Saturday, October 11, 2008
The race went great. I felt very fit and spry. Starting at 5, we took a 2 hour bus ride up the winding mountain road that we would be running. After checking in at the start line, we stood around for about an hour, trying to stay warm... it was about 20 degrees and snowing at the start. Took off with a shotgun start at 8AM. I ran alone for the last 48 miles of the race. Through mile 27, I was feeling very strong and fluid in my gait. One of my personal running disciplines is to run as light and as technologyless as possible - no camelbak, water bottles, ipods, etc; no watch, no gps, nada. For me it is all about running with heart and feeling, feeling out your pace and being honest about it, regardless of what your splits are. Anyways, at mile 27 I felt great, hitting all of the aid stations very smoothly. It is interesting to come to the end of what would be a marathon and realize that you have to run another. Miles 37 to 41 were probably the toughest miles of the race. Mentally, I was starting to become unglued and becoming hyper aware of every little ache and pain... but nothing was out of hand. Just the standard pains one would expect for running 40 miles. By mile 42 I was on the count-down and the end was in sight. I knew that I had hit the race with just the right pace and effort to finish strong. By mile 48 the guy running in first place, also named Brian, was within 1 to 2 minutes reach, but however much I tried to dig in and kick up my pace, I couldn't. I crossed the finish just a minute or two behind the first place finisher. I was the first unsupported runner - no pacers, aid crew, etc. to cross the finish. My time for the 50 was 6:22, about 7:38 pace. I was very satisfied with the effort and pace. The race had a couple of thousand vertical in it, which makes me very happy with the pace. Regardless, I finished and finished strong, that was my goal for this race. I truly believe my training and taper was spot on for this race. The high mileage paid off for sure. I am a bit stiff, at present, but no unreasonable pains. All in all, I am feeling great physically and am totally stoked about the days effort. I thank all of you who encouraged me, prayed for me and supported me in this effort. You all are wonderful. Well, that is the end of race season. The next couple of months will be filled with fun and easy (and low mileage) runs and developing plans for the spring running season. Glorious. Love it. Peace.