It was a small race:
|It's nice and cool at this point|
|At least it's a clean sock?|
|Is this everyone?|
|Most of these people were much faster than us|
The aid stations were pretty awesome. There was one every 5 miles and my request for Oreo cookies (the race director asked for snack requests) was answered! I was so happy.
|Oreos, doughnuts AND rice crispie treats? Yes, please.|
|You know I contributed to this emptiness.|
On Friday, I went out to the store to pick up a bagel for my traditional race morning breakfast and I saw beautiful, ripe cherries on sale for $1.98/lb. I swear my jaw dropped. Of course I bought 3lbs and they were so good...that I somehow ate pretty much the whole bag between Friday afternoon and Sunday morning. I even thought to myself "This is probably going to bite me in the butt later" and then decided "Worth it" and kept eating.
I didn't feel any stomach upset at all, but I took two Immodium before race start just in case. Despite the fact that I had gone 2 times already, by mile 6 I needed to go. I was able to hold it to the portpotty at mile 10, which even had toilet paper, which is like woodland equivalent of ducking into a Ritz Carlton to use the restroom when you're shopping downtown. I thought that solved the issue, but that would have been too simple. I made it to the next aid station (mile 15) before I really had to go again.
This trail was extremely windy and with sparse tree cover. Alyssa and I were both interested in finding a proper location for a "nature's bathroom", but it was slim pickings. So, yes the unthinkable happened. Luckily I was carrying TP in a baggie, but I totally forgot to bury it. I did put leaves over it, but in my defense, this race didn't say we had to bury it. Also, if they had a portpotty at each aid station, we could have avoided this whole problem. Watch, they'll find this blog post and give me some sort of "poop fine". :)
Moving on, we did run into a lot of bikers. The majority of them were very professional and announced their presence (and slowed down), but a few of them made us have to dive off the trail or wonder why an old man on a mountain bike just grazed me with his handlebars.
The guy I carpooled with (Perry) had left us in his dust at the start, so I was surprised when he called me and said that he had taken a DNF (did not finish), but had taken a break and wanted to still finish the race. He met up with us at the mile 20 aid station and we headed out for the final loop.
|It's getting really hot by this point|
|Alyssa shot him for taking a DNF|
|We fake happy really well.|
The dense forest kept us cool, but it also meant that no one's Garmin was working very well. I kept losing my signal and ended up over 2 miles behind Alyssa (maybe she is just that fast). This meant that we didn't know how far we had to go, especially after we passed the aid station at mile 25. The woods all looked so familiar after 3 loops, so I kept thinking the last aid station was just around the corner. At one point I could even smell the charcoal BBQ at the finish, but we were still at least 3 miles away (but in my mind, we were almost there).
It's very accurate to say that this trail race had rolling hills, but it should also be added: it was only hills. The only flat areas were the parts through the meadows, and the direct sunlight presented enough additional challenge. I've trained on hills, but my glutes were screaming by the 3rd loop and I couldn't wait to be done with the hills. It really seemed like we were only going uphill and never got that downhill pay-off, but that was probably just the fatigue talking.
We had convinced ourselves that we were the last 50K runners because we hadn't seen anyone in a while, but we finally hit that beautiful aid station at mile 30 and the volunteer assured us we weren't last. The last mile felt uphill the whole way and it was almost entirely in the direct sun and it was 92 degrees by that point. I considered crawling across the finish for dramatic effect, but I went with running instead (boring, I know).
Alyssa and I crossed together, but she must have elbowed me back a little because I got an email that I came in last in my age group (we are in the same age group). In my defense, there were only 8 women in the 20-29 age group, so being last doesn't sting as much. I heard 2 people ask to drop down to the 25K at one of the aid stations, so I'm going to tell myself that I still beat them. :) The clock time for our finish was 7:04, which is a 24 minute improvement on last month's 50K, and our Garmins were all skewed, so we are just going to trust them that the course was actually 31 miles.
As soon as I finished, I did the traditional post long race wounded penguin walk over a bench and sat my sore butt down. It was glorious.
|Ultra marathons only drink INTENSE chocolate milk|
|Alyssa must have won the race, she got a medal!|
|This is after 23 miles of sweat on that lovely dirt|
- 3 Gu packets
- 2 Oreo cookies
- 1 rice crispie treat
- Handful of goldfish mixed with M&Ms
- Tons of regular Pepsi and Coke
- Tons of Gatorade
- Over 2 liters of water with electrolyte added
- 4 or 5 salt pills (probably 5, but I can't swear to that)
- Half of that chocolate milk and half a can of regular Coke post-race
I didn't feel like eating when we finished, so I didn't. I forced myself to eat lunch after last month's 50K and I ended up just borrowing that meal, so I decided to just wait until I felt like eating. That didn't happen until 5:30pm, but at least I kept that down...so far. :)
I have to admit that I'm in way more pain than after last month's 50K and I have no idea why it's different. I chafed horribly on my neck where my backpack rubbed, but I put some of the baby's Butt Paste on it and it feels better already. I also chafed around my sports bra strap and where I sit (yeah, that's as detailed as I'm going to get). Butt Paste is pretty awesome for chafing, so I'm hoping to feel all better soon. My Body Glide could not hold up to the hours of sweating!
Overall, we had a great time at this race and I would do it again. It was fantastic to run with Alyssa and Perry and it made the race much more enjoyable. I need to convince them to come run a few miles with me at the JFK 50!
Have you ever used "nature's bathroom"? Any funny stories?