first ultra on 4-27-2014 race report

mt si 50k 4-27-14. start was 8:30 am in a cold rain. about 50 or so cometitors. my aim was to take it easy on the first half but the course was a steady gradual uphill for pretty much the whole first 15 miles to the turnaround. i kept thinking i was extra tired or something was wrong and then i would realize that i was going uphill! …went through this cycle a few times. it rained off and on and every time i would bother to take off my poncho to stuff it in my pack it would start raining again…so i just wrapped it around my shoulders. the poncho was great though. it provided enough ventilation and still keep the rain off, something a rainproof jacket can’t do. the biggest drawback is trying to get the pack on over it in the wind and rain. my drop bag was there at mile 10 and i grabbed a sandwich. i made a point to have fun and chat with folks on the way and met some nice people. it was good to encourage each other and check our pace and breathing by having short conversations. i kept leap frogging with the same folks up to the turnaround. i was deliberately walking (and eating) at intervals and just pacing by feel. i was also trying to make sure i would get to the drop bag befopre they left, but had forgotten my watch which was a nice icebreaker to talk to people (asking for the time). right at the turnaround the pack i had been leapfrogging transitioned quickly and passed me, but i am still glad i stopped to chug a soda and have some banana because i passed them again soon enough and never saw them again until the finish. over the last ten or 15 miles i kept seeing other runners going the other way or passing me. some of them looked so fresh i couldn’t believe they were doing 50 miles but perhaps they were in the relay race. no one doing the 50 k passed after just past the turnaround. i am so glad i did not trust the race info packet and leave it to the race support to feed me because the aid stations did not really have and solid food. they had bananas and that was it. the first aid station actually told me they were only there for the 50 milers (and not the 50k) even though it was listed in the packet for both 50m & 50k, and the first two stations (4 and 5) were totally gone on the return. it’s odd because there was a sign up asking returning runners if they remembered to eat but then no food was available. was this a lesson for next time?

after the race it took me about an hour to be able to get into my car & drive home due to cramp. every time i tried to stretch one thing the opposide side would cramp. there was a masseuse but no way i could even get on the table. today the day after i am very sore and my left knee is hurting a lot. i have never been this sore post running/race. i am thinking the difference between perhaps just :30/mile might have made the difference between being hurt or not (only time will tell if i am i hurt or just sore). that and the cold weather, the continuous hill and lack of solid food. all in all a good first experience though and other than the aid stations well organized. i should thank some other runners Erin and her friend (name?) and Katrina. I didnt see Katrina cross the finish before i went home and hope she is ok…and i did it! in just 18 months went from casual jogger to ultramarathoner at 49 YO!

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