It was a neat experience. I was glad to only be watching time and not distance, I think that would have distracted me more. I simply listened for a 15 minute timer when I'd take more nutrition and that's about all I knew about where we were other than glancing at the overall time occasionally. I was unfamiliar with the island so even more thankful for Matt who could kind of prepare me for what was next.
Speaking of nutrition, I took 7 gels, 2 cups of Coke (probably 4oz each), 6 salt pills (Salt Tabs I think, they were whatever my husband put in the pack last since procrastinator me was late getting ready and forgot to put any of my own in, haha). I used 5 Vi gels, a new brand we've been testing and using and I'm happy with them. Peach cobbler is the best! Also took 1 Hammer for something different and 1 Roctane at 4:05 for the caffeine. Took the other gels at :40, 1:20, 2:00, 2:40, 3:20, 4:05, 4:35 and took a salt pill at 1:00, 2:00, 3:00, 4:00, 4:20, 4:40. Drank probably 60oz of water from my Ultrspire Surge pack. I was torn there because I figured why carry the extra weight when I can fill up water at aid stations (in which their bottle pack would be awesome, or a handheld), but I was used to carrying all my own water so just went with it, and it was a good plan. I always had enough and had it when I needed it.
Didn't run into any buffalo, saw a couple dozen of them, but never close enough to make me worry. I did however consider riding one to the finish when I was about a mile out :) My friend Dianna had to wait 5 minutes or them to pass out of her way though, she took video of it if you're interested. Also saw a herd of antelope and a few big black ravens.
My stomach didn't have any serious issues, but felt kind of hollow pains the first couple hours for some reason. I left the race with a light vest, arm warmers, gloves, and a beanie and decided to shed it all about 2 hours in because I was feeling kind of clammy. I think that helped. My right hip flexor bugged me a little around that 2 hour point to, but went away eventually. I was curious to see what it would feel like going that hour longer than I'd ever run (1:12 actually). My hips and hamstrings were very tight like at the end of a road race and quite sore at times, but I luckily just got into a rhythm that last 8 or so miles and plugged along. Only stopped to walk twice and skipped the last aid station because I was too afraid I wouldn't get going well again. My legs for the first hour after the race were more sore than I think I've ever felt. I just had to sit down, even took a couple ibuprofin's which I don't usually do. And today upon waking up it's my back, shoulders, and triceps surprisingly enough that are the most sore. My legs, not too bad. I have however been eating everything in sight :)
I finished the last mile or so really strong (thank you flat and downhill last mile) and that felt great. I don't have any negatives coming out of this. Yes it was hard and long, oh how long miles 25-28 were, and I'm very satisfied with my 5:12 time! My goal was to be under 5:30, and 5:12 is closer to 5 so that's great. I was 3rd place woman. I was a little surprised at that because neither Matt nor I ever saw any other women in front of us and there are some looong open valley stretches you could see far. Maybe it's because the lead woman beat me by a little over 30 minutes! Wow! Results and pictures (I'm hoping there's pictures) aren't actually up yet, so I'll post those if I see them. I'll also post more specifically about splits and times and such, but wanted to show my photos and experience.
|Buffalo crossing! |
Did I mention how cold it was at the start? I mean not snow cold, but really chilly with a breeze.
|Great friend Matt Williams on our first walking climb|
|This first side of the island (which I thought was west but may be north actually) was really cool scenery wise! Big mountains off to the left with sweeping hills down|
|with the beautiful Great Salt Lake off to our right. Love these long open valleys with the trail able to be seen the whole way|
|And then finally my first glimpse of the finish line (all those cars and white tent down there)|
|Probably the closest I got to the big furry beats...in the car on the drive home|
It's so funny, my mentality. I of course had a little bit of racing mentality when I thought I might be in first. When I had to stop for that break I was really pushing to catch those ladies and was quite satisfied when I got back in front of them. Even though I felt kind of wiped out when I caught up to Matt, it felt good to open up and go a little faster for a mile or so.
The other part of me that's funny, strange, masochist is wondering if I should really consider this a long race, an ultra (even though by definition it is). Yes it was my longest run ever, longer than a marathon, yet I didn't get the night time, pacer, etc experience that I think of when I think of ultras. But don't get me wrong, it was great and I'm proud of it! Gotta start somewhere. I'll just have to get a few of those additional ultra perks next year :)