Best of luck with the half SoCalTricurious! You'll do great!
Sorry you've been feeling down, Midtown Miles - I hope you find relief soon.
Last week's goals: swim x 1: win run x 4: win incl 50k "race" core/strength x 2: win mobility/stretch x 2: win
So, the race was a thing. We didn't get the thunderstorms they were predicting, even through the night before, so the course was all very dry and hard-packed instead of being muddy. I made a stupid mistake wearing an old pair of shoes with fairly dead midsoles (over 500mi on them including several ultras) because I figured the course would be soft, I didn't want to muddy up my current pair of long run shoes, and superstition about "well I've run all 3 of my previous 50k races + 3 x 6-hour ultras in these shoes, so they know how to do it!". Yeah, I'm a dumbass.
Around 600m into the course. I love this conservation area.
It was 18c/64f by 7am without a cloud in the sky, so we knew we were in for a hot one. I figured I'd just take it easy and use this as a nutrition demo day for the 12-hour next month.
Not a lot of shade despite the course mostly being tree-lined.
My whole "go out easy and then back off" strategy went directly out the window about 5mins into the damn race. I had seen in the Run Trails Ontario facebook group on Friday that someone was asking about the course, so I provided what information I could based on having run, hiked, xc skied and mtb'd at the race location in the past (and I knew they'd have to use basically all the trails, since the area isn't that big). Well, the fellow who asked spotted me before the race and thanked me for the recon, and then he ended up beside me a couple of minutes after leaving the starting line. We got chatting, which meant I sort of felt obliged to keep up - I figured I couldn't be working too terribly hard if we were able to converse easily, but I definitely ran more than I would have if we hadn't been talking. Wouldn't have been such a bad thing, except he was only doing the 3-loop 25k race and I had twice that on my plate.
A bit of shade in the pine forest.
Turns out he was very new to ultra and running a couple of more challenging races later this season, so he picked my brain quite a bit about nutrition, hydration and all things running. Poor lad actually seemed to think I had a clue of what I'm doing, though I tried to explain that I'm just a stubborn fool who's too dumb to quit.
Lots of wide-open, grassy climbs with the scent of phlox overpowering in the air.
Once my compatriot finished his race (in 3:01:xx, with which he was very happy - said he'd moved faster with me than he would have on his own!), I slowed down quite a bit and took things easier. It's a very small race so we were quite spread out on the 8.33km loop and I seldom saw more than 1 or 2 people per loop (there were a couple of places with 2-way traffic) other than at aid stations. I'd take a few minutes to eat a couple of the watermelon slices they had on offer (my fav thing after a hot run - it's pretty sweet during one, too), chat with the volunteers (some of which are ultrarunner friends of mine), and then saunter off again.
Biggest climb on the course - deceptive, since it turns a few corners. This is one of about 5 uphill sections in a row.
I managed to drop my salt tabs on the ground once, and even stubbed my toe on a root while I was walking
(FFS!), but didn't trip, have any GI issues, or even get grouchy, really. I took the camera from my husband/sherpa when I went out for my 5th loop (what I call the "tourist lap"), hence the photos from the course...but the battery died just past 5k in, and I only managed to get that one pic above of the big hill after that so spent 3+km carrying dead weight. The battery is good for several days of photography, but my sherpa apparently failed to charge it before the race - he felt awful about it when I told him it had kaffed on me.
He did, however, use it to get the MOST photogenic pic of me running ever
, just as I left the starting line.
(Yeah, that's as good as it gets)
So, ditch the camera, have a couple of bites of a turkey-and-mustard wrap (heaven!), then out for the last lap...where I blew a freakin' intersection, despite them all being incredibly well marked, and only figured it out after I'd run down this huge bloody hill.
Call it about a 500m detour, during which 3 people managed to pass me. I passed 2 of them back, but still cost myself at least 6 or 7 minutes.
Finally crossed the line (for the last time) in 6:38:41 - almost an hour over my 50k PR time on a similar course, but on a much cooler day and fully tapered. My legs and feet were very sore - had that one-solid-lump sort of feel to them - but I was still running on that last loop, even on some of the very mild uphills. It made for a good training day for the 12hr next month, and I don't really have any complaints except taking that wrong turn.
Recovery is going quite well. I got out for a 4k hike on some technical, hilly trail on Sunday, and just went for an easy walk last night. Legs are feeling ok but I get tired easily, so I'll do a short run this evening followed by a very easy swim. Tomorrow will be a day off because we're going out to dinner for my mum's birthday, and then Saturday we leave to go motorcycle touring through Quebec. I'll be bringing running kit, but I probably won't run more than an hour on any day - just want to investigate some of the trails in the parks where we'll be camping. Really stoked about doing a via ferrata route next Tuesday, though! This week's goals:
swim x 2
run x 2
core/strength x 2
mobility/stretch x 2
My favourite things about summer are the warm nights with the scent of flowers permeating the air: you can live in flip-flops and forget what a jacket is, just for a little while..
__________________________________________________________ ill advised racing inc.