2016 self-transcendence 7-hour race

this year they had a good turnout and there were 14 competitors for the 13-hour and 9 for the 7 hour. ok that’s not a ton of people but on a 1.54 mile loop it’s enough. last year’s race (even though we ended up even because they count by laps) Gabrielle beat me by a nose on a sprint to the finish on the last lap. when I saw she was there this year I was hoping for a competitive race. her splits were good, way better than mine and she looked really strong, especially at the beginning; but i gathered and dug deep and had a nice second wind after about 38 miles and she couldn’t catch me. i told her “age before beauty this time” but i’m not sure if she got the sideways compliment. anyway i am always thankful for someone in a race who is close to my ability to help me get stronger!

since the race is on such a short loop, i use the time to keep in constant tabs on form and it was nice to be able to see the 13 hour runners. the two winners, Steve and Steven, got 48 laps and 40 laps respectively. that’s 73.92 miles and 61.6. watching them run was a clue for me. at this time for distances over 50k I have a basic 9:xx minute stride and a 14:xx power walk but not much in between. when i try to get that high-cadence 11:xx shuffle that Steve & Steven were doing it just takes too much energy from my long legs and i feel like this could be a barrier to doing a 100 miler. i definitely need some more low gears! there were also a few older runners who did the entire 13 hours. *bow*

the weather was cool. it rained a lot on the 13 hour people in the morning but by start time it was mid-50’s, cloudy with a little drizzle = perfect! it pretty much stayed that way until the end.

i like the 7-hour format too because it gives me a chance to get well past my 28-30 mile comfort zone and see what happens after that. i get a chance to dig a little and see what i’ve got. part of me keeps trying to say the good start earned me more rest and walk breaks but then i would just ask myself if i am hurt, or just tired (using my experience to understand the difference). i did use walk breaks however. always approaching the aid station, otherwise at first just when i felt like my form was suffering and i really needed them and then planned after. the reason i always walk approaching the aid station is to calm my stomach so that i can get some food and fluids down there and not have to carry anything…of course the loop is short enough that it is easy enough to carry something and then ditch it on the next go-round.

on gear. thankfully i brought an extra pair of shoes. the shoes i started with were making a loud clicking noise! at first i couldn’t tell what it was thinking that it could be my knees but after changing them out the click was gone. my suunto ambit 2 watch ran out of battery on the last lap with about 1 mile to go (rated on that setting for 8 hours it went about 6 hours and 45 minutes.). i ate one big and one small trail butter, two clif mango-banana baby food pouches and lots of sugary snacks from the aid station. i pee’ed once and it was borderline (weak tea) but i just kept drinking water after that. i also took 2 endurolytes and 2 advil gel-caps about mid race. i had 4 of them ready but lost them on the ground when i took the first two. probably for the better.

when i got home i took a warm epsom salt bath. day after feeling good. will wait for doms tomorrow. it’s harder for me to recover from these flat courses. anyway that’s it for ultras for me for a while. 4 so far this year. hopefully i can work on speed this summer and come out even stronger next year!  thanks for reading. i hope it helps!

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