Saturday, February 03, 2007

Pigtails....

50K! That's right Pigtails 50K. I did it. I'm wiped, but happy. Time: 7:08:42. Read on if you are interested in the full story.

We met at the Y and figured out the carpooling. Those of us staying for multiple laps climbed into Steve's Yeti. A few others paired up and we were off. We got there a little early, and it wasn't too long before Amy, the other Michelle, Patch and Lesa all showed up. One thing about crewing at, and now running all these local ultras is that I'm starting to recognize a lot of faces and even hook names to them. Van gave us the pre-race instructions - she's a little thing, and she had just completed one loop with TC to mark the course. TC was walking around wrapped in a blanket (it was about 30 degrees out) and Van was standing on a chair, wrapped in a fleece robe. She counted down and we were off.

We started a little bit up hill, then dropped down a very steep section that would come back to haunt us. Jenny, Melissa and I were all running together. We worked pretty hard in that first lap - running the majority of the time, actually using my rolling timer. We walked a couple steeper hills, but for the most part ran. By the end of the first loop (9.6 miles) I realized that my legs were pretty heavy from my over-exuberance in the last two weeks. It has been exactly two weeks since Capital Peak and I learned a lesson - I should have a) got more than 6 hours of sleep every night, and b) I should have gone short and flat last week and maybe not so many miles. It's good to learn lessons though, right? Anyway, we came into the aid station, I refilled my water bottle (Yay! I had managed to drink about 12 ounces on this loop), grabbed a quarter of a pb&j, and we were out. The first lap took us 2:04.

We started loop two expecting to be lapped by the faster runners. We crossed the line for the out and back portion of the 50K, which was kind of exciting to see. This time around we walked a little more than before. Lap two time: 4:17 (so for just that lap: 2:13). Not too bad. At the end of lap two Jenny decided to go out on her own, Melissa decided to stay with me. I warned her I was slowing down, but she was okay with that. TC asked how I was doing and I told him okay, but tired. He told me it's okay to be tired and to eat something - I told him I had just had a quarter pb&j on the trail, but he said to eat more. He told me to walk out onto the trail eating, so we followed his advice. I switched water bottles here - I had gotten down another 12 ounces. Oh, and I forgot to mention I was using the fanny pack and loving it. We got lapped by some runners, but not the steady stream we were expecting. We didn't see any of our running buddies.

The last loop. I'm going to say that we walked and took running breaks. Every little incline was zapping my legs. I know the start/stop was hard on Melissa, but she hung in there with me. After we were done and driving home, I told her that Jenny won't let me get away with that - she keeps me on task. Melissa laughed and told me that she'll be on my case now. We had some good, deep conversation that ate up the middle of the course. I spent a lot of this last lap feeling a little sick to my stomach. About a mile from the aid station, guess who showed up on the trail? Eric and Steve. They came out to run us in - I started divesting myself of stuff - first the water belt was handed off to Eric. A little while later a small bag of sports beans. I don't know why I had to get rid of the beans, but I wanted them out of my pocket. We came into the aid station (which was also the start/finish) - but we were not quite done. We had a 2.2 mile out and back to get 50K. Our time for this loop was: 6:40, giving a loop time of 2:23. We ran to the pavement, then headed right back out. Eric and Steve stuck with us.

We ran and walked and ran and walked. We'd run to a point, then walk awhile, pick a new point and go. The guys were a great encouragement and distraction during this. We finally reached the turn around, and then Eric took off (I don't know how he had it in him to run, but he did) he wanted to reach the car and get the camera to get pictures. Steve kept up a continuous line of chatter while we pushed on. Remember the hill I mentioned earlier - the one I said would come back to haunt us? That was in the last half mile of the course. We slowly climbed up - Melissa a little faster than me, and finally reached the top. It was a short downhill and around the corner to the finish. Eric, Jenny, Van, her husband and one other guy were left - they cheered like mad as we came in. It was awesome! Final 2.2 miles: about 28 minutes. Total time: 7:08.

It rained on us for most of the last loop. I stayed warm till we reached the turnaround on the out and back - then it seemed like the wind was picking up. By the time I went to change I could barely feel my fingers. We changed, piled into the car and went to Starbucks. Oh, the other lesson I learned - I should have drank a full cup of tea this morning. I only had half, and I usually have about three cups by noon. I had a caffiene headache for much of the last two laps.

Eric "the wild man" took another ice bath when we got home. He sat there for 20 minutes. Then I tried to get in. Stood in it, tried to sit, couldn't bring myself to do it. Eric is standing there saying "Come on you're tough, you ran an ultra, you can do this!" I got out. I waited for my feet to stop hurting, I got back in, tried to sit again. Got back out. Took a hot shower instead. I told Eric he has full "I told you so" rights if I hurt in the next few days. I'm going to try a lukewarm epsom salt bath later - maybe it'll help.

So there you have it. The story of my first ultra. I didn't tell you Jenny's story, or Eric's story. You'll have to check their blogs for that!


The photo of the three of us on the trail is courtesy of Amy. Eric took the rest. The gaiters we are wearing are dirty girl gaiters.

30 comments:

robtherunner said...

Wow, what an awesome story and I really am sad that I was not able to be there. You continue to amaze me. Way to knock off that first 50k.

Jenny, Maniac #401 said...

Great story. Mines a bit longer. :) I took a cold epsom salt bath, lukewarm to sit down then I filled it with COLD tap water. I made it for about 11 minutes. I forgot to add that to my story. It was a great day! Thanks for the company!
Jenny

Darrell said...

You are taking this Maniac moniker seriously. Congrats on the great race.

You should really try the ice bath. I really think you'll feel better later.

E-Speed said...

My ultra friends swear by the lukewarm epsom baths! I hope it worked for you!

Awesome job! Beats my first 50K!!! Rockin!

E-Speed said...

ps. I am glad you went for the whole thing! You should be so excited!

susie said...

Excellent!! And it sounds like it was fun, too (which is amazing in itself) I'm with you on the ice baths.....brrrrrrrrr

Sarah said...

Big congratulations! That is so awesome. Your first ultra...how sweet. : )

Wes said...

Yea! You are an Ultra!! I mean. Damn, girl! You keep setting the bar higher and higher! LOL. What an awesome job and story. You and Eric are just R-O-C-K-I-N!!! I like your running outfit too. Dee Dee just bought me a bright yellow running jacket, which I wore this morning.

Joe said...

Michelle, you are turning into quite the running machine! I'm happy for you!! 7+ hours on the road is no small task...you are mentally tough as well as physically fit.

Glad the water belt worked...good for you to keep the fluids rolling.

Great report...have a restful week!

TryAthlete said...

It gets better and better / madder and madder, doesn't it?

Well done Michelle!

Janice said...

Congratulations! That sounds like an amazing run. I think you did great! And what a great time:) Hope you're not feeling too sore.

Dori said...

OMG, 31 miles! You are amazing! Congratulations on a great race. Glad the water belt worked out; I love my belt. I wear extra pockets on it to carry gels and my phone.

Chad said...

VERY AWESOME!!!

Sounds like you are getting the hang of these long distances - sounds like you are all set for doing Orcas this month.

GOOD LUCK.

craig said...

Congratulations Michelle. I had a feeling you were going the distance. Another milestone in a stellar year of running

Bob Gentile said...

Way to Go Michelle on your First Ultra, WELL DONE!!... Good company as well to enjoy the adventure!

ICE bath part of your post was funny, I know you really wanted to do it, so U won't be that sore tomorrow but BRRRRR your right just too dang cold... well I believe ICE baths will be in your Future this year :-)I hope the lukewarm Epsom bath helped you.

GREAT Job Again, you are turning into a running machine!!

Bob

Thomas said...

I knew you would do it. I did not have the slightest doubt that you would run the full 50k as soon as you mentioned it. You're a trooper.

Ryan said...

If interested read on…absolutely! Way to hang in there and persevere, that's one ultra feet! I think it was the pb&j's that kept you going. Congratulations!

JustRun said...

Awesome!! Congratulations!
I had a feeling you'd do it all, thanks for the inspiration!

Jason The Running Man said...

Great blog, found you off CRN. Congrats on the run!

olga said...

I didn't doubt it for a split second. I'd be almost disappointed if you didn't:) You have a curiousity and hunger that drives ultrarunners. Welcome to the Dark Side of the Moon!

runliarun said...

You are going farther and faster. This is awesome, congratulations!

psbowe said...

That's amazing, congratulations! You're my inspiration, I mean that too.

It took me awhile to take ice baths too. The way I do is I start off by getting in the empty tub, then start the cold water, then dump in the ice when I have enough water.

Juls said...

Amazing!
Congratulations!

Anne said...

So many running bloggers tackled their first 50k this weekend. I'm so proud of you, Michelle! (And I can't handle ice baths too.)

Nicole said...

That is so awesome! Congrats.

Dawn - Pink Chick said...

Wow, that's awesome!

Jack said...

I had no doubt that you would complete the race, congratulations! I tried an ice bath once (emphasis on once ;-) Rest up and savor the victory, you're awesome!

Steve said...

Ok, some hints for the cold water baths. Step into a half full tub. Squat down and splash some cold water on your legs and bum. Take a big breath, sit down and then lower your legs. Practice some Lamas breathing after a scream or two. My sister-in-law called my wife so she could listen to me squeal. I took it like a man and let out one yell just for her (yeah, that's my story...).

Congrats again and looking forward to Orcas

WADDLER26.2 said...

Amazing job! And talk about some great mileage for the week.

angie's pink fuzzy said...

Michelle, you are AWESOME.