Sunday, July 18, 2010

TLC 56K Ultra

Ultra #6 was completed yesterday, the Limber Lost Challenge ...and what a challenge it was !

Day started real early, 4am after a night of very restless sleep...usually a good sign, and it was. Left home at 4:40 am , it took close to 3 hours to get there but I arrived feeling fresh , awake and ready to go.

As is usual the race started without much fan fair. The course was absolutely hands down the most beautiful and very runnable trail I have ever been on! Rocks, trees and lakes it had all the trappings that we associate with Muskoka. The trails were also fairly technical, lots of roots , rocks and forever undulating and turning. At first I was thinking a 7:00 pace but I figured it would be much slower and I was. The big challenge of the day for me was to manage myself better in the heat, I didn't do that very well in Cremoore or Sulphur! The first 14K loop was done in 1hr45min. Stopped and dropped 4 eload caps , grabbed some ice and water from my cooler and headed back out feeling a little beat up . The 25C temp was starting to take its tool so I started in on eating ice. I was carrying a bag of ice on the last 3 laps (42K) and was constantly eating it when ever I walked up a hill! The second loop went well done in 1hr58 min. Stopped at the car again , did Yogurt, Watermelon and Oranges then grabbed more water and downed 4 eload caps and 500 mg of salt....I had lunch! The tummy was feeling a bit full and I was feeling quite fatigued with 28K to go. Trying to prevent a blow up I walked the first few Ks of the second loop. The goal was to recover and allow the food that I ate to be absorbed! The strategy worked because I more or less was able to run the rest of the day and almost stayed away from the big blow up. The third loop was done in about 2hrs21min. Stopped at the car for another 4 eload and 500mg of salt as well as a bottle for Gator Aid and Ice . I was really happy to still be moving well and was feeling tired but quite good. I really wanted to get the loop done and hold off the pack of runners that were not that far behind , these thoughts really moved me along in the last loop. There was a big downhill at the 11K mark that quickly got you to the 12K marker. When I got to the bottom of the descent it happen , with 2K left I was seeing stars. Nearing the end I wasn't taking in carbs or electrolytes and was starting to pay the price. I walked for the next 1.5K after running a good part for the last loop. I had vision of a ton of folks passing by but I only gave up 2 positions before I emerged on the last stretch about a 1K of gravel road. After 200m of running on the gravel I wanted to walk, looked back over my shoulder and there was 2 more runners that were just coming out of the woods. The site of them made me pick it up and I managed to jog in the last 1/2K . Last loop was done in about 2hrs19min, two minutes faster then the third loop!

All and all I would say it was a great day, I managed the heat and held it together and only gave up a couple of positions in the last part of the race. My 8hrs21 min time looks slow but I was quite pleased with the time.

......and now for the "other race report", nothing to do with time , performance or physical well being ... actually its the heart and soul of what keeps me coming back for more ...those moments with nature , the solitude and the other runners!

Pre race talked to Sheldon and Kristi and the amazing Char. Lots of Hi's , Hello , how are you nice to see you stuff and the excitement. There is nothing quite like the anticipation and bottled up excitement before the race. Lots and lots of traffic on the first loop. Lots of folks but it was very quiet. I was always with someone almost stepping on their heels. I was enjoying the natural beauty trying to imprint the various sections on my brain so I would be familiar with my surroundings when I was out there alone in the later stages! There was a really cool rock around the half way point , it was rectangular sitting up right almost like some one placed it there. This rock became know as "flat rock" , I had a great conversation with it as I passed by it. Shortly after flat rock there was a small stream crossing a smooth rock that I slipped on , after a few words I decided that this was "slippery rock"! The second loop was quite surprising, I was alone ... really alone! I didn't expect the solitude so early in the race but took it all in. Had some fun with the volunteers on the ATVs , knowing they were Ham Radio guys I laid some Morris Code on them ... Dah , Dah Dit, Dat Dit Dit Dah , which is TNX or short for thanks. I got to see my buddy's , Flat and Slippery again ... exchanged a few more words ... gave flat a high 5 and cursed slippery as I went around the slippery part! Had lunch after the second loop then slipped away into my mind going out the third time! The third loop was like running a new course , first loop was the remembering loop , second loop was the oh yea I was already here I remember this but the third loop was wholly crow , I don't remember this. 28-42K in and my mind was really playing tricks on me! Approaching Slippery and Flat I had a good old conversation with them. Shorty after seeing my friends there was a couple of hikers on the trail. I told them I was just having a little conversation with the rocks and trees, the laughed and then I joked about the wait til you see me on the next loop! The last loop was the sharing loop , I did a hop scotch kind of routine with Jerry! We were both in about the same shape with our peaks and valleys occurring at different times. Jerry would get out in front then I would be on his heels and occasionally it was the other way around. About half way through the loop a woman ( name escapes me but I will edit when I look at the results) a rather familiar face ... she looked really fresh as she flew by, I really didn't think I would see her again. I was quiet surprised but two or three times mid loop we exchanged positions but nearing the last third of the loop I didn't see her again! I also became aware that Jerry was no longer within site. All alone again I had great conversation with Slippery and Flat . Kissed flat and said see you next year...its been fun and then avoided the slippery part of slippery! It always seems to suddenly end ... the last few mile markers seem to be further apart and then that's it , ITS OVER ...SUDDENLY. 8hrs21mins , a long time for sure but wow was it ever amazing!


The day after the race I had no muscle pain but I felt really really sleepy . Drove 8 hours to Saratoga Springs NY and in spite of the coffee and coke I never shook the sleepy feeling. Monday I still had ZERO Muscle Pain...amazing!

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