This year I ran revenge x 2 since I ran the 50K instead of the 25K. Temperature was perfect for the start at about 56F (almost 20 degrees warmer than last year), but expected to warm up to 80 by the time I would hopefully finish. The 7 milers started shortly after 8 am and everyone else at 8:10. The race was chip timed this year and Jeff gave the 25K and 50K instructions before we started. We ran a loop in the circle drive to spread out. This worked pretty well since those that wanted to go out fast had a chance to get ahead before we headed into the woods.
Last year I was just starting to have major issues with my sciatic nerve, but no problems at all today. In fact, I have been doing really well since I went to an osteopath the past 2 weeks so hopefully continues. It seemed like a lot of people were running behind me which I think tended to make me start just a little fast. Tony T. was behind and Whitney, running the 25K, was ahead. Once we got to the flat area that was just over a mile, Whitney increased the distance and didn't see her again. The first aid station was in the Devil's Ice Box parking lot at 5.5 mi so I stopped to fill my water. I offered to let Tony go around, but he stayed behind me.
The next 8 miles in the Gans Creek area are tougher to run. I didn't really have a pace plan so ran by how I felt and kept the pace reasonable and took the hills easy. The trails were in absolutely great shape due to no rain in awhile. Nothing eventful happened in this loop of the course. We just enjoyed the run and the scenery. We walked up the big hill right before we got back on the main trail.
Right before we crossed over the road, I tripped on something (maybe a rock?) and took a fall. My left toe hurt a bit but pain left quickly. Next, we finished the loop from Devil's Ice box to run just over a mile flat and then up a long hill back to the start. I switched my bottle, filled and grabbed more food from my bag. I ate a few gels, and carried some peanut butter and roasted almond granola bars. No stomach issues at all today. Also, used the Succeed Ultra and Succeed Caps every hour. I stopped to pee just after I started the second loops and didn't see Tony again.
The temperature was warming, but I tried to run faster when I could since I knew the other side was going to be even tougher the second time with the warming temps and tiring legs. I saw a couple of the 25Kers coming back and then didn't see anyone until I caught up to Andy S. about mile 22. He didn't look like he was feeling too well. I continued on and was hoping to keep the last miles at 10 min pace, but went over on all on the Gans Creek side. At some point, I found myself on the ground and had hit my right big toe on a root. I was fine other than a bit dusty and sandy where I fell and hit my left knee lightly and water bottle in my right hand.
I was looking forward to the big hill since I knew it wasn't far to the Devil's Ice box station. I saw Dan H. taking pictures as I was walking up the hill and he captured a pic of me walking and I guess I was still smiling. Should have some pics tomorrow. It was great getting back to the main trail and felt like I could run a little faster again. I skipped the aid station at the parking lot since I had plenty of fluid. In fact, I dumped some out before the end to lighten the load a little. I was able to pick up the pace on the flat part. Finally came to the hill but ran up it all the way to the end.
I felt good at the end. I ran the first loop in about 2:19 so second loop was 2:27 so slowed down 8 min which really isn't too bad for me. Overall time was 4:46 and 4th out of 17 finishers. I wish I could have ran like Tony since he actually picked it up and beat me by 20 min and moved into 2nd place. By my GPS the course was 1.6 mi short. My pace for the 29.4 was 9:45 so about 5 sec slower than my fastest 50K on a single track trail. I felt like I could have kept running. I drank the milk and protein powder I had in the cooler for my recovery drink, got the last massage before they packed up, and then waited awhile for my appetite to return before trying some solid food.
This was fun race since I've run with well over half the runners in the 50K and great seeing them finish, some their first ultra. The trail was absolutely beautiful and I seem to never grow tired of running on it. After the last runner came in (he ran a few extra miles : ), we hung out for awhile enjoying the day and then helped Jeff and Lisa (race directors) pack up.
I did have some minor issues with my new shoes. They are the Mizuno Cabraken and must fit my feet a little different than the Ascends since my left little toe and left heel rubbed a bit. I noticed this yesterday on the 6.5 mi run with Hugh, but yet I still ran in them. I thought maybe with Body Glide on my feet, they would be okay. I think I will save these for shorter runs in the future and see how they do since I haven't had any rubbing issues with the Ascends. Definitely wouldn't have wanted to run in them any further or I would have had some nasty blisters. The Cabraken seem a little tighter in the heel and toe area than the Ascends.
I was kind of worried about my right calf since the right inside calf cramped really badly Friday morning and has hurt since. However, I could only feel it slightly during running and didn't seem to be much an issue due to being on the side of the calf.
Well, this was my last really long run before my next 100 miler. I don't feel like I've put in the miles like last time where I was to the point of burning out at the end of the training and had to cut back my training plan. I still have some solid training so hopefully can get though it okay. I really am not worried about it like the last 100 miler where I just wanted the day to come as quickly as possible and get it over with.