Sunday, April 13, 2008

Mt Si 50 Mile (completed!)

50 miles... yup...

Sunday started early as my wife, my mother-in-law, and I got ready to head out to Snoqualmie. The drive was relatively quick, so when we arrived I had about 20 minutes to double check that every thing was in order. A few minutes to 6:00am about 50 of us lined up at the start (a few others had taken a 5am early start time). The beginning was fairly uneventful, I felt as though I was going out too fast but had a hard time slowing down. I ran solo for the first 17 miles or so , all of which seemed to go by relatively fast.

Right around mile 17 I meet "Linda", her not-out-of-the-ordinary ultra runner friendliness began with a 'how ya feelin'?" She explained she was running in an army cap and camouflage shirt in honor of her brother who was graduating basic training that day, that obviously sparked a little more conversation (since I'm an army 'vet'). We continued to chat up to the 22 mile mark when we both went to use port-o-johns, my stomach wasn't feeling so hot though so my 'visit' lasted a little longer than hers (I'll spare you any details, but I will say I felt better when I left about 7 minutes latter). I caught up with her again as she had slowed to help out a friend who wasn't feeling so hot (sick to her stomach) the 3 of us ran together for another mile or so until her friend had to stop running and we went on with out her. Linda & I ran together until the aid station at mile 29 where my wife and mother-in-law were waiting for me, at that point I was ready for an extended sit down.

As I came in my wife grabbed my drop bag and I sat down and got to work on my left foot. I had one big irritating blister that I speared and wrapped, changed socks and shirt, and grabbed some food, none of this was done too quickly though, I was taking my time on purpose and it felt good. It was nice to see my wife waiting there for me, she was very helpful but also just comforting, she definitely gave my spirits a boost. In total I'd say I sent about 10 to 15 minutes at that aid station.

I headed back out on the trail feeling rejuvenated, unfortunately that didn't last too long. About half way up the Iron Horse trail the 2% grade started to get to me, not so much in my legs but in my head, it just seemed endless. But it did end, and when it did there was a mighty steep hill to get down, an aid station, and turn around, which of course meant a mighty steep hill to get back up. Once back up from the aid station it was a subtle down hill for a good long while, it felt great and I was in high spirits confident I would finish. Once the trail flattened out again I slowed down again but it didn't matter, I "cruised" into the 40 mile aid station, ate a few PB&Js, a Gu, and headed back out. At mile 47 (which seemed like it would never come) I was surprised to see my buddy Bob standing there cheering me on and though we spent about 5 seconds together, once again my spirits were boosted.

The final 3 miles lasted a long time but they were fairly happy miles, I knew I was on the final stretch and I managed to pass a few folks in the process. When I finally rounded the corner at 49.7 miles I could see the school, that 1/3rd of a mile flew by. I crossed the finish line with a time of 9:22, a bit slower than I had hoped, but not by much, and I'm not sweating it by any means, after all, I finished my first 50 miler less than 6 months after my first marathon!

At the finish line were, once again, my wife, mother-in-law, and buddy Bob, they congratulated me and made sure I had what I needed. I munched some food and stood around in a bit of a daze enjoying the company and scene. Linda found me and congratulated me as well which is cool since I had just meet her earlier that morning (the ultra community rocks!). After about 20 minutes or so, we started to prepare for the journey home. I changed clothes in the school while the back seat of the car was cleared for my arrival ;-) Once on the road I gobbled up some Mexican food my wife had purchased for me and promptly laid down for a short nap.

That's essentially where adventure ends, all in all it was a good day and a great experience. I owe a huge thank you to everyone who supported me out there including (especially) my wife, my mother-in-law, Bob, and Linda.... thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!
(just after the finish line with finishers medal in hand, still sort of jogging, I think my legs had forgotten any other motion ;-)

(the finishers medal)

(my approach of the finish line)


Hannah said...

wow. that's INCREDIBLE! it just shows what the human body is capable of. CONGRATS!!!

Jon said...

A big thumbs up to you! Congrats on your first 50 mile finish. This year was a bit different since there were no medals until now. I wish my run was better that day, but live and learn, eh? See you at the next race.

Joanne said...

Great work, Nic! We were mentally cheering you on from home. Kudos to you!