The game plan for the Nueces 50 miler was simple: I was going to run the 50 miler and my g/f, Sami, was going to run the 10k. Once she was done w/ her 10k, she’d pace me the last 16.7 of my 50. I was really looking forward to running w/ her...maybe more so than the actual run. Just sayin'.
We left for Camp Eagle around 6:30pm Friday evening. To make a long story short: we got lost and had no phone signal. We ended up arriving at the room at about 2:30am. We took a 1.5 hour nap and then were ready to run.
We got up at 4am and were ready to run…well...1st thing's 1st ~ coffee 1st.
Loop 1: I started quite fast because I felt good. I started w/ a group of about 4 runners for a big chunk of the loop. Several of them commented that they were probably starting a little faster than they should. I agreed, but it felt too good. Besides, I didn’t remember this course being as runnable as it was. The total time for the 1st loop was 2:5.
Loop 2: The result of starting out too fast seemed to take its toll on me. I struggled for the majority of the loop but still managed to finish in 3:30. I felt a lack of energy during this loop eventhough I was eating at the aid stations and drinking as much as I could. The few monster climbs started taking its toll on my quads. The thought of my pacer waiting for me kept me going. “I just have to finish this loop and then I’m running with Sami” I kept telling myself.
As I finished the loop, I immediately saw Sami and she had a baked potato for me. I knew I had banked a lot of time (and had time to spare) so I decided to take my time and eat. I took about 30 minutes before we started the final loop, and it turned out to be a life saver.
Loop 3: The highlight of my run (for obvious reasons). We enjoyed the pain/rocks/sights of the last loop. We’d told ourselves that we wanted to: finish, finish before the cafeteria closed (Sami told me that the dinner special was enchiladas - I kept thinking of 'em) and finish before it got dark. Mission accomplished.
I got to run w/ my brand new Salomon Advanced Skin S-Lab 5 Set Hydration Pack (which was gifted to me by...well, you probably know who). It felt like it was a part of me. No bouncing, no shifting, no nothing. I only had a little difficulty in making sure there was no air in the hydration bladder. It was a little tricky. I had to figure it out - the sloshing of the water was too annoying/loud.
Sami surprised me with water with lemon and ginger shavings in it. I drank it during the entire run - not counting the obligatory (craving for) coke here and there. The last several ultras, (crystalized) ginger (snaps) has been very good to me. It's kept me from having stomach issues or nausea. I only felt sick on 1 occassion, but it quickly passed. The streak continues...
1. I think everybody, other than me, tends to fall gracefully. I saw Sami fall twice – wait…actually, I didn’t see her fall. I should say I heard a (very) light thud and when I turned around, she was on the floor. My falls? I tend to trip, stumble wildly for at least 10 feet and then I hit the floor. On a positive note, I didn’t fall at all during the 50 miler, but (I must admit) I was a little jealous of her falling style.
2. I think my hokas finally met their match: after about 30 miles, my feet were very achy. They were definitely feeling the rocks they were crushing. Nevertheless, they will continue to be my shoe of choice – I can’t quit them.
3. I think I run better on almost no sleep. We arrived at Camp Eagle at 2:30a on Saturday. Our plan was to get up at 4am to get ready to run at 6am. After a 90 minute siesta, we were up and ready to go. Of course, we hit the sack hard immediately after dinner after the race. Hard.
4. I PR’d by over 30 minutes.
5. When your car gets sprayed by a skunk, the odor lasts for days. We almost ran over a skunk, but, instead, scared it and it sprayed my car. The odor penetrated through the inside of my car. Now, my car and garage smells like skunk.
5. …and to the couple negative nancies we came across, isn’t running supposed to make you happy? It does us.
Overall, it was an awesome experience. I got a 50 miler in and Sami got in almost a 23 miler in total. We spent alot of time together...running, talking & planning our runs together. We’ve got tons of plans to pace each other, race each other, crew for each other, etc.
Run happy. We did.