Sunday, May 20, 2007

History repeats itself.

A cold, rainy start to the 50k trail race at Lutsen. I opted to be warm and dry instead of fashionable, so kept on my lightweight cycling raincoat. I ran this event in 2003, finishing in tough shape and barely able to walk for a couple of days. Not wanting to suffer like that again, I started slow, or at least thought I was starting slow. I later realized it wasn't slow enough. Dan and I coming through the first checkpoint at around mile 7. I decided to convert my raincoat into a pretty little skirt after the rain stopped and I warmed up (not a slave to fashionhere...). We ran together for quite awhile, then Dan picked up the pace and I decided to let him go. I was surprised to reach the turnaround point at exactly 2 hours- alot faster than anticipated. I came upon Dan again near that same checkpoint, this time on the return trip (now about mile #24). Dan was fading fast, I was feeling good. We chatted briefly, then I went ahead, anxious to finish. Around mile 26, I hit the same 'wall' as in 2003 (at almost the exact same point!). My quads just aren't accustomed to the pounding of the Superior Hiking Trail and I was starting to suffer. I walked the steeper uphills and did my best on the descents. Fortunately, the last few miles are mostly downhill! Everyone said I 'looked strong' near the end, but I felt like crap and just wanted to STOP! Ultra-running is all about being mentally tough and smart enough to know how to pace yourself from the start...I've got alot to learn! It's also about looking good even when you're feeling bad, which I why you'll noticeI left my yellow dress/raincoat in my dropbag so I wouldn't have to wear it across the finish line :) On the good side, I finished a few minutes faster than my 2003 time, in worse conditions. Now I just need to train my brain and my legs for the longer distances- hopefully a 50 mile ultra in July....

No comments: