Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Rocky Hill Ranch 50K - April 15th, 2007

There I was at the starting line. 31 miles ahead and I would be done. Man, I've never before been more intimidated than I was at the thought of running this race. The Rocky Hill Ranch 50K was my first ultramarathon (any race that's longer than your standard 26.2 marathon) and run on the trail not on the road.

I did the run as a training run, not racing style. 6 hours 7 minutes later I finished.

What I learned:

Take it easy - walk the up hills, set your pace back

Eat a lot - carbo load a ton before the race, indulge at the race... Eat what you crave at each aid station, which comes around only every 5 miles, but it's well supported. Anything from m&ms, to potatoes with salt and pringles and pretzels out the wazoo.

Breathe it in - I just read The Extra Mile a great book from Pam Reed an epic ultramarathoner, where she says your only a virgin once - to your first 5K, 10K, half-marathon, marathon and of course ultra, whether that be a 50K-100 miler. Every new race is its own unique experience and should be enjoyed in the moment. The Rocky Hill race was that for me, and despite the many hours it took to complete I enjoyed every last second.

Garmin's = Good - when you get lost in the woods, it never hurts to be wearing a GPS watch. Yes, very nerdy, but handy at plotting your course while counting miles and averaging your pace.

Well, that's done. Now what's next???

I'm currently training with the Austin's Rogue trail running group preparing for this year's Pike's Peak marathon. Though I didn't register in time to make the cut, I plan on possibly doing the Leadville Marathon (26.2 not the 100 miler). While training with Rogue we will also be doing a local series of Austin trail races called The Maze, The Loop, and The Belt. Each race is a 30K.

Wish me luck, just don't say break a leg!