Never say never. Boy is that true. I think I'd been listened to the Trail Runner Nation podcast and decided I was an ultra runner through osmosis. The criteria for what makes a good ultra for me are: point-to-point, scenery, not too big, within 5 hour drive, and not crazy technical trails. World's End Ultramarathon 50k in May fit the bill for the most part so I peer pressured a couple friends and we signed up.
The race directors hosted a race preview on January 30th, so we got up at the crack of dawn and carpooled up to Forksville, PA.
In summary - 17 mile course preview was FANTASTIC! I'm so glad I went to check out the 1st half of the World's End course. About 6 hours in the car with great friends made the time go by in a flash. I got to meet lots of nice folks and the race director, Jeff Calvert, actually ran with a group of us for the last half. The course wasn't marked and I think we would've been okay with the turn by turn maps, but it definitely would've taken us allot longer! He gave me lots of tips, like stretch at the aid stations and walk the hills. He talked about how the races in the PA area are starting to sell out so fast and some of his concerns about the community changing. It was cool to hear his perspective. We covered allot of ground!
So, the good:
1. My hip feels amazing. No pain at all. I'm totally and pleasantly surprised. I think the bridges and clam shells have helped and last week had this pressure point machine thing done at the chiro done - I was skeptical, but maybe just maybe that helped?
2. The course was fantastic - I loved the climbs and then opportunity to stretch out on some runnable portions.
3. I ran with a slower friend and I think that was a good lesson that a slower pace may be a good idea for a longer distance. I felt like I could've gone longer even though I haven't trained at higher mileage yet.
4. My mental state was really good for 99% of the race. I felt confident, happy, and joyful out there.
5. I think the incline work helped me for the climbs. Climb 1 was ~850 feet, which about what I usually do in a whole run. The elevation gain over the day was 2457 feet.
6. My 4.5 mile recovery run on packed snowy/slushy trails felt great!
1. I got the Ultimate Direction Jenny hydration vest which is very comfortable, but the water bottles leak so my shirt was wet (not great in 30 degree temps). I need to replace them. When I replace them I may get bigger bottles.
2. Speaking of hydration.... I've been using Nuun and probably need to try something else. I drank 40 oz of water with Nuun and was major dehydrated at the finish. Tailwind is all the rage I hear. I used Skratch for my 1/2 ironman and it was okay.
3. Speaking of fuel.... I was starving at the race finish. I had oatmeal with fruit at, then a bagel at . We started running at . I had a full package of Cliff shot clocks and 1 GU gel. I guess that wasn't enough over 5 hours.
4. My calves are super, super tight today. I've rolled and stretched. Shins are a little sore too. Knees started feeling achy at mile 16, but are fine today.
5. I have a long pointer toe on my right foot that has been black for about a year (is it called a pointer - no idea - the toe next to my big toe!). It's sore today. I wish the stupid nail would just come off!
6. My hiking is slow. I think this is an area I can improve on!
7. I hate getting passed even. Must let that ego go.