Sunday, August 31, 2014

Resurrection Pass + Devil Mountain = 100 miles?

I decided to run two 50 milers with two weeks rest. First was Resurrection Pass just outside of Anchorage This is a particularly adventuresome race, with only one aid station. Four of us started off. After 42 miles, I had to tell them I was fried. Jen stayed back with me and we hobbled on in. Finished in 12:22.

OK, my ego was definitely bruised. This was the first ultra any of these women had completed. I thought I was going to be leaving them behind.They set a 14:30 pace and just kept at it. Not my style of running. I kept stopping to look at the scenery (OMG....beautiful!!) and then had to sprint to catch up.

After this 50 miler, I had two weeks to recover and run the Devil Mountain 50 miler I figured this would capitalize on my strengths: tough course with lots of elevation change and few people. I thought I would nail it in about 13:30. I was soooo wrong. I started out OK, running with Cheryl Duran for the first 20 miles or so. Then she peeled off for the 50K (I was several minutes behind her by this point) and I headed off for the long out and back section. I had already done the "big climb." How hard could the rest of it be? Just a couple of small hills on this portion of the course.

I tucked in behind a man about my age. He talked and talked and talked. Told me all about the course and where he got lost a couple years ago. It was good to take note of the potential places to lose track of the trail on the way back. I finally left him and made it to the next-to-last aid station 30 minutes before the cut off.

By the last age station, the temp was dropping. A volunteer made sure I had a light. He also said I needed to take a jacket. I assured him I would be plenty warm. He said I had to take a jacket. I told him I had a long sleeve shirt but no jacket. He was insistent. I told him I was tough....that I used to live in Wyoming. He let me go!

I finished in the dark with only two people behind me. Almost 15:30. Good grief. I was the last woman to finish. When I checked the results, I learned that 9 women were in their 20's or 30's and one was 49.

Bottom line: I continue to wonder if I am making a fool of myself. I am a constant worrier about how others view me. Am I that crazy old woman who should give it up and learn to knit or am I an inspiration? I go back and forth in my thinking. Sometimes I embarrass myself; other times I feel pride.

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