Definitely better than last time, but still too impatient.
Started feeling easy, checked my pace in the first mile and it was around 7:45, though I felt like I couldn't go any slower. The first climb kept me in check. I was good through the first 15, trying not to get too excited.
After 15, I got too excited for the run back which was mostly downhill. Still, it was technical, and rocky, and I beat up my legs rushing down it. By 20, I was in trouble, and by 24/25, I knew I was done. Not just me legs, but soreness in my shoulders made it very, very difficult to run. It was a long way back walking and running, just trying not to lose too much time and waiting for a bunch of runners to pass me on the way back in. Thankfully, it was only one, and he wasn't a masters runner. The last couple of miles were the worst because I couldn't even run downhill which I should be flying down.
I took two gels in the first half, and none in the second. I'm not sure how much a difference that made in the end. I wasn't interested in ripping them open and eating them without water. I'll have to get used to taking a water bottle with me. Handheld might be the best for a 50k, and a vest might work for the 52 coming up. It will be something to work on. I did stop at each aid station for at least a cup of water. I'm going to have to learn to balance my desire to just keep going and not "waste" time at the stations with the idea that stopping will pay off in the end by staying hydrated and fueled.
Take a few days for a break, then get back to it. Coldwater is in about two months. I know I can do the 52, I just need to be patient and not push too much too early. It should be a lot of fun until about 40. Ha!