Thursday, June 22, 2017

Conquer the Canuck 50k - DFL

By .2 seconds gun time, .5 seconds chip time.

Yup, DFL.  Worst result EVER.  Not that I'm blazingly fast, but not generally that slow.

But I had a great time - I can't say enough good things about this race, the organizers, the volunteers, the was a blast.  I'll definitely be back.

Mom was crewing for this one and I was glad she was there.  She really helped me out.

We got there super early - they were still setting up!   It was buggy so I quickly put on sunscreen then got all bug-sprayed up, then was fine from bites for the rest of the day.  Picaridin for the win!

The race had good swag - instead of a tshirt, a beach towel!  Not to mention finishers got a medal AND a bottle of wine.  Pretty nice!

Shortly before 8am, the race start time, we gathered for pre-race announcements, then Tony's niece sang O Canada (so nice) and we stood around before we realized it was after 8am and that we should start running - so the race started.  Heh.

I started off the first of six loops on my own, but caught and ran with Kristin for much of the first and second loops.  It was her first ultra and I believe her first trail race, but she was doing great - and the trails at Shade's Mills aren't really technical, so it was a good intro I think.  Super pretty trails though, and, unsurprisingly, shady (and thank goodness with that heat!).

On the second loop, I knew I was going to get more water after the loop, and I had to - as K would say - get down to race weight.  The portapotties were on a gravel section about 700m out from the start/finish, and when I saw them, I got so excited I got distracted, tripped, and went down hard.

Like, swelling on shoulder/chewed up palms/effed up knee hard.

I visited the portapotties (priorities) and by the time I was done my knee was covered in blood.  There was a good size chunk of skin that had been pulled back.  Eww!  I finished the loop, feeling sore, swapped out my bladder, grabbed more Endurance Tap (took three per loop) and headed out again with Kristen.

My knee HURT.  Every step was painful from the impact.  I realized I was going to have to walk more than I would be doing otherwise, and as I didn't want to hold Kristen back unnecessarily, I told her to go ahead.  I ran/walked the rest of the loop by myself, and got down to race weight AGAIN at the portapotties.

Looking down heading in to the last aid station I was like 'Man is my knee STILL bleeding?  Why hasn't this clotted???' so before I passed the start/finish mats I visited the paramedics and had my knee cleaned out - no need for stitches, but it took awhile to clean it and part of that was ouchie.

But I got up, feeling VERY discouraged.  Geez.  Not only is the knee hurting enough that I can't really run - and I had been feeling great and running at an easy pace - but I just spent all this time in medical and it hurts and oww oww oww.

I wanted to quit, though I hadn't verbalized that, but Mom just assumed I was going back out, so I went back out (she told me later she could sense I might want to quit, and that she was going to tell me to get four loops in at least).  Once I got out there, I thought 'Well if I do four loops I may as well do all six' so I ran/walked for a little bit until I met Maryka (apparently my dogs are internet famous!  She knew all about them from our mutual friend Kelly, aww).  Shortly afterwards I caught Virgil, who was walking, and fell in with him.

I thought, 'I'll see how fast he runs when we get to the top of this hill' and when we did, we kept walking.  Part of me thought I should take off and run, the other part of me was relieved that my knee hurt that much less walking than running so I kept it up.

Virgil and I had never met before but soon bonded over outdoor sports and endurance activities.  We walked the rest of the loop together and at the end of the loop, we saw the arch with balloons and joked that it looked like a wedding arch - so we held hands and ran under it, to the appreciation of the crowd (but the photographer wasn't there!!!!  Boo!).

Virgil headed out on the fifth loop and I swapped out bladders, so I had to run to catch him.  Once I did, we walked the rest of the loop together, until, after passing through the last aid station and giving K and Tanker sweaty hugs, I said 'I really think we need to run or we won't make the cut offs (I think we had like 90 minutes left in the 8 hour cut off)'.  So we ran the rest of the loop, I grabbed one more gel from Mom (hadn't eaten a lot the last loop), and then we jogged off in the heat.  We did take some walk breaks, and I was trying to do the math in my head, but was VERY worried about making it before the cut off.  We hit the last aid station, and K said 'You've got 15 minutes!  You're good!  Go!' so we ran off and may have had one last walk break (my fault) before hitting the finish in I believe 7:52 and change - and because Virgil was milliseconds ahead of me, I got to be DFL.

Which is okay.

I had so much fun!

Okay, I wish I hadn't fallen and screwed up my knee, which continued to bleed for a few days afterwards.  I had to visit the hospital Saturday night for a second cleaning and tetanus shot.

But I got to meet Kristen, and Virgil, who is a super cool guy, and make a new friend.  On a day where things didn't go as planned, I'll take that.

I was stopped for over 25 minutes based on Garmin data.  I'd say I spent about 5 minutes in transition, MAYBE.  Mom was pretty quick.  Losing time is what a visit to the medics will get you :)   

I used Endurance Tap gels, and brought solid food (dried figs and PB&J ricewiches from Feed Zone Portables).  Had a S!Cap every 60 minutes.

The only time I ate a ricewich was 20-30 minutes before the race.  I felt full most of the time which made solid food - which I really SHOULD practice with - unappetizing.  Plus between that and actually eating breakfast for once (oatmeal with hemp hearts) - well, I blame that on my two visits to get down to race weight.  COULD have been a coincidence, but yeah.

Left the race feeling sad about my weight - but wah wah wah pull up your big girl pants.  Hopefully Limberlost is a better showing.
...though watch, I'll be DFL there too.

Recovered well - amazing what walking two loops will do (my AHR was 65%!  Unheard of in a race!!!!!}).  I did have a post-race massage provided by the organizers and bled on the table - eww - the massage therapist said she figured I would and that they would sterilize the table.  I hadn't thought I would, so I felt terrible.

Sunday I walked around, in pain due to my knee, and Monday I went for another massage (with April) (all gauzed up) so I did NOT bleed on the table.  By Tuesday I was running again, albeit with pain, which I still have, over a week later.  But it is improving. 


  1. Haha, I notice you left out the bit where I was physically shoving poor, bleeding you out of the aid station!
    You did great for being so banged up; way to hang in there and have some laughs, too!

    1. Oh yes! I'd lost that detail from my hazy memory!!!!! Heh

  2. Ha, it was great to meet you too Jennifer! I knew I was taking it too easy on the course, and I did want to actually run the 5th loop while you went for a water swap. But we had such good conversation and company that I wanted that more than a half decent time. Plus it was so damn hot... We will have to run this race next year on our anniversary... you better bring flowers and chocolate!


    1. Haha that's hilarious that you wanted to run and the whole time I was thinking we should!