Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Worlds End 100k - lessons learned

Ann Trason was my coach in 2016 to prep for my first 50k.  Working with Ann was fun and to have her depth of experience provided many nuggets that I think of almost every training run and race.  She suggested that before each race I set a series of goals and after each race I reflect on what went well and what what I learned for next time.  Since Michelle is my partner in crime these are our collective thoughts.

A+ (secret) - top 10 women.  We did it!

A (public) - finish under cutoff time (19 hours)
B - cross the finish line no matter the time
C - get to a new distance, which for us was anything over 35 miles)

What went well
  1. Physically  - we were prepared.  I had some early hip soreness but it went away.  I was nervous that I was under trained, but I think the reality of our work/parenthood/life and training leading up to the race was as well balanced as it could be.  Michelle said that the treadmill hike was key for her.  Her knee started aching at one point.    
  2. Staying at the cabin at the park the night before was super fun and took out another logical thing to plan race morning.  Plus it was fun.
    1. Nutrition - ate and hydrated early and often/regularly.  No issues!  OMG watermelon & grilled cheese.
    2. Having a pacer and family at aid stations was awesome.  It was incredibly uplifting to see Mike and Michelle's husband Kevin and daughter Rae.  
    3. Changing our of wet shoes and socks halfway was A-mazing.  Probably a huge contributor to our 2nd half 2nd wind.  
    4. Hike with purpose was a good strategy for us.  Hiking strong early allowed us to run at the end when the course leveled out a bit.   
    5. Breaking the race into sections from aid station to aid station made it seem much more approachable. 
    Lessons learned

    1. Chaffing - lube early and re-apply.  Chaffing was my worst post race "injury".  
    2. Mentally the 1st half was really tough - we had romanticized the trail since 2016.  Need more strategies on how to pull out of that.  Luckily we had a collective 2nd wind at the halfway point which made the race much more fun.    
    3. Need to train more for the climbs and technical downs - especially in wet conditions. My right quad was trashed by mile 60 (see treadmill hike comment above).
    4. Check gear more thoroughly.  My headlamp at the start was total worthless crap and Mike was stuck with it at the end of the race pacing.
    5. Plan pacers and crew earlier since that was fun for us.  This course was so much fun that we would enjoy sharing it with some more friends who wouldn't want to do the full distance.   
    6. 64 miles is long, but as Ann told me, you will go to the distance of the race.  We swore to Mike that we wouldn't do 100 miler, but now.....we shall see!

    Sunday, June 25, 2017

    Worlds End Ultra 100k 2017 Race Report

    I couldn't think of a better way to usher in my 39th birthday with the most amazing running partner Michelle and our incredible pacer Mike (aka my husband).  We got to run all day in the beautiful mountains of PA with snacks along the way.  Worlds End is a great race and we will be back in 2018!  
    64 miles in ~64 words

    1. Registration
    2. Preview

    3. Scoping 
    4. Steep (in flip flops)
    5. Cabin love
    6. Resourceful
    7. Campfire 
    8. Sleepless
    9. Early (3:45am)
    10. Overwhelmed
    11. Disbelief
    12. Pacer pep talk
    13. Pack/unpack/pack/unpack
    14. Nervous
    15. Coffee (no pancake sadness)
    16. Ponchos

    17. Porta-a-potty
    18. Prayer
    19. Lined up
    19. Bear/snake/wildlife warning
    19.  Start!
    21. Wet
    22. Cold
    23. Dark
    24. Stupid-good-for-nothing-piece-of-crap headlamp

    25. Slippery AF
    26. Magnitude
    27. Watermelon
    28. Daylight
    29. Doubt
    30. Uncharacteristically quiet partner

    31. Nagging hip
    32. Fear
    33. Beauty

    33. Grilled cheese from heaven
    34. Pacer hug
    35. Support
    36. Gratitude
    37. Climb
    38. Burning left big toe
    39. Fatigue (already?)
    40. Half way

    41. New (dry) shoes
    42. 2nd wind
    43. Chatty chatty chatty

    44. Cheater Poles
    45. Top 10? 
    46. Laughter
    47. Leapfrog
    48. Getting Dumb
    49. Family

    50. Pacer love (Bahlahkay)
    52. Chaffing
    53. Summit
    54. False Summit
    55. Five breath break

    56. UMFOTF (ultra mother f$&8ers of the forest)
    57. Passion
    58. Hike (with purpose)
    59. No Doubt

    60. Darkness falls
    61. Animal!  root
    62. Desire to be done
    63. Momentum
    64. Victory!  Joy!  Celebration!

    Thank you to the talented Tania Lezak's photography who was kind enough to share the photos she took at the race, thank you to David and Jeff for being awesome race directors, and thank you to the many volunteers (especially Dan D) who make the experience truly awesome.  

    Oh, one more thing - breakfast at Forksville General Store Sunday morning hit the spot.  It was also pretty funny to see all the delirious runners hobbling around (me included).