After running the 50K a few times I finally got the chance to get the Pistol 100 done.
-First time under 24 hours
-Injury free going into and coming out of (I think)
-A great way to celebrate the new year
-Good learning experience for future races
-My first time with a pacer, odd for me but fun
Such a great event. There are reasons why it draws people from all over. I think local runners are in the minority, which is a unique thing. It’s a fast course with a lot of support and easy access. The weather was mostly cooperative, the rain stayed a nice drizzle most of the time and it wasn’t too cold.
Training has been going ok of late. This is the first winter in years where I’ve been injury free and not sidelined. Consistency has been the mantra (Thanks Karl) and I’ve been ok trying to follow that, minus the Christmas holidays of course. I think the main prep for this race was incorporating some walking into my training. Walking with a purpose and with some speed (15min/miles) really helped.
Ran with Kathy and Tony the first half. I thought it wise to stay with the veterans of ultrarunning. They know what they’re doing! It was a nice 10 hours of chat, silence, making fun etc. There were a few stops here and there for some New Years Eve sips. The pace was slower than I personally planned but I wasn’t bothered.
Jacob came along for the ride and since I was feeling pretty good at this point we pulled ahead and “pushed the pace” for a couple of laps. It was nice having some strength in the body after 10 hours. I felt a little odd leaving K and TO behind but had to at least try to push towards my original goal.
At around 70 Jacob ran ahead and got me a coffee from a gas station nearby. That was a nice treat right when I needed it.
New years hit around mile 75 right after leaving the Woody aid station. It was raining and somewhat miserable at this point. We missed the ball drop at the start/finish, Jacob face-timed/skyped with his wife cheering us on. Another year in the books. I was running out of gas. My push after the halfway mark lasted about 20 miles. It was all a slog from here on out I knew. The possibility of sub 20 was long gone, so my secondary goals kicked in. Sub 22, 23? Possible. But only if I could trick my body into running more.
But no, my body would not let me run! Damned body. It just was not happening. I would try to stride for 5 or so minutes, hoping the body would loosen up. But nope. Walking was the only way I was finishing this. So sub 24 became the realistic end game. Still not bad. We were silent much of the last lap, it was getting things done time. I was still in good spirits though with the end in sight. I felt especially good because my body was holding up ok. I didn’t feel any long term damage being done, or any old injuries popping up. I was just stiff as a board and starting to swell in the legs and feet. The rain and cold were finally getting to me too.
We almost managed to beat the sunrise. The finish was pretty anti-climactic, walking over the line with Jacob, picking up my booty, then leaving the venue behind. I wanted nothing more than to warm up and lay down for some sleep.
It’s now 2 weeks since the race. The body is recovering OK. There’s some random soreness, and the knees are still rickety. I took a whole week off afterward. Now I’m upping the miles slowly. 20+ this week. Hopefully, the training wheels will be off in a couple more weeks and it’s back to normal. I’ll be hitting the trails big time shortly.
I still think a sub 20 is doable with the right training and circumstances. Gotta shoot for the stars! Maybe Tunnel Hill. Maybe even Pistol again.
Music City Ultra – 50K
Georgia Death Race – 70Miles