 cups of water, I stuck to the same thing since I know I will remember to eat it if I don' t have to think, I added to the ramen noodle soup when they became available, I hate those things but they tasted wonderful on the race, I also consume1 gel, 1 pure energy cranberry orange and 2 cubes of cliff shot.
The runners were all very encouraging as they fly by, asking how I was doing and to just keep putting one feet in front of the other. I met Mike, who looked like he was out for a Spring stroll no huffing and puffing like I was, we talked for a little bit, I have been reading Mike's blog for a while now and he always make running sound like so much fun and so does Kim .
The volunteers were wonderful, they made sure I was drinking and eating every time I showed up, even thou I was at the back of the pack (okay more realistic one of the last 3) they weren't in a hurry, they still took care of me like they were still expecting an army of people to show up, they were out in the cold and happy as can be every time I showed. Thanks to all of them they really made my first race a memorable one and hopefully I get to pass it forward some day.
I was fine throughout the race, twisted my bad ankle at about mile 3, so was in pain for a while until it got numb by the cold, my hip and shin were fine even though they were a source of concern for the last couple of days, I had to pee by mile 12 but wasn't sure I will keep running if I did so I didn't stop, at least now I know I have a good bladder, also not bending the race bib didn't help since there was no way I was pulling both pants down without bending it and I had no intention of taking it off, I could barely do that when the race was over. I slowed down by mile 18 since I wasn't sure what to expect, this was all new territory for me, was there a wall, was I going to hit it, by mile 26 I figure out if there was a wall we were through by now so I picked the pace back up (this might be an overstatement since I am a slow) and kept on moving, only fell once when crossing the river the first time. At the end the race director Tanya had a nice bowl of Vegetarian Chili and a wonderful gentleman whom I didn't get his name made me hot chocolate, I ate up, got my goody bag and went back to my car to change into warm clothes, the hardest part about this races is the drive back home, I end up so stiff from sitting for 40+mins. All in all an excellent first ultra. Official finish time 8:08:16 for a pace of 15:43.
Mike took this picture (thanks Mike), I think I had about 1 mile to go when I saw Mike waiting at the top of the hill in his red bug, I really did have a blast.