Well, it’s been a couple of days to let the race sink in and the quads to tighten up. Overall, I’d say I’m content with how the race turned out considering a few factors. Looking back, I’d say I went out a little too fast, but I was feeling good and just went with it. I hit the turn around in about 2:45. I’m still trying to figure out how fast to take out the first part of an ultra. I want to push myself a little to see if I can hang on. Sometimes I feel like I’ve gone out way too conservatively. With only four 50k’s under my belt, only time and more races will help develop my racing style.
The heat of the day played a big factor for me and many others on Saturday. We hadn’t seen heat like that since last summer and I wasn’t acclimated at all. The temps reached the low-mid 80s with no clouds and no breeze. I held on as long as I could, drinking lots of fluids at the aid stations, but by mile 23 I was starting to hurt. Real bad. I spent a long time at the final aid station talking to my mom and trying to ingest anything that was left over for the final stretch of the race. Much of the station had been picked over by the time I arrived and so I left to gut out the last 7.75 miles. That’s where I fell apart pretty hard. My body was exhausted. I just wanted to lay down in the woods, kick my shoes off and take a nap. I’ve never experienced that before. I actually felt better running, but had a hard time motivating my mind to do anything but a death march. At that point it was all mind games and I did a lot of pep talks to myself to get me through the rough patches. I wanted to cry a few times, but never did. I did do a few of the heavy, gasping sobs, but no tears fell. I think I was so dehydrated that I couldn’t even cry! The heat was very frustrating to say the least. I don’t do well in it unless I’m laying on the beach with Lake Superior only footsteps away or sitting in the sauna with a cold beer in hand. I rounded out the race in 6:24:00 and placed 10th out of the women’s field and 69th overall. I’ll take it!