Top 5 thoughts after the 50k.
5. What. The. Hell. 31xmile, 2x25k, 10x5k, 5x10k...it doesn't matter how you break it down, it's still 31miles.
4. "Easy course." LOL. Since when does easy include 6300ft of elevation gain, blazin' sun, and up to 40mph winds. Maybe they meant "easy course to follow."
3. That was probably one of the most well marked courses I have very done. I somehow find ways to get lost in a 5k, but was never lost during this 50k.
2. They didn't have peach rings at the aid stations... I wasn't stopping.
1. I laughed, cried, smiled, hurt, and got it done. I could not be happier with the race and wouldn't change a thing.
50k (31 miles) 4:35:26 • 3rd OA
I stayed pretty calm until the day before the race. My first freak out moment was when I realized I left my racing flats in Boulder. I was kindly reminded that is is a trail race and I didn't need flats. Whew.
The night before the race I came up with my Top 5 list for before the 50k. That pretty much sums up how I was feeling - excited to be going into the unknown.
I woke up at 4:30am, had coffee, granola, two Toaster Strudels, and some rice. Such a healthy breakfast, right? Anthony and I left around 5:30 Togo pick up Sergio, then we were off to Malibu.
Packet pick up was simple as easy.
The race started at 8:00am. They put the 25k and 50k start together, and the 10k was 10 minutes later.
Within the first mile, there was a pack of about 8-10 of us that broke away. The first section was flat (woohoo) and then you start to climb.
I know I am not the best climber, but I have a pretty simple system - run the flats and downhills, power hike the uphill. I can power hike up the hills faster than I can "run."
Around mile 5 I found myself in the lead group of 4. I started to think that this was going to be the pack that the top 3 OA came out of and they are all stronger climbers than me. With this being a 2 lap course, I did not like my chances of holding them off the second loop. There is a little downhill between miles 6-7 and I decided to make my move. My goal was to open up a gap on the short downhill. Get over the next climb as quickly as possible, then open it up on the descent to the turnaround. I figured if I could put a couple minutes on them going I to lap 2, I might have a chance to hold on for the climb back to the top.
My plan to gap them seemed like a good idea that the time. What I didn't know is that I would come through 25k at tap 2 minutes off the 25k course record.
I was fine for the next flat section, but then the climbing started. I was starting to cramp, and I know I would not be able to run. It was warm, sunny, and winds up to 40mph. I was running scared knowing my lead was probably shrinking by the second.
20.5 miles in, the eventual race winner passed me during the grinding uphill. He said, "run with me," as he went by. Clearly the goal was to run ahead of him, and not with him, but I could not make it up the hill fast enough.
Then at mile 22, the 2nd place guy passed me. I still had a bit of climbing and 9 miles to try and hold on for 3rd.
When I finally made it to the top, all I could think was, "uggh, downhill!" My legs were cramping and it is a very steep downhill. Every step hurt. After a couple miles of downhill I was relieved to finally be on a flat section.
I saw Sergio about 2 miles from the finish and he took some GoPro video. I just remember saying, "I have no idea what is going on behind me, all I know is I can walk and shuffle." About 2 minutes later Anthony came into view again. I had 2 miles to try and hold him off. I just wanted to sit down and be done.
Somehow I crossed the finish like 3rd in 4:35:36, to be closely followed by Anthony in 4:37 (and a big PR).
A fun, great day of racing.
What did I learn? Pay attention to hydration. It was warm and I do not feel like I took in enough fluids. My body was not happy the last few miles.
Thank you all for the support. This has been a fun journey trying to figure out what to do once I stopped racing triathlon. I think this was my last thing for 2014. I'll get the rest of the race reports up soon, along with a season recap, and possibly a glimpse into 2015.
Thanks for reading.