Sunday, 29 March 2009

First Ultra (80 km) done! 27th of March, 2009

Just for the sake of change it is going to be a loo-o-ong post and not really family oriented -- feel free to skip it ;-)

This is my first try at a race report that covers my second official race (here is the first one) and my first ultra -- 80km run. It was a trail running event (defined as a "cross country adventure race") organized by Carin Goldblatt and her company Pro-sport. The elevation profile of the race looks far from boring (see below).

The race started at 5:00, but since it was the night of the summer saving time change, it felt more like 4:00 and the wake up call was at 1:45am. Suprisingly I had a very good sleep and felt rested. The temperatures were a bit cooler than promised by the forecast (6 deg. celcium) so I added one more layer of thin wool just before the start.

After running for a few minutes I noticed that I am running with the leaders which was not good -- definitely not my pace, so I slowed down and forced myself to walk the up hills (at least which were well defined ;-)).

The trails/single tracks were slippery (with their share of mud, not really bad) and going either up or down for most of the time, I managed to sprain my ankle somewhere close ~15km. Luckily it worked still, and after massaging it and a couple of minutes walk I managed continue running and forgot about it until the end of the race (after the final check back home it was just a bit swollen and had a bruise but worked).

The first "feeding zone" was at 30km mark so I changed into "summer gear" and made a mistake asking to fill my pack with water and not isoton. I believe that was the cause my hands got swallen by 50km (second feeding zone), thus I asked to refill with half water/half isoton at that stage. I still felt good at 50km, but felt that I was running for some time ;-)

At this point my FR405 said "battery low" and I switched it off... Not a good thing since I prefer to know where I am regarding to the distance left...

After that I was definitely weaker and started to walk more -- one of more experienced runners adviced to take more than 1 gel per hour, which worked until the last feeding zone (#3) at 65km.

I refilled my pack with 50%/50% mix again and put few more gels into its pocket and started the last part, 15km long. Then the hardest part started, I realized that I still can run and run smoothly (althoug all the muscles did hurt) but lacked the motivation to do so... I did not intend to stop -- that was not an option without a serious reason, but I did not care much for the speed anymore. I walked everything which was not downhill!!! I have been leading woman for 75km (do not be impressed -- there were just 3 females in the race ;-)) and when I was passed by the next one, Tali (there were only two persons who passed me and both at this stage) I had strength to go with her at her pace, but I just DID NOT CARE! I was angry with myselft but not enough... So, I finished 5 minutes after her...

So in summary I finished my first ultra with the result of 10:10:42 (look for the bib number 28), was the 2nd female, 19th overall (the were 43 runners, I believe the last 4 did not make the cut off at the 65km, and 2 DNF'd...), managed not to notice the blisters before I took my shoes off...

After getting home I was pleasantly surprised that I could stretch everything and nothing complained too much (although every muscle was painful -- even my cheeks! until I took a bath and had dinner, after it felt much better).

I was really hungry after the race, but could not look at anything sweet after the amount of gels I consumed.

As a matter of fact, today (two days later) the only thing which is uncomfortable during walking is a bruise on the back of the ankle which is in contact with the shoe and a blister under the nail ;-)

I managed to enjoy every moment of the race, the weather was just perfect -- the downpour rains started half an hour after I got home ;-)


Peter.Shoemaker said...

Congrats on your first official! Sounds like you'll be back soon.

Neal Jamison said...

GREAT JOB Tatiana! Thanks for the nice report. What's next?

Tatiana said...

Peter, thanks for congratulations, I certainly do not mind being back ;-)

Tatiana said...

Thanks Neal!
I plan to go to Jungfrau Marathon...
It's 1830m vertical elevation gain... Any tips for uphill training?

Tim said...

Tatiana, great job!

Considering all that you could probably "screw up" in a first race like this, it seems you made very few mistakes and imagine how much better you'll be next time.

Your time is really good! In my first (only) 50 mile race I did well over 11 hours.