Northface Endurance Challenge 50k
I will just have to say WOW! on this one. A very challenging 32 miles! This is the hardest run I've ever done. A week's worth of mileage in one day. It's unbelievable how much climbing there is on this one. I have full respect for ultra runners that did the 50 mile. Makes flat road marathons look like a piece of cake, really.
The views are amazing. I even saw a coyote up near Hawk Hill.
The whole race experience was great, awesome volunteers, lots of slow torturous uphill powerwalking climbs, painful descents, beautiful scenery, friendly runners. Whoever made the chocolate cupcakes and brownies are an angel. They had my drink of choice which is Nuun, and vegetarian options for the hot meal at the finish. I carried my camelbak and carb flask loaded with gu. At the aid stations partook in the pb and jelly sandwiches, baked potatoes with salt (mmm), chips and chocolate cupcakes. I weighed in when I got home and lost 5 lbs. water?
Almost 8 hours of running. I'm smiling, but exhausted in lots of pain. Lower back, achilles tendon, quads, hip flexors, arms...I got some kt tape for recovery - didn't realize I could put it on before the run. Now I know.
Ran steady up wide hilly trails in the first part. This is good because then you get sorted out and not stuck behind someone on singletrack. This is also bad because if you can't keep up the pace then you get people running on top of you on singletrack. Physically, it was tough. My hip flexors gave out halfway through it, I could barely lift my legs anymore. I was using my arms to lift my leg up a few times. My lower back and achilles tendons are also quite sore. Mentally, I felt like I was being punished. Though I love trails to bits I prefer them in healthy, manageable doses. There were only a few miles of steady pace running where I could "relax". The rest were teeth clenching wtf bitch miles. It got insane by the time I reached the last third. I was LOL to myself then I saw a coyote. Not a hallucination. I didn't think to take a photo of it. It was hard to stop and start again. There was a lot of run-walk-run, counting of steps. I didn't bring an ipod but I had some songs stuck in my head. Don't ask me why but they were "Mrs. Robinson" by Simon and Garfunkel, "Welcome to the Jungle" by Aerosmith, and "Truckin" the Pop-O-Pies version LOL.
Met some nice runners, ladies from SoCal. People were friendly as they passed by me. I'm more than happy to yield to faster runners and attempt to use them as a pacer. I noticed the legs on the people who passed - twice as thick muscly tree trunk legs! Next time I do one of these (if) I will have some jokes ready for them.
That's it for me this year. 50k to Couch program is underway. Will do lots of swimming and easy running for the remainder of 2009. The rains are here which makes cycling a drag.
Northface Endurance Challenge website