Pistol ultra 50K

Gotta love ultra runners. Lining up in freezing weather knowing you’re going to be out there for hours and hours, sometimes over night and into the next day. That takes a certain kind of crazy. But it’s mainly the attitude of these crazy people that humbles me. No bragging, always friendly and helpful. The longer the race the less it’s about racing others, the more it becomes about racing oneself. You confront your limitations, break through mental and physical barriers, keep on moving. And usually with someone else around battling their own little demons. You’re facing your challenges with others, no matter what level of fitness and how fast anyone is going. And that’s why I like these races. I also enjoy a quick 5k on the road, but the attitude is a little more macho, a little more competitive, less friendly. You just don’t have time to chat it up when you’re huffing and puffing a near sprint for 20 minutes.I decided to take part in the shortest race this past weekend, the 50k. The first 50 of the year had me in 8th place overall with a time of 4hrs 20min. A little faster than I was originally planning on. It’s always fun to run a loop course and be able to compare how you’re doing with the leaders. I kept seeing how I was slipping behind at every lap. I’m happy with my time, but it’s not much to write home about. The winner finished over an hour earlier.

The race went pretty smoothly until about the 26 mile mark, where I hit a bit of a bad patch. The last 5 miles were tough to say the least, trying to maintain a pace below 9 minute miles. This just confirms that it’s the last 20 percent of a race that really matters. The first 80% are usually a breeze, after that it’s mind over body. I think this race is good mental and physical preparation for a road marathon. Running further than the marathon distance should make the 26.2 race just a little easier.
No injury pain cropped up, I was stiff the last few miles but managed to avoid cramping. Now a couple days later I feel rested and ready to go again. I was pretty stiff the next day, but I seem to be recovering quicker after every race now.
The only negative was the shivering I experienced near the end and after the race. I wonder if I was borderline hypothermic. A couple hours crawled up next to a heater brought life back into me though.in closing:
Starting the year off with a PR in the 50K is not too shabby. I may do this race next year as well. A well organized event. Hats off.