Over the weekend, I ran my final LONG run before the 52.4 Challenge with the SF Marathon at the end of the month. This was my very first race with Brazen Racing — called the DIRTY DOZEN. It was a 3.3 mile loop that you could run as many times as you wanted for 6 (or 12 hours). There was also a .65 mile loop that opened up towards the end of the time period so that you could keep racking up miles if you couldn’t get a 3.3 mile lap in before the time ended.
I ran with my friend Chris — who I have done most of my ultra runs with and we’ll also be doing the 52.4 together. We showed up maybe an hour before the start, grabbed our bibs, laid down our stuff on a blanket and set out to do some running. We were aiming for somewhere above 30 miles and decided about 9 laps would get us there. We started out with a 9-1 minute run/walk ratio.
The first 10 miles
These felt really tough, I’m not going to lie. Honestly, I didn’t think I was going to make it the whole 6 hours because I just wasn’t feeling it. I had my ultra-super-buddy on the brain, @RunEmz, and remember something she said to me: As I misquote – “don’t give up in the first 10 miles, you didn’t even give the run a chance.”
The course was beautiful. We were running up near Point Pinole and had views of the shoreline most of the entire way. I wish I had taken some photos. I was going to grab my camera on the last lap and snap some, but it never happened. The weather was PERFECT. It was overcast with a nice breeze and I just hoped that it would stay with us the majority of the way.
The second 10 miles
Somehow, these FLEW by. There was nothing that really changed. We kept our 9/1 intervals, fueled at the aid stations, hit the potty, and just did some laps. Best way I can describe it, but we were at 20 miles really quickly. Maybe we hit a rhythm, maybe my body realized what it was doing and accepted it, who knows?!?
3.5 hours… 20 miles. So far, so good. @BrazenRacing 6 hour race.
— Pavement Runner (@PavementRunner) July 12, 2014
The last 10 miles
These ones felt ok. We were starting to get tired, but knew that we just had a few more laps. I admitted to Chris that I was feeling a little tired and so was he. “3 more laps” is what he said and thinking about it that way, it didn’t sound so bad. I told him that I was most likely going to be “good” at 30 miles then ok with walking more than running for the remainder of the time, and he was game. It’s always nice to be in sync with your fellow runner.
We hit the 30-ish mile mark around 5.5+ hours. At this point we switched to the shorter .65 mile loop. We took some nice walk breaks and sort of just celebrated a successful day. When we hit the 50k distance I think we were ready to call it, but there was still some time on the clock, and of course, I said “One more lap? That would give us 32 miles.” And of course, we did another lap.
In looking at the official results, I realized that I placed 3rd in my age group. Had I even thought that was a possibility, I would have checked the results before I left and grabbed a pic with my AG medal. There was even an AG winner backdrop so the above picture could have been MORE fancy. Ha. Remember my “self-confidence” post, I may have some, but apparently not enough.
Total Distance: 31.97
Age Group: 3rd (unofficial, verifying with RD now)
Overall: 19th overall, 181 total runners
My GPS had us at 32.1 miles, so I was ok with stopping at 32. We might have been able to do another .65, but our legs were pretty zapped. The winner of the 6-hours had finished around 41 miles and second place had around 38, so we weren’t too far off, considering. All in all, it was a great day and I’m glad we decided to do it as part of a race. I feel ready for the 52.4.
Funny thing? In looking at my last 50k (Feb. 2013), I finished with a PR at 5:50 and FELT amazing that day. For as tired as I felt Saturday, I wasn’t too far off that time. Crazy to think how two races and can be almost identical in time, but feel so different. That being said, the 50k in February was hilly and 2 laps and the 6-hour was mostly flat and 9 laps. LOL.
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Giveaway winners ANNOUNCED (and emailed). I reached my goal last week and am grateful for everyone that donated and helped spread the word. I’ll be emailing everyone that donated next week to thank them individually and want to congratulate everyone that won. When the winners receive the items, feel free to snap a pic and tag me so that I can give you a shout out on the interwebs with your swag!
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How was your weekend?
Did you run?