6th Time is a Charm
I love the CanLakes 50 Mile race! I had done it 5 times over the last 7 years, with a PR of 9:19:52 in 2012. I wanted to run it again this year, but only if I was recovered well enough from my September marathon first. So, I decided 8 days before the race that I was recovered enough, and I registered.
Race day morning my awesome husband and kids were driving me to Canandaigua when I realized I left my watch home! I couldn't believe it! I thought back though, in 2012 when I PR'd on the course I had also forgotten my watch and just ran how I felt. So I'd try that tactic again.
I got to the start line and Chris asked me where my handheld water bottle was....oh dear...where did I leave it.... oh yeah, in the back of the truck! So Chris ran back to grab it and the race was off. I've never seen Chris run so fast as he met me just down the way with my bottle;)
One reason I LOVE ultras is that I get to meet and talk with so many people. In the beginning I was talking with 2 first time Can Lakes runners, one from Boston and the other from Syracuse. They were telling me about all kinds of crazy runs they've done and plan on doing. Then I met a guy from Silver Springs. I really enjoyed chatting with him and we stayed together for many miles, talking about his heart attack at age 41 that got him to start running, other interesting endurance events, and our families. I met a guy from Saratoga that moved from Oregon when he joined the service. This was his first ultra, in fact, his first marathon was earlier this year!
The volunteers for this race are also amazing! I saw many volunteers who had run the race in the past, and they knew exactly what to say and what to offer:) I think I must have had 12 cups of soda during the race! I never drink soda.... so weird;) Other nutrition for the day was 3 different gels, a couple pretzles, half a PBJ, and lots of orange and grapefruit slices. The drink I was loving was the Strawberry Lemonaide Poweraide! YUM!
At mile 32 it started to POUR!!! The rain was rediculous and I was lucky that my support vehicle was right there with a jacket:) I spent this mile with another guy who had done this race 4 times and agreed this weather was kinda nuts! So nice to have the company to laugh about it, what else can you do, right?
Then coming in to Mile 35 I see Alex Croll, my pacer! So happy to have the company and support:) We had a great time those last 15 miles. She was exactly what I needed: pushing me to go a little further before walking, and making sure my walks were far from a stroll! We chatted about our kids running group we coach together, our own kids and school, our families, and our next races...and who we would pass next ;) I kept asking her about the time, as I felt like I was doing pretty good, and she kept asking what my PR was. As we kept going we walked a lot less and just kept going, getting excited about being done! I knew I needed to be done by 4:48 to PR, so coming up to the last 1/4 mile I asked Alex about the time.... it was 4:44, I had this. We ran hard and I started to tear up. I finished in 9:15:12!
Being sucessful at an ultra has a lot to do with training and fitness. But for me, this day, it was more about who I surrounded myself with. It was about the awesome volunteers (especially Gretchen and Tom B), it was about the other runners and their families sharing the experience with me (Adrianna and family too!). It was about my mom and friends at the finish. It was about Alex. It was about Chris, Erika and Charlie. I couldn't have done this without you! Thank you!!! And Happy Running!!