Well, it's in the books! I completed my first 50 miler. I again learned from the experience and will be smarter next time....oh yeah, there's gonna be a next time.
I camped out on Friday night at the race area. It was great. I backed the Jeep overlooking
the lake and enjoyed my LaGondola tortellini dinner. The 50 deg temps made it was a great night for sleeping. I woke up at about 0330 hrs to thunder and lightening followed by a steady rain. It wasnt uncomfortable but it was just enough to slop the trails up.
I started the race feeling great. My prep had been flawless and I couldnt have felt more ready. Stag had my pit area dialed in and the race was on. It was a slow start and took some time for the herd to thin out due to the sloppy hills. Eventually I found a rhythm and stuck with it. Maybe I was feeling too good because my lap one time was 2:06...entirely too fast.
After a quick pit stop for a fresh bottle I was off again. I stayed steady again on this lap and was really feeling no ill effects. The trails were still a mess but I pushed on. My lap 2 time was 2:17...again...too fast.
Going out for loop 3 I told Stag that this one would take a bit longer and not to worry. About halfway through the loop I started to lose my legs again. My quads were on the verge of cramping up whenever I attempted anything more than a power walk. I had been religious on my e-caps and even my fueling on the days leading up to the race. My tight werent even helping at this point. As I neared the finish line, Milkman was there to greet me. He knew what was going on. I didnt have to say a word. He has plenty of knowledge and experience in pushing himself in similar type races. He got himself geared up, we talked over some strategies and out we went...Me, Milkman, Stag and Ol' Poo.
I got a few last minute words of advice from Klop, Tapp and a few others and I was on my way. Loop 4 was the worst yet. I hurt and the thought of dropping was always right there. Every time I made it up a hill, I could only think of the next one which had become so familiar by this stage n the race. Milkman was pushing calories on me hard at this point. I had lost my appetite almost completely. All I wanted was water, but I managed some bananas, ham sandwiches and grapes at most of the pit areas. I finally made it back in and had 1 loop still ahead. Klop had told me the night before "just get your 4th loop in, the last one is a victory lap." That thought was ringing loudly. I changed shoes and socks for the first time in the race. I took in as much food as I could stomach and carry and we were off.
I started loop 5 with a surge of energy but it only carried me about 2.5 miles. Afte
r the first aid station I was hitting the wall again. The next 3 miles would be the 3 toughest miles I've ever traveled and over the 3 toughest miles of this course. Milkman had to remind me on every hill that it was my last time on each particular one. We rolled into Heaven's Gate aid station and I was spent. I was hunched over and at my end. I stuffed some more food down and just kept moving. A gentleman named Pat ran past and we struck up a conversation. For whatever reason I picked up my pace and started to feel a little better. I told Pat I wanted to beat the sun going down and get in under 14 hours. He didnt seem to think that was going to be possible. That was the last time I saw Pat. I went around and never looked back. After a cup of ice water and a handful of gummy bears I just went. I told Howie I was out and he could see it in my eyes. Off I went. It was just a power walk, but it was the fastest I had moved in hours. It was fast enough in fact that Milkman had a hard time catching back up to me...Stagola never did. The closer I got to the end, the faster I went. When all was aid and done I finished in 13:42 with just a little daylight left. I think it was 3rd fastest loop of the day.
Now I rest...I have two weeks of schools and a lot of hotel pool time and elliptical trainers. When I get back this guy is going to concentrate on having fun. Fun with Tiffers, fun on my bikes (all varieties), fun in my kayak and even some fun short races...just to have fun.