Friday, December 30 - Sunday, January 1
Ultra marathon #21
Weather - Pleasant day 1, then #alltherain
In a moment of insanity (and ok, thriftiness) I booked my outbound flight on Frontier. With all the drama over Christmas about people having missed and incredibly delayed flights, I was really stressed out. I was also a bit panicky about the baggage rules. I studied the "personal item" information pretty carefully and decided that I could totally pack everything I needed into that so I wouldn't have to pay for a carry-on. See?
Went to work in the morning. Headed out to the airport around lunch time. The lines at security were not very long and I was at the gate in plenty of time. I was incredibly amazed that the plane was there on time, we boarded on-time and we departed on time. However, it's been a LONG time since I flew Frontier. The seats are completely different. No more TV's on the back. No cushioning and the tiniest "tray tables" ever. I'm a tiny person and I hated this. It was so uncomfortable. However, I only paid $18.10 for the flight, and at least it was short, so there's that. Arrived a few minutes early and took the shuttle to pick up my rental car. Like last year I had to keep checking for a reasonable rate. Knowing I'm only driving about 50 miles total, I hate paying a ton for it, but know I need the heater for nighttime. Not as inexpensive as last year, but booked a piece of crap car (Chevy Spark) for the whole weekend for $83. Again, like last year, I stopped at In-n-Out for dinner, then headed to the local Wal-Mart for dessert (cheesecake) and beer. Arrived at the race and got my tent assignment. It seemed warmer than last year, which was nice. However, unlike last year I didn't have a sleeping bag/pillow. I did have a space blanket, but that didn't seem enough for me to actually fall asleep. So... Groundhog Day, try to sleep in the tiniest/most uncomfortable vehicle ever. Sigh.
Got about 12 minutes of sleep. (Well, maybe an hour here and there, but nothing to brag about). The race was scheduled to start at 9:00. I went to the food tent and got some french toast, part of a quesadilla and coffee. As I was getting dressed, I noticed I already had a small blood blister on one of my toes. Yippee! Went to the medical tent to see if there was anything I could/should do with it, and it was recommended that I leave it alone. Ok then. Picked up my bib, and it's time to go...
|The only food I think I did NOT have.|
|Storm is rolling in...|
Didn't even pretend to try to get any real sleep. Any time I went to the car I would set my alarm for about a half hour. If I was still awake after 10-15 minutes I went back out. It was so muddy from the earlier rain, and my feet were really screaming at me now. I did not do much running. I know in an event like this that even walking and continuing to keep moving makes a huge difference. I really had a pretty terrible night. Unlike last year, however, I didn't have any issues actually being cold when I was out. In fact, one of the only things I brought with me that I never used were my gloves!
|Yep, this guy is using a squeegee to get standing water/mud off the course!|
Hooray for pizza!!!! Another few hours and my feet are just pissed. I decide to go for my spare pair in hopes that I feel a little better. Just before 8 pm and I'm finally at mile 90. And then the longest night ever. Because of all the mud and my aching feet, I was barely moving at a 20 minute mile pace. Around 9 and the rain started again. Man, I can't catch a break!! Ugh. Lots of complaining and resting and just suffering to get it done. Right around midnight I headed out for my "last" loop. My "A" goal had been to beat last year, with 116+ miles. I was perfectly ok with stopping at just over 100 miles.
As soon as I finished I sat in the warming tent and chatted with some runners, and apparently, I was also just in time to spectate the "underwear beer mile." LOL. And most of these people had been out running for at LEAST 15 hours at this point. Crazy. Around 1:30 I went to the car to "sleep."
It POURED all night. I was really happy I stopped when I did, because before I even got situated the rain had started. I dozed on and off until maybe 7:30. I decided to go out and do a lap or two since I had time. I was running pretty good the first loop, stopping to take a picture of how badly the course had flooded during the night.
|I guess it doesn't look too bad in the picture. But for real, everything I had was on this seat or the floor|
|Goodbye, shoes! 400+ miles and two 100+ miles races later, these guys were TOAST|
Miles 11-20 - 15:14, 13:50, 12:39, 12:57, 13:17, 13:35, 15:06, 13:05, 13:11, 17:11
Miles 21-30 - 14:18, 15:32, 15:02, 14:41, 14:31, 15:30, 18:04, 14:54, 14:37, 14:49
Miles 31-40 - 14:29, 14:42, 17:28, 15:02, 14:57, 14:49, 16:34, 17:30, 15:35, 14:49
Miles 41-50 - 15:34, 19:12, 17:59, 15:48, 14:39, 59:28, 19:24, 17:22, 19:11, 18:16
Miles 51-60 - 17:51, 18:28, 1:34:01, 18:29, 17:08, 18:07, 19:03, 25:03, 18:53, 18:04
Miles 61-70 - 23:11, 18:57, 20:16, 2:01:42, 22:59, 20:28, 20:03, 20:00, 1:38:10, 17:39
Miles 71-80 - 15:53, 17:43, 20:49, 1:00:57, 21:33, 20:14, 20:04, 19:38, 20:03, 1:25:41
Miles 81-90 - 18:57, 18:36, 19:38, 20:12, 23:01, 49:24, 23:01, 32:14, 27:34, 30:25
Miles 91-100 - 23:00, 43:54, 21:10, 22:51, 28:30, 20:41, 31:31, 24:20, 28:19, 37:03
Miles 100-103ish - 23:32, 25:36, 25:31, 20:16
Stopped at In-n-Out on my way to the airport, dropped off the car, and went to the gate. Plane was on time and landed in Denver on time as well. All in all, the travel aspect was uneventful.
- As I mentioned above, I ran with my Garmin Fenix 3 and it recorded my entire run. I did not have it on ultra mode this time. Once I realized it could be charged on the run, I would wait until the battery got to about 50% (because I'm paranoid), charge it. It worked perfectly.
- I still have to say that this is one of the most organized events I have ever run. I love that there is an aid station that I can hit every single mile. The food is phenomenal, I never went hungry! I also like that I don't have to actually carry anything on me.
- The race did an excellent job again of ensuring the course was well lit at night. And again, having someone out there to squeegee some of the mud/standing water off the course was amazingly awesome.
- I actually got another awesome race picture! I haven't bought it yet, but I will.
- Bummed to not have hit my goal, but I worked really hard at this race and I know a lot of people modified their goals because of the weather/course conditions.
- The only problem this year was with the live tracking. Last year it was spot-on, no issues. This year, there were major delays in the timing on the TVs at the start/finish, and they never did get it resolved this year. Not a huge deal, but I really wanted to know where I was at mileage-wise and with that not available, I had to complete another loop to find out.