Heart burn hill(s) & and a big brick wall
(sorta) short and sweet: Squamish 50 race report.
I went into Saturday’s race feeling anxious and yet semi-confident. Minus not having ran longer than 37k leading into the race, I felt as though I (or rather we) trained very well. Back-to-backs, recoveries, hill training and strengthening training, the whole nine-yards I prepared for it, except for one tiny thing…fueling.
Kat, Jess and I waiting for the shuttle to bring us to the start line.
By 4k I was already crippled by heart burn, and despite my legs feels strong and ready to power the 2nd half, leaving the Quest aide station the nausea started. (on top of heart burn) I tried to fuel but the idea of any sorta of substance just made me dry heave.
The 2nd major hill climb came right around the same time. I hadn’t ran this part of the trail thus I was not prepared for the 5000 switch backs peaking at 30k. But that’s ok.. despite the heart burn, the nausea and the 5000s switch backs my legs were on a roll. No knee pains, no cramping, no problem!
Sure… no problem.. if i was a camel maybe, but I’m not, so when I’m burning an average of 700+ kcal/hr and consuming only 200 kcal/hr for more than 5 hours, I was pretty much doomed to the “the wall” eventually. And sure enough, heading up that hill to the final aide station 40k there is was. A big brick wall with my name on it.
Now I don’t know if many of you have hit the wall before… before Saturday I hadn’t either. Things started to get a little loopy, my legs were like "go go go go", but my body was like "f—- you! I want to stand still and make you paranoid about hyponatremia and dying on the trail" ha! This seems rather funny to me now, but at the time it certainly wasn’t. By this point I’d been continuously suffering with a horrible stomach ache for about 6 hrs and finally gave up holding it in and hurled up the few electrolytes that I left in my body. Erik, a 50 miler who I met on a few orientation runs, stopped to check in on me and see if he could help. (goodness how I love the kindness of trail runners vs road runners) Then Adam, another 50 miler who is also my best friend’s little brother, picked me up at 43k and paced me along up to the top of the last hill, saving me from an extra 30 minutes of walking, I’m sure of it. Thanks Adam and Erik.
Crossing the finish line and completed my first ultra.
One step in front of the other I made my way down the last 3k of road across the finish line in a time of 7:30:34. Jesse, being the amazing husband that he is, was waiting with open arms, unfortunately I wasn’t so receptive and welcommed him back with tears of exhaustion and confusion statements like “don’t touch me your toosweaty, I need the hose, no I need ice water, I can’t go to the beer garden with you I need to stay here…but I need to wash my legs…quiver quiver wanh wanh” Jibber jabber pretty much.
This is what someone who just ran for 7.5hrs straight up the most ridiculous, never ending set of hills over the course of 50k.
I didn’t think much of my results. It was far from a perfect race, however after looking at the results today turns out I finished 3/29 in my age category and 11th out of all women… pretty cool if I do say so myself.
Some how both Jess and Ben (who placed 7&8th respectively) were able to guzzle back a bunch of beers, meaning while I sat there gather my brain back into one piece and contemplating the next race after this.
If you take a quick gander at the Squamish 50 FB page You notice right a way the overwhelming “thank yous and congratulations” from both Gary and Geoff, the volunteers and the racers. I said this before and will say it again how wonderful all the volunteers were. from the first orientation run, through to having our drop bags ready for us at Quest, to the constant positive energy and motivation from fellow racers, never have I had such the pleasure to participate in such great acts of humanity. Thanks Gary and Geoff, you guys deserve the biggest congratulations of all!