|Gear Bag Drop Zone|
This was a 2-loop course and we both agreed that we liked that. They allowed us to leave bags near the start/finish line and access them in between laps. They had no requirements for the bags – we could put whatever we needed there. We both left half of our nutrition and replenished our stock when we stopped.
|Approaching the last aid station … we just hit marathon
mileage! This was now going to become our longest run ever!
Around mile 25, when we needed it the most, a friend and her dog were waiting for us – they ran the whole way in with us and it was great having the company and encouragement!!!
The last few miles were tough for me – I was very grateful for the walk breaks and would look forward to each one … telling myself I could make it through another 4 minutes … and, I did!
|Aid station around mile 27 – last stop and only 4 miles to go!
Notice the Race Ready shorts from Hammer … LOVE them!!!
There’s plenty of room for my Perpetuem Solids, Hammer Gel
and Anti-Fatigue Caps … and I don’t have to wear a fuel belt!
|We made it and it felt great!!! I couldn’t
have asked for a better running buddy!!!
As we hit the last two miles, I was fading – Jen was running strong and kept the pace going! We knew we would be close to 5:30 but it was looking good for us to break it if we kept pushing. Jen offered a few encouraging words and we hit the last mile strong, skipping our final walk break. I was so happy when we turned the corner and could see the ramadas … then the finish line … we made it!
What an amazing feeling! Now time to eat! Apparently, it is tradition for the race director’s mom to make homemade chili … and lots of it! There were quite a few crockpots and some had meat, others were vegetarian … and it was delicious!!! They also had chips, sandwiches, drinks … YUM!
It did take a little bit for my stomach to settle enough to enjoy the meal … but, once it did, I was hungry and the food was good!!!
Our friend, Terra, also ran this 50k and did very well – she broke 5 hours! Way to go, Terra!!! Here’s a picture of the 3 new ultra-marathoners! Thankfully it was a very positive experience for all of us and we are looking forward to finding more races like this to do … and we will probably be back here next year!
No finishers’ medals – but we all received these glasses as we crossed the finish line. While it is nice to have someone put a medal around your neck – this is probably a more usable/practical memento of this event! If you finish first overall or in your age group, you get a growler of beer to go in it!
As mentioned earlier, I would definitely come back to this event! It was very well run, had great support and is a fun course. Plus – this is a great time of year to be out on the trails in Arizona!!!
Now, for my nutrition plan. In any sort of endurance events, it is important to have a plan and be consistent in your training and racing. We have been using Hammer Nutrition products for a few years and I have had great experiences with them … so, that’s what I stick with:
- If I have a few hours before an event I will start my morning with an Ensure (or the Costco version of it) … I woke up a little later than I wanted to, but I knew I would be using a lot of calories so I drank that as soon as I got up.
- From that point until close to race time I had a bottle of water with Endurolyte Fizz in it (grape is my favorite flavor!)
- 1 hour prior to the start I took 2 Anti-Fatigue Caps. I then took one of these with an Endurolyte capsule every hour during the event.
- About 10-15 minutes before the start I had a Hammer Gel and then had a handful more during the race – Jen was good about keeping us on schedule; having our gels about every 45 minutes.
- During the race I also ate Perpetuem Solids – I prefer these to the drink version but some people struggle with the texture and initial powderiness. With events longer than 2 hours, I always bring these along to get some protein in me.
- At the aid stations I drank HEED, grabbed another gel or two and would always top off my water bottle – because it was always getting topped off, I’m not sure how much water I consumed but I felt good so I must have done alright. At one station I had a little cola because it sounded (and tasted) so good! I don’t think I had anything else, I really try not to add anything new into my diet during an event.
- I was very grateful to have Hammer products on course – it’s nice when the race uses the same products you train with!!
- After the race I was missing my Recoverite – I drink that after every training session (I like to make smoothies out of it with fresh or frozen fruit if I can) and with my late morning, that was forgotten … luckily there was a good amount of food to help replenish my calories!
Well, the last long run is complete … next up … Phoenix Marathon in hopes of getting to Boston!