Having DNF'd (or not continuing after 30k) at the Muleshoe 60k a few weeks earlier, I felt like I needed a good run at Colorado Bend.
The plan was to pace myself (something I am unable to do frequently) the 1st 30k loop so that I could finish well the 2nd 30k loop. We (Sami/me) started at the very end of the pack with the 60kers. My only concern was to finish the 1st loop before 1am (the cut off to start the 2nd loop is 1am).
I also wanted to work on my power walking/hiking up the tough climbs. This is something I need to start doing more - as practice for Cactus Rose because last year I did a lot of walking towards the latter part...if I can call it walking. It was more like crawling.
Loop 1 / 1st 30k:
The 1st 3 miles leading to the 1st aid station were very technical and tough. The next 5 to the next aid station seemed to be more of the same. Up until this point, I'd power hiked/walked all the way. At around this time, one of our friends, Donna, caught up to us and asked if she could tag along. Of course, we said it was cool. At this point, they said it was cool if I went up ahead. I ended up 5 miles or so with another runner, Rick.
My favorite part of the loop was a little dark section which seemed to be about 1.5 miles that was the most runnable part. It was narrow, surrounded by waist high weeds and next to a river/lake. It was eerily quiet, but I hauled it in this section.
Right after the last aid station, it was a return to the 1st/last 3 miles. At this point, I'd caught up to a lot of my friends who were doing the 30k. They appeared tired, but I was happy for them they were almost done. Also, seeing other runners who were starting their 2nd loop gave me that little extra boost.
I finished the 1st 30k in 5:15ish. The best part of it was that I still felt pretty well. I'd been taking my s caps hourly and drinking a steady stream of liquid calories. I took about 15 minutes to eat and fill up my hydration vest before starting the final loop
2nd Loop/2nd 30k:
I tried to hurry in the beginning of this loop, because I wanted to catch up to Nancy Marks. I knew it'd be tough, because she has a steady pace. So steady, that I'm kinda jealous of it. I ran into Sami/Donna at about 2 miles in, told them they had about 2 miles and to keep up the good work.
After the 1st aid station, I began to tire. I know this because I was not picking up my feet. I kept kicking rocks...it was the most painful thing I have ever felt. Little did I know that this would be a continuous thing.
I wish I could tell you more about the 2nd 30k, but the only thing I remember is kicking rocks over and over and over again. I was even afraid to take off my shoes/socks to see the damage at the aid station.
At the last aid station, Peter Bray, told me I had 3 miles and an hour and a half to do it in. I was almost done. These last 3 miles were the most interesting, though: my headlamp began to badly dim. It made this technical section even more treacherous.
Finally, I hit the little dirt road which meant I had less than 1/2 mile to go. Once I saw the time clock, I knew I was there.
Thanks to Alex Segovia who I ran into immediately as I hit the dirt road. He said he was about to go into the trail on a 1 man search party to see what had happened to me. I think he'd still been celebrating since coming in 3rd in the 30k 8 hours earlier.
This course was a lot tougher than I remember it from last year, but it is also my favorite of the Capt. Karl night series due to its scenic awesomeness.