I hit the ground running in March. I had 3 solid months of training with Lucho under my belt and Way Too Cool 50K firmly in my sights. I felt healthy, strong, and I had Lucho's permission to "race this". In 2009 when I was training for the Leadville 100 run I ran this race in just under 6 1/2 hours. This year I wanted to break 6 hours.
I lined up on a beautiful morning with lots of really fast runners around me. It's definitely the early season track meet for ultrarunners. We headed out for the opening 8 mile loop on trails that I've never been on. It was a really cool picture with a line of runners weaving along smooth singletrack surrounded by green grass and blooming trees. I completed the loop in 1:18 and then headed out on more familiar trails.
I changed some things with my nutrition for this race to see how it worked. I usually do water and S-caps, GU's and aid station food. I also don't start eating until 1-1.5 hours into the race. This time I used HEED in my handheld for the first 8 mile loop. On my way down to Quarry Rd I found I felt really bloated and uncomfortable. Too much fluid, too many calories, too early. For the next hour on Quarry Rd I settled into a little easier effort and didn't eat or drink anything. By the time I started the climb up to ALT I was feeling better. I stuck to water and GU's for the rest of the race and it worked great.
I had been looking forward to the section from ALT to the finish. This was a section I had trained on numerous times during the winter. I knew exactly what my splits should be to Browns Bar, Hwy 49, and Cool and I set out to beat them. I had paced myself well early on so I was ready to rock it. I passed a lot of people and ran strong, feeling great. When I got to Hwy 49 crossing, it was manned by a lot of my friends who cheered wildly as I came through. I felt like a celebrity! Lots of high 5's and I didn't even stop as I started up the final climb to the finish. Here is a great write up and some pictures from my friend Gretchen. There was a chance I could break 5.5 hours if I kept going strong. I finally rounded the final corner where I saw my family, Caitlyn jumped up to run across the finish line with me in 5:24:21.
|Caitlyn waiting to run with me to the finish|
|Two of my biggest fans|