The race consisted of a 10 mile loop that we completed 3 times. And at the end we did a 1.1 mile loop to finish up the 50k. By my watch, the course was 31.98 miles. The course layout and the mud were not kind. Mentally it was tough to come through the finish line (and see my car) 3 times before I actually finished. The mud was also keen on trying to steal my shoes, which is a battle I thankfully won. I’m not kidding, the mud was ankle deep in many spots and where it wasn’t deep it was slippery and made me wish for colder temperatures so the mud would freeze. (Because we all know it’s not going to stop raining in the PNW)
Whining aside, the race was a success for me. I ran a steady pace, keeping an even tempo and not fading much as the race went on. That was my main objective – to run strong and build my base for the season ahead. I got compliments from a lot of people I ran by, so I think I looked strong to others. The course set up allowed for many opportunities to see other runners, and I found that one benefit to the many-loop course. Although I was running alone the whole race, I still got to dish out and receive encouragement from other runners. Bonus!
One area that needed more attention was my nutrition. I completely underestimated how much food I would need for a 5+ hour effort. I took in 4 GU’s, 1 pack of energy chews, 24 ounces of Nuun and about 1.5 liters of water during the first 30 miles. Not enough. On the last 1 mile loop I got very lightheaded and had to reach into the depths of my hydration pack for a waffle. It took about 8 minutes for the waffle to kick in and I was good to go again. I haven’t made a mistake like that before and I won’t again. That is one good thing races like this do – teach you about your nutrition needs.
In the end, I finished in 5:56. 2nd woman. Not bad for the end of a 101 mile week. It was a great experience and I feel more than ready to tackle 2012!