Tuesday, September 22, 2009

My FIRST ULTRA at the FROSTY 50 K

OUR FIRST 50K - DONE!
Frosty Mountain 50K in Manning Park
What a GREAT way to celebrate this years worth of training.
The Night Before:
After training all summer for our first 50Km run, we were remarkably calm the night before, going over maps and packing . Unfortunately, JIM spent a lot of time in the bathroom with the stomach flu!

The race started at 8am. It was 5 degrees C and raining. Lubed up and ready to go. It started flat along little muddy trail. Jim and I constantly telling each other to 'slow down'. Only 3 miles into the run I trip-full on mud surf. Good fun. The muddy bog was nice and soft. After a long road of switchbacks we hit some pretty single track trails. Then JIM lost a glove so we ran back to get it cuz another runner saw it. Unfortunately, our good samaritan got stung 3 times! and had to DNF in the end. I'm sure he will be back for more. It happens to the best of them.

Going UP:

Feeling great by the time we hit the alpine meadows. The trees were getting scarce so finding a place to pee became a bit concerning at this point.

Finally the steep 1000m climb up to top of Mount Frosty. We did feel the altitude at 7,900 feet. It was ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL up there.... even if it was windy and sleeting. But I still LOVED IT! as you can see from the video below;

video

The run down from frostywas a BLAST!! we hit the 27 Km in less than 4 hrs and were feeling great. I found it interesting how you get kinda 'puffy' at altitude.

The Drama Continues: Jim is injured

THEN running along lightning lake JIM hits a rock and hyperdorsiflexes his foot and hears a loud 'snap'. We figured he was done... but no, he could run.... with LESS pain in his plantar fasciae ever. So along we go up Skyline one trail. I only had to run back once to get JIM's toilet paper he dropped. He is not done yet!

Now Jim is Out for sure!

At about 30 Km JIM turns pasty white, is dizzy and severely lacking energy. I figure he was done again ! His stomach flu came back to haunt him. I couldn't just leave him there in the woods... and I couldn't build a rickshaw to carry him down. At 200 lbs, he was too heavy to piggy back. So I conceded to let go of 'competing' and just run behind Jim, letting him set the pace. I had no choice cuz apparently if I ran ahead of him it ''brought him down''. It was hard for me, a real test of self restraint, and a test of our relationship.

I thought I dropped a glove and ran back down the hill to look for it. I had lots of time with Jims current pace. I'm thinking I ran more than 50 kms by the end of the race. tee hee.

We make it to the 32km Aid station. I inhaled the munchie mix and cheezies! Jim forced down a gel.. and I suggest he refuel with pure water- good choice because he started to get better.

Jim digging deep to push the last 20 kms.

Me full of energy, having much more fun than Jim at this point. I think my singing 'Peanut butter Jelly time " was a bit annoying for the poor guy. I marked a point on the map- the furthest we have ever trail ran (22 miles). The rest was unchartered territory. Lo and behold Jim perks up AFTER this point and starts running agin- Yippee!!

Running along Skyline there are about three peaks. You just think you are done, then you see another peak! 778m climb in total. But the views looking back were again, beautiful.
Down,down,down we ran. Me knees were starting to feel it. The 42 km aid station seemed so far.
Running thru the Campground;
Maybe it was my mindset, but I thought it was hilarous finishing off the race running through a campground ! People sitting all relaxed by their campfire, having a beer, watching 'the freaks' run by. I remember very clearly smelling the hamburger and cheezies a guy had... which he offered to me. I damn near stopped running to sit down with him at his campsite. But DNF'ing ONE km before the end would be just silly, but kinda funny.
In the End:
We ran/walked to the finish line to finish at 7 hr 38 mins. We did the corny thing and 'held hands' when we crossed the finish line. The crowd of 15 went wild. We did it! WE did it!!
Nutrition: about 800-1000 cals. Loved my home made date bars at the start, and the carbopro gel at the end. Drank about 4 L of water, and popped some thermolytes. Had to pee, like, 4 times on the run! Jim diddn't go at all for about 9-10 hours... dehydrated or what! I kept hounding him to drink, but his stomach was limiting what he could take in.
The pumpkin dessert (made by Gottfried??) went down great at the end of the race.
Lessons Learned:
Though I was frustrated with the slowed pace, I now realise it was a godsend. This enabled me to do what I was always envious of other runners.... not to race, but to enjoy the scenery, take pictures, chat with people, make memories . In the end we both FINISHED- that was the goal. I finished feeling fabulous, and feel great the week after... making the whole experience an enjoyable one. Other runners told me this was hardest 50k they ever did... which gives me confidence for future runs.
We are already discussing our next run.. Perfect!
Loving every minute of it;
Heather

Jim, me and Gottfried:


Had to Hike 'HEATHER TRAIL" the next day.


Views from Heather trail;

Looks like a nice run... if I could have actually ran the next day.


4 comments:

kelly said...

Wow, congrats on your first 50k, it sounds like so much fun. The course looks so beautiful, too. I should put that one on my "to do" list. Keep up the training and you will be running a 50 miler before you know it. Great blog, by the way. Thanks! I really enjoy reading it.

Eric said...

Nice job to both you and Jim. Looked like an awesome run.

HEATHERRUNS said...

Thanks Kelly and Eric, It WAS awesome, and I recommend it. Though it was our FIRST, it was another runners 51st- and he said it was the toughest AND most beautiful 50K he has ever done! Sweet.

Nicola Gildersleeve said...

Peter and I have ran the heather trail and I must say it was one of the most beautiful trails I have run on.

Nice seeing you today at Giv'r Take! Hope to see you out again soon!

Nic