Camille and me finishing the Bigfoot 50k on Dec. 1. Salt Fork State Park, Cambridge, OH. Time of 6:15. Smiling as we cross the line – says something about the kind of day we had.
So happy! It was such a good run – surprisingly.
We drove out Friday night and stayed at the lodge right in the park, it was SO convenient and nice. The race started at 8 am, and it was in the high 30s and sunny when we started. The race was three 10.6-mile loops; this was the second time I’ve run that course, and I really like it. Yeah, there are a couple killer hills, but in between that is either nice rolling hills, pretty flat, or (my personal favorite) really awesome downhill.
The first half hour or so was pretty rough on my respiratory system; having been sick all week was not conducive to this level of activity. Surprisingly quickly, though, my sinuses cleared out (mainly onto my compression sleeves and the trail) and my actual run began. The rest of the first loop fairly flew by; I came in at just under two hours. My roommate Camille who was also running (her first ultra!) had been ahead of me, but I caught up with her for a mile or so after the aid station. The second loop went by really quickly as well, and I was feeling REALLY good, especially for not having run in basically a week, having been sick for a week, and not having really trained for this. It was a nice sunny day on the trails, and I got to talk to a lot of different people throughout the race. I maintained a steady pace for the first two loops, running exactly the same amount of time except for one and a half minutes spent at an aid station refilling my pack and retying my shoes. Which was good. The third loop was, of course, a bit tougher to maintain – I slowed down about 15 minutes, definitely just from walking up the last couple hilly sections. Those bastards. But that’s the great thing about the last loop of a race – every time you hit a nasty hill, just think, “HA! This is the last time I have to go up this ever again! Until next year!” My voice was basically shot by halfway through the third loop, I suspect from a combination of talking to people and breathing through my mouth almost entirely. But about three miles out from the finish, during my favorite wonderful gorgeous downhill section, I caught a glimpse of who else but my wonderful roommate on the trail ahead of me! I hoarsely said her name and she somehow heard me, turning around just as I fell for the second time (the first was earlier in the race – I landed on a rock directly on my right shin). But anyway, I caught up to her; she’d been having a pretty rough and painful last loop, and she was dead, but then apparently I gave her energy and we had a pretty solid last two miles or so and ran up the last hill to cross the finish line together at 6:15. 🙂
All in all, it was a pretty great run. It was my slowest 50k time but I don’t care at all: I was sick and undertrained and I had a damn good day of running that reminded me just how much I love running for hours and hours on end (as well as fancy downhill footwork done well and quickly – so satisfying!).
We had to drive four and a half hours back home, but we both semi-napped the whole way and ate a lot a lot of food, as was our right. Then I had to work the next day. Ugh. But…
YAY RUNNING! And I’m so proud of Camille for her first ultra! I’m so excited to run many many more with her 🙂
peace love and running,
PS. Sorry I haven’t posted in ages – I started a second job and started climbing more regularly, and haven’t been training super religiously… so that combination hasn’t been super conducive to me posting. I’ll get back into it once this crazy semester ends… almost there… That being said, YAY CLIMBING! Climbing is great. I finally got shoes (La Sportiva Mythos, love them) and a chalk bag so I can boulder to my heart’s content. My future plans for racing include a 50 somewhere in March-ish, maybe another 50k here or there, and – dun dun DUN – Bryce Canyon 100 on May 31.