Lesson learned today: If you are going to run an ultra, you should consider training for it.
My game plan today was to maintain a lively pace for as long as I could, slow down, not take a walk break until at least 30km, and shuffle the rest of the way home.
So I started off ok despite the 45km/hr wind and settled into a good pace with Michelle. I lost her after about 5km when took my rain jacket off, which I was wearing for the very first time. I still had her in my sights and thought as long as I could see her in the distance then my pace was good.
I was very lucky that there were a bunch of awesome crews so special thanks to Bruce who was carrying my bag with my special homemade boysenberry cordial and to Bernie who kindly offered to take my water pack and offer me food and drink every few kms instead. And thanks to all the other crews who offered me stuff, especially the guy with oranges. Yay, a fruit on offer to a runner that’s NOT a banana! To be honest, I could’ve arrived without any food or drink and be adequately looked after. I certainly wouldn’t recommend anyone rely on the good nature of volunteers and crews but it was great to lose the pack.
I was traveling ok til about 14km when I started to tire. I guess I was going faster than usual and at that point felt like I had had a good run and was ready to go home and have some coffee and breakfast.
Some time around the 20km mark the headwind increased in strength and it started to rain. Hard. And hail. So I was practically being blown backwards with sharp things landing in my face and rain washing the sweat down my face and stinging my eyes so I was trying to run with my eyes closed down a busy highway with poor visibility hoping the drivers could see better than me. It was just brutal. And it must’ve looked a funny sight with a bunch of runners along the road in this weather.
At 25km I stopped where both Bruce and Bernie were doing their crew thing and had a drink. Suddenly my hamstrings and calves cramped up and I couldn’t stand still. I popped a magnesium and continued on my way, aching legs trying to resist the headwind and keep me moving forward.
After this my legs just weren’t feeling any better, the wind was practically blowing me backwards and I realised my game was up. I took my first walk break at 26km and couldn’t walk much better than I could run. I do not enter races just to finish. I don’t want to be battered and bruised and miserable until I’m at least 90% done. So I pulled out at 28km, thankful to be in a warm car and away from that pain and misery.
I’ll post some photos of pain and misery when I get them, but for now, here’s a chart of my pace with elevation. You can see where it falls appart.