I have had some time to think about my experiences at this amazing race. Right after the race I was overwhelmed with exhaustion and didn’t really feel like running another really long race again, let alone a 50km or longer race. Then, after a nice meal, a beer, and a good night’s sleep I came to realize what I had accomplished.
I was semi-competitive for most of first 50km race but ran out of juice in the last 5-10km without having run more than 32km in my life. I was around 20th at the final aid station and was passed by about 40 people during the final ascents. I ended up finishing in 60th out of 177 people with a time of 6:22hrs. I was really tired and ended up stopping often. My heart rate was sky rocketing when walking. However, if I did it again I think I know how to better push through the exhaustion. I have used this in recent 5km races and workouts to push.
I did not have any issues regarding my diabetes. My insulin pump site stayed attached and I remembered to insert a spare(did not need it), keep another in my bag along with a syringe. I was within a good range the whole race and I cannot complain what so ever about this. Even my control following the race was amazed and I had to guess on the dosage a bit and accommodate what I guess would be a lot of glycogen depletion.
I learned that a really slow run is a world faster than walking and it generally turns into a faster paced run. After a hill or a quick break I was able to say lets go and just ease back into it. I have been meaning to read it, but the title of the book “Relentless Forward Progress” is very apt in this case. I kept repeating that title and pushing through.
The conditions were really good. It started cool, but not cold and I wore a long sleeve shirt and shorts. Towards the end it got warmer but for the first 3 aid stations I did not need to refill my water. Afterwards I ran out before each aid station. I was expecting more snow, but there was only a little and it was easy to get through. The mud was awesome. Not so deep that you got stuck, but it made people try to go around. Big mistake. I was passing others trying to navigate around the mud and working half as hard.
As for after the run, I was not broken. Trails are amazing for that. They hurt and tire you but generally leave you intact. A few months before this race I did a half marathon on the road that broke me for a month.
That leaves now. I am focusing on some faster races and then will do another 50km race in October. The Wild Duluth 50km race. Should be exciting and not too hot. Next week is the first mile race of the season and I have won a couple local 5km races in the past month. Running fast is fun too.