I got up to Salt Lake nice and easy; there's no traffic at 4 a.m. I found a sweet parking spot 2 blocks from the finish line, caught the train to the start, and found a few of my friends at the start line. I was especially happy to see Jamie at the start, she was running the full marathon. We both had on a delightful array of Ink n' Burn and were happy to get on our way as the huge mass of people slowly made its way across the start line.
|The only picture I took during the race. My best friend got married here, plus the sphinxes are neat.|
|The medal is also a belt buckle.|
|Some gorgeous scenery on the drive.|
|The glorious Ice Harbor Dam.|
We made it back to the hotel and had some dinner. I kept my carb loading simple with a salad and a personal sized pizza. I spent the rest of the night foam rolling my legs. The car ride stiffened me up pretty well so I knew it was a necessary pain. I managed to get to bed perfectly on time and even slept really soundly. When my alarm went off, I was well rested and ready to run.
|A gorgeous sunrise greeted us.|
|The scenery was so lovely. The rocks we ran on, not so much...|
|I loved this part. Having the water on both sides of the trail was fun.|
|Lots of fun things to see along the course.|
I kept a decent pace for how bad my feet were feeling. I knew I could get the sub 8 hour time I was hoping for. I also know that I spend too long at the aid stations. That's something I really need to work on. But when there's delicious ham and bean soup at mile 18.5, you just have to stop and enjoy it! That soup may have saved my life. I think I let my electrolyte balance get off, and the salt in the soup made me feel like a million bucks. And all of the volunteers at the aid stations were so friendly and helpful. Besides the scenery, they were my favorite part of the race. When I only had 4.5 miles to go, the last aid station even had some lovely, cold, Coca-Cola for me. It was the Coke of angels.
I was pleased that I didn't have any rock bottom moments during this race. It was such a difference from my first 50K. With this being my fourth official ultra, and my 8th time running over the marathon distance, I felt like I was finally getting the hang of this. I have been putting so much of my time into training. It's been frustrating at times, extremely frustrating. But days where it all comes together let me know that it's been worth it.
|Coming down the home stretch.|
|Right before the cramp of doom.|
|We also got a cool bottle with a map of the area on it. Did I mention that I love maps?|
Even with such a successful effort, I'm still nervous about my first 50 miler coming up in June. I know that I can do the distance, I just don't know how long it's going to take me... I have 14 hours to finish. What I need to focus on will be not lingering at the aid stations. That could save me over an hour in a race that long. Anywho, stay tuned for the epic month of racing that May will bring. Until next time, happy running!