Goodness this one hurt.
Pick Your Poison is one of my favourite local races. I always say, “I come from the honey and stay for the trail”.
I was excited to do this race and was hopeful on a good result. Unfortunately, things took a turn. But we’ll get to that soon enough. Looks like many suffered as dropouts were prevalent and times were 15-45+min slower than previous years.
Some course changes were made this year, adding extra single track. Which was great and I hope they keep. However, it was more work on the body and may have contributed to the change in times. As did the unexpected heat. Pickle juice would have helped. I knew I should have put it in my drop bag.
I felt good and relaxed at the start. Chatting with old and new ultra friens.
Wearing just my waist belt, with my drop bag nearby to switch out my bottle at each loop. A formula that has worked well in previous years. The one thing I was missing was my CarboPro as I forgot to order it again, and I can no longer get it locally. Otherwise all good.
I timed the first 2 loops well. A little slower than prior years, but I knew I was near the front and was feeling good.
Then about 2k into the 3rd loop my stomach began to clench. I tried to ignore it as my pace slowed and the female runner ahead of me got further and further away.
Finally, there was no ignoring it. I had to duck behind a tree.
I hoped the relief would help get my pace back on track. Unfortunately, it did the opposite. It was like all the energy was drained from my body and my legs felt like heavy lead pipes.
The remainder of the loop was just a sufferfest and mental anguish as I beat myself up for sucking so bad. The lung wrenching hackfest from my 2 week old cough I had leading into the last climb didn’t help.
I took the downhill into the finish like a champ though. I love races that finish on a downhill. Continued the strong form past the mat and to my drop bag while folks yelled, “There’s Wanda. Giv’er!” Always nice to have encouragement. 🙂
Felt a little better on the 4th/last loop, but had to pollute another tree early on again.
Tried to push but just didn’t have enough umph to catch the person ahead of me.
Strong run down again to the finish with applause and shouts from ultra buddies as the RD handed me the coveted socks. Super cool this year too.
I hope there is no photo of me at the finish because I am sure I had the worst resting bitch face ever.
Although, I was super gutted at the end, I did feel better when I saw the results. They showed that many had a tougher time then prior years. Plus, I somehow managed 6th female out of 30 and 36 overall out of 91.
What I learned:
1.) More salt and water for the few days leading up to a race.
2.) Less sugar. This has been an issue lately and I believe this will be the thing that will finally motivate me to stop my afternoon coffee & cake breaks.
3.) Every race is different and don’t get down on myself when the time is not the same as prior years. Try to enjoy and understand what is happening at the moment.
4.) Check race dates more closely. Possibly not fully recovered from P2A which I thought was after PYP as in prior years not before.
Results: Loop 1 1:23:40, Loop 2 1:29:24,
Loop 3 1:49:12, Loop 4 1:48:04
Total = 6:30:20