Sunday, March 5, 2017

The Jackpot Report

There's this race that I totally dig. So I keep signing up for it. I know many people who don't understand the appeal of running around in circles for hours. But I'm telling you, it's the shiz. The Jackpot Ultrarunning Festival gives you all the running in circles for hours that your little heart can stand.

I enjoy the chance to go down to sunny Las Vegas in the middle of the bleak Utah winter. Too bad this year Las Vegas was NOT sunny. It was washing away in the mighty tempest, Lucifer.
Kind of like this...
I came to my sesnses after last year's 48 hour debacle and only signed up for the 12 hour race this year. It's strange that chosing to run for 12 hours is a sensible act... My training for the 12 hour was mostly okay, actually. I did miss a couple of long runs. but I didn't have much of a goal for this race (besides surviving) so I didn't stress too much about it.

Scott was also signed up for the 12 hour. Below, you will see how absolutely thrilled he is to have agreed to this aforementioned sensible act.
He's never been more excited. 
As you can see, we're decked out in the fancy ponchos we picked up before heading to the race. Fun fact, and spoiler alert: if you run for 12 hours in a fancy poncho, you will smell like a swamp monster when you finally take it off in your hotel room that evening.
My actual face when I caught of whiff of myself.
But I digress. I should start at the beginning, and when I get to the end, I should stop. The race began at 8 a.m., allowing for a bit of sleeping in. The 48 hour runners had been on the go for 24 hours at this point. I don't think they were all that thrilled to see a group of fresh faced runners jumping on the course. Since there was nothing they could do to stop us, we joined in the fun.

The rain had caused actual flash flooding on the course, so the course was altered to include a nice long incline. But what goes up must go down on a loop course, so I didn't mind much. At this point, hills are just built in walk breaks. I'm still watching my heart rate like a hawk, so the ups were walked, the downs and flats were run, as much as my heart would allow.

The rain was relentless, but at least it wasn't too cold. I started with a long sleeve shirt on under my poncho, but after a couple of laps, I had to change to a tank top. The poncho held the heat in pretty well, hence the swamp monster effect.
Whee! This is fun. Isn't this fun?!
I have to say, that even with the imperfect training and the weather conditions, I managed to feel good for about 10 hours of this race. I didn't need to change shoes the entire race, which is a first in my timed race career. Scott wasn't so lucky. Multiple shoe changes and he still ended up with a blister under his big toenail. The amount of mini lemon cakes and bite sized brownies he ate during the race soothed his sorrows somewhat.

We didn't spend much time stopped, and I was pleased with my effort overall. I made it 38 miles in total, although my official distance was 37.5 miles. Those treks to the bathroom add mileage, y'all. I know this hasn't been a race report fraught with peril and overcoming obstacles. But really, this race just went well. I felt good, Scott hit his goal of 40 miles, we saw friends, we ate good food, we spent 12 hours running in the pouring rain together and we're still married.

Here's the thing about having a good race, it makes you think you should sign up for the 48 hour for the next year. And that's what I did, cats and kittens. I only have so much sensibility in my body and I used it all up. Present-self is always so sure that future-self will be ready for the things that present-self signs future-self up for. Maybe this time, it will acutally be true. Judging by the way I blew off my 16 mile run today in order to make macarons, I wouldn't hold out too much hope if I were you...
There's Nutella in them and I will never apologize for that. 
So stay tuned for exciting tales of base building and heart rate monitoring! Until next time, happy running!