I will start with some house cleaning. Since my lat post a month ago, I caught a cold that settled into my lungs. I had to miss Run Wild half marathon on May 5th. It took a while to shake it, I managed a 10k run and a 19k run in the River Valley a week later. The next week was a 21.1k. Not as much running as I wanted to do before Blackfoot.
So, what about Blackfoot? The night before I had sore knees. I have been renovating our basement for a month and did a lot of work on my hands and knees. I wasn’t sure if it would cause a problem on the run, it was more joint pain than muscle. I planned out all my gear, laid it all out. Morning started at 4. I had to have something to eat, mix my water and pack up. They wanted you there by 6 and it was a 1 hour drive. I made a change bag that I left at one of the buildings at the start/finish line. My plan was to change out clothes after each lap. I stored my bag, got my timing chip and waited. It was about 7 deg, no wind, sun was coming up. A little chilly but I didn’t over dress. For the 50 mile (80k) we ran 2.5k out and back, then there would be 3 laps of 25k. I started out OK, my knees were a bit sore but I waited to see if it would get worse. Starting the first 25k lap was also the start of my pain management. I had to stretch out my quads regularly, it felt like they were pulling my knees. I was more of an annoying feeling than actual pain. There was rain the night before and the course was wet. They were wide trails, mostly packed dirt or grass. Tons of hills. There was a section that was all mud. The entire trail for at least 1k was mud uphill and downhill.
There were 3 stations that had water and food. One was a bacon station. They had bacon, bacon chocolate chip cookies, bacon pancakes, and they all had PB&J sandwiches, bananas, and watermelon. My food for the day was mostly the sandwiches, bananas and watermelon. The first lap went well, I was feeling good, finished the first 30k in 4 hours. I changed my socks, shirts and shorts and started #2. The sun was out and was drying the trail, and the 50k race that started was pounding the mud down. About 15k into that lap I realized I had no pain, but I was also walking much more. Near the end of that lap I was exhausted and I didn’t feel like I had anything left to move my legs. About 1k before the end of that lap I rounded a corner. There was Steph and Louise holding up signs. They drove out and waited for me to come by. I was a spectacularly awesome thing to do. My team was there. We walked to the staging area, 4 hour lap, I thought I would stop at 55k, but they motivated me. I changed some clothes, took a 5 Hour Energy and some Advil. I don’t know if it was what they said or just there presence, but I thought I had enough time to finish the last lap. I had just under 4 hours to finish, but I knew I would be walking more. They walked me into the tail a bit and we parted. I felt energized and did some running. Lots of running actually. I kept going until I needed a walk, then ran some more. I figured that if I felt good now I should run as much as I can, the back half of the course is where I will be walking. And I was right. The mud was pounded down to a trail, it got cloudy which made the heat less of an issue and I had more than enough water to just keep going. And I did, I finished that lap in 3 hours 50 minutes. I was tire and sore at the end, but not in real pain. It was no different than any other race I had done. I write this the morning after. I am stiff, no knee pain, actually feeling better than after Sinister or Death Race. I think I am ready for 93k of Sinister 7 in 6 weeks.
So, the race stats:
80k in 11 hours 51 minutes, average pace 9.07, elevation gain 1002m, 7223 calories burned. Average heart rate 136, max 169.