Sunday, October 14, 2012

Government Canyon/Nothing's Easy 50K (pseudo) Race Report

Yesterday, I ran the Nothing's Easy 50k at Government Canyon State Natural Area in San Antonio, TX. I'd never been out there before, so I wasn't sure what to expect. Well, it's a beautiful park. I need to make it out there more often to do some of my runs.

I was a little concerned about the weather, especially, when I got in my car at 5:30am and the temperature read 77 degrees. Luckily, the sun didn't come out until after I was done, but it was very humid. A sporadic cool breeze and light drizzle at 1 point helped make it a bit more bearable.

My primary goal was to finish and not get hurt since I've got a 100 mile trail race, Cactus Rose, coming up in less than 2 weeks. This was to be my last significant long run before the dreaded taper is set to begin.

Did I finish unhurt? Yes. I fell once. I'm kinda embarrassed that it was during the first 1/2 mile. One of my friends told me "You're good, nobody saw you." Hahaha!!! Another friend of mine said "At least you got it out of the way early." No harm done - just got a little muddy and a little scrape up on my elbow. Goal accomplished...sort of.

Usually, during most of my ultra races, I end up taking a little too long at the aid stations. Prior to the race, I had told myself that I would not spend more than 2 minutes at each aid station. I did better than that: I spent :45 seconds at each station. Goal accomplished.

I also wanted to run a consistent pace throughout the race. Really, my goal was to run a negative split, but I ran the 2nd loop 13 minutes slower. It's cool. I'll take it. Goal (semi) accomplished.

One of the things I need to continue to work on is picking up my feet when I am tired. Towards the latter part of the race, I kept kicking rocks. I'm telling you, this is PAINFUL. At one point, I was actually having a conversation with myself: "Pick up your friggin' feet, dude!!!" Immediately, after 1 of these conversations, POOM, I kicked another rock. As the pain shot through my foot and my toes were throbbing, it occurred to me...I won't even listen to myself. Luckily, there was nobody around to overhear this convo.

Overall, it was a very runnable course. There was a little stretch (of what seemed like a couple of miles) where I had to walk the uphills. My 1st instinct was to run up it, but I was able to make myself walk. I'll conserve energy, I kept telling myself.

I was able to finish safely and, in the process, improve my 50k PR by 35 minutes.

As I crossed the finish line, 1 of the volunteers told me I'd finished 8th overall and 1st master's division. "Masters? I thought 50+ was masters, and I'm 44." As she handed me my prize, a $100 gift certificate, said "Nevermind."

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