Tuesday, October 8, 2013

FATS 50K – Not So FATS Course

Note from the RD
“My first ultra as a Race Director is under my belt. Overall, I'm very happy with the turn out, the relocated course and the runner comments. I couldn't ask for a better set of runners, friends and volunteers! From what I've heard; everyone had a blast and liked the temporary course. I could not have gotten the race off without the awesome support of Tommy and Margie for allowing us to use their land and an amazing group of volunteers headed up by Mellisa Davis Warden who I owe the world to for coming through on finding the course location in a hurry! I saw so many first time ultra finishers and couldn't help but to think back to October 2010 when I finished my first ultra at the 2010 FATS 50K. I was honored to be able to watch race director emeritus finish her first FATS without the stress of being the RD. I love my ultra running community.”
As many of you know, the government is currently going through a shutdown process. Due to these circumstances which are beyond my control, the Forks Trails that the FATS 50K is normally held on are officially closed and I cannot hold the race out there. Because of the shutdown, I have had to consider options that I normally would not consider this close to race day. One of those options was to relocate the race for this year only.”

     When this hit it was hard for me to go to the race. I was using this as a last long training run to get ready for WC 50. Much of the trails are alike in many ways and would help me see where I was at in my training. I still went down with that mind set and with the idea in my head that I was going to support David the RD. It takes a lot of work to put on an event and now he had to deal with the government shutdown.
Loved the fog

     I was planning on running about a 10 min pace and just staying smooth the whole race but thanks to a dead Garmin that could not happen. Luckily Doug was there and I could just go off his pace (after all I am using his training plan for WC) well Doug gets it in him to kick everyone’s ass so I just tried to keep him in sight the whole race and that plan was working out just great until the fog lifted and the sun started beating down on us. The course was half wooded trail and half open field (4 mile loop). I have been staying out of the sun as much as I could since the last 50 and was not ready for that to hit but I still pushed on. As the laps piled on the heat started beating me down. As one runner I passed said “the mind will go long before the body” boy was he right. Loop 6 I was so confused I did not know what lap I was on and really started to wonder and lost sight of Doug. I started getting a little down on myself but still able to push hard. I knew Andy was not far behind me and knew it would not be long before he passed me. During the 7th loop I decided to just try and stay in front of him as long as I could and that when I Started my last loop to drop my pack and just take my bottle/IPod. I had not had it the whole race and was hoping it would drown out some negativity that was building up. About half way through the 7th loop Andy was right behind me. Ok I told myself just keep one turn ahead of him. I did not care about beating him and did not think I would I was using him as a bench mark so to speak. I knew he would finish under 5 hours and that would help push me to the finish. As we came to the end of the 7th loop and hit the open section I knew then that on the last lap I would crumble right there. I knew when I hit that sun again that I was going to have a hard time.
Can you see the pain in them eyes?

Lap 8 then end of me. I had the Jack Johnson song Breakdown stuck in my head.
“I need this
Old train to breakdown
Oh please just
Let me please breakdown
I need this
Old train to breakdown
Oh please just
Let me please breakdown
I wanna break on down
But I cant stop now”

     I love the song but this was not the time to have that going through my head so I put on some of the most hardcore metal I had on my IPod and just pushed. My brain felt like it was on fire. At the half way aid drop I just took a knee and put water over me and sat there for what felt like 10 minutes. I finally started moving again and just wanted to heat to go away. Thinking where the hell did that amazing fog go that we had that morning? Not long after that Andy was behind me again and I was doing that whole run when someone comes close to you deal and started running again but not before Andy dumped same water on my head. I think he knew the heat was knocking me down a few pegs. As we hit that last open section again I just started running hard down that hill knowing I was not going to last much longer. I was right; as we started the last 100 yards up to the finish I went down. My brain had all the heat it could take. Andy stopped and picked me up and told me that I was not going to stop. I asked him to just keep running that way I could chase him to the finish. I felt like it was taking longer to run the last 100 yards then the whole freaking race took. I was done. Andy came back down the hill from the finish and said that if I just ran I could make it in under 5 hours. I gave it everything my head had and sprinted…. Well what felt like a sprint… across the finish. It took about an hour for me to get my head right and cooled off but once I did I felt fine.

Brain melting
     I very happy with my run and so thankful for everyone that helped bring this together. It was a great event and a special thanks to the home owners that let this happen. I am excited to see what happens at WC in a few weeks.
Beer makes everything better

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