So on Saturday, The Clinton Lake 30 miler was the 1st of the 4 races in the IL. Slam Ultra Race Series.
It actually started a little crazy on Friday, I come home from work and told my wife I'm feeling a cold coming on. I was hoping for some sympathy, but since my daughter was also sick, that didn't happen. Boohoo. But I decided not to take any medications so I would not feel to loopy running in the morning.
So at 3:15 am, me, kickstandPam, and Caroline headed off for the race. We must have had strong winds driving there, because we were the 1st racers there and still had two hours before the race start.
So luckily a little shuteye cleared my head a little bit before the race start.
It was an interesting start, the Race director told us that last year he only had less than a 50% finishers rate, because of all the mud. So that was inspiring to hear before we started, but off we went.
Honestly my plan was to just use it as a training run for the 100 miler in two weeks and take it easy, but sometimes you get caught up in the excitement of a race. So I did, my heart rate was around 160 already the 1st mile. I kinda of chalked it up as being sick, but I was trying to stay under 149 (Zone 2) the whole race if I could.
We started running single track immediately, pretty much early on it was follow the leader and tried to find some spots to pass some slower runners. Alot of rolling hills, some big hills, but not as muddy as I thought it would be. So on the 1st loop with still a 160+ heart rate I finished in around 1:48. So I was a little inspired, maybe I can finish under 6 hours this day.
The crowd thinned out a little bit and just tried to run my own race. It did seem a little bit more muddy, because of the 100+ racers who already passed on by. The winds seem to pick up a certain spots as well. At one point a fellow ChiA runner Brian, caught up to me and we started running together for awhile. Then at the end of the loop I felt a sharp pain in the my inner thigh and told Brian to go on without me. It felt like a really bad cramp. All I could think about is, man this could happen in my 100 miler. But I sucked it up and tried to walk it off. Eventually it started to go away and I was running slowly again.
I finished the second loop in around 3:55, so I still had hopes of breaking 6 hours.
I changed my water bottles once again and headed off for the final lap. At this point the cold air was starting to get to my lungs. I was whizzing a little bit and coughing was a little bit of agony in itself, but I needed to finish nonetheless. At one point I was actually able to catch up to Brian and another ChiA runner Kelly who was doing some pacing work in the final 10 miles. We stayed together until the last aid station on the loop. I was starting to cramp again, which was really frustrating because I thought I had my nutrition nailed down at this point.
But I continued on listening to the trees howl and geese flying across the lake. A beautiful thing I must say.
So in the final stretch, I was able to get the kinks out of my leg, sprinted to the finish with a time of 6 hours and 17 minutes, 38Th out of 109 starters. Not the under 6 hours I was hoping for, but it was supposed to be a training run I kept telling myself. I had fun and took a well needed rest on the bench next to my fellow finisher Brian. Ahhh, it felt good to sit down..
So after eating some cold sausage pizza, I waited for my running partners to come in. This would be their first ever trail race and longest run to date. They will attempting there 1st 50 miler in two weeks, so I was pretty excited for them. I was wondering if they were cursing my name out on the trail as well.
Then I saw them heading to the finish, all smiles, WooHoo.
So it was a great time out there, a good primer for everybody who will be racing in two weeks at the McNaughton 50/100/150 mile Ultra and also meeting some of the ChiA runners. I need to tweak my nutrition a little more. But by running cautiously out there, my ankle held up and I'm glad about that.
So time to relax a little bit and do a little taper before my 1st 100 miler. How do you taper for a 100 miler anyways??
I still have alot of doubts of how I'm going to do, but try I will. I know it's going to HURT alot, I'm really HURT. But a challenge I set before me that I plan on not backing away from.
So bring it ON and how did I ever get myself signed up for a 100 miler, I wonder sometimes? Even these days I think I might be even a little bit nuts.