Monday, September 21, 2015

Older but Wiser ! FROSTY 50 Km

Frosty 50 km was my FIRST 50 K  in 2009.  I've waited 6 years to do it again. For various reasons, I would register, but could not make it.  In 2009  I was in significantly better shape, and was much more serious about my training than I am now. Years later,  I'm a little OLDER , a little HEAVIER, and a little more INJURED ... but WISER !  RESPECT the first climb.

The weather was perfect 7 deg C and dry. I was totally relaxed, looking forward to playing on the trails in Manning park.    (vs. 2009- super nervous !)

And a climb it was ! I went up for a good 2.5-3 hours. Took my TIME because:
a. I 'm just slow
b. My calf cramps if I go too fast at the start - my 'governer'
c. I have RESPECT for the first climb because in 2009, my husband and I rocked it in under 3 hours, but he bonked on the second half.

The road went up forever, thankfully, it went right into a beauty singletrack up into the alpine and out into the exposed mountaintop. I took the time to stop, look back, and take in the views after climbing some odd 4000 feet.

  By the top, I was  dizzy/nauseaus, and couldn't eat due to the altitude at 8000 feet. I lost sight of the markers in the mist  ( that's the other peak you can't see in this pic)  and was feeling a bit lost & confused. So I stopped, got my heart rate down, forced myself to eat and got my head back. Still couldn't see the flagging, but figured, I should probably just go UP ! Scrambling over rocks, I find the flagging again and make it to the top- whew !
 BOMBED back down with a couple of fun girls. I hit the bottom in about 4 hours- a whole HOUR slower than before. BUT I felt GREAT.

I caught up to Rick, a guy who just did a 200 mile run FIVE days prior to this race- crazy. He was super strong, powerhiking  the uphill switchbacks. I could not run as fast as he could hike ! Of course the switchbacks went on forever till the next aid station. Then I tackled the infamous skyline hills where no one knows how many there are because we are all delirious by that time. But I had it together- I KNEW there were 4 !

  After finishing the 4th, I was confused to see ANOTHER climb. Hmmm, maybe they don't count the first? I was already second guessing myself when I hit ANOTHER climb ! argh. By this point, my  right hip flexors were spazzing & shut down so I grabbed my leggings to lift my leg on the steep climbs. It worked well.

By the meadow, I caught up to some fellow runners Scott, Liam, and Marc. It was nice to see some familiar faces! Fellow "Buntzen Burners"  .  I enjoyed having  "down time" running  down off Skyline with Marc. So proud that I finished two decents without falling ! and then I hit the FLAT  and freakin' FELL ! really? clothes torn, number flew off, gear from my pack splayed everywhere.  Gathered myself together, joined back up with my friend Marc and ran/ walked our way back through the last flat 7 km.

FINISH ! 6 years later, & only 4 min slower. Marc hamming it up at the end ! apparently I'm annoyingly happy.
What is cooler than finishing a 50 k? finishing it with FRIENDS at the end ! Compared to 2009, where just hubby n' I finished, this time  there was a huge group of friends cheering us in. The ultrarunning community is so supportive!  Oh my, and then there was the 'after party" - that's a whole other story.