Monday, February 21, 2011

B&A 50K

As most of you know I've been training for the last few months for a 60K that I will be running in New Zealand in March. I'm super excited about the trip and super nervous about the run. I thought I would calm some of my nerves about the run by running a 50K training run this weekend. Originally I was signed up for the Okinawa City Marathon this weekend, but I wanted a course with more trails and less pressure.
It is amazing the planning that goes into arranging your own 50K. I had to come up with the course and with the limited trails on Okinawa, at least with my limited knowledge of trails on Okinawa, this can be tricky. Also, the weather report kept changing so some of the trails I was planning on could be unrunnable if there was enough rain. However, the weather leading up to and including Saturday couldn't have been more perfect. I also had to figure out fueling. I knew I would be wearing my Nathan hydration vest for the entire time, but I also planned on using my car as an aid station.
I stocked a cooler with G2 (because I should really be concerned with the calories in regular Gatorade when I'm running 31 miles- duh!), coke, and chocolate milk. I also stocked the trunk with Pringles, PB&J, Reese's Pieces, and other assorted goodies. Honestly, none of the "real food" sounded good during the run and 95% of the time I stuck with Shot Bloks.
So, the first 5K I had WOOT runners with me. It was nice to be able to start with others.
My friend Bri stayed with me the entire time! Yes, all 50K! On Thursday she wrote on Facebook that she needed a run. I mentioned I was doing a 50K Saturday. She said she'd be there. I assumed she'd come for part of it and then bail, but no, she spent the whole day running all over Yomitan with me. What an amazing lady and friend!
For those of you familiar with the trails we started with Paintball and then reversed Paintball. We then crossed 58 and ran Spider Loop. Here's the trail up to the main part of Spider. I love the red clay.

This is me at the 17K mark. We then headed out on a 12K loop that took us from Yuimaru down 58 to 6, take a left on the other 58 to the Starbucks, left on 16, hit the main 58, and take the Farm Roads back to Yuimaru.

Here's some shots from the 12K loop:

I'm never too tired to take pictures of pretty flowers and these are my favorite farm dogs! I hate that they're chained up, but they always have clean water and seem well fed. Plus, they're super sweet.

Chris and Rana met up with us at about the 29K point.
This is where I had the worst idea ever and the wheels almost came off. I thought it would be a good idea to run Spider Loop in reverse. I've never run Spider in reverse and this was a really bad time to try something new.
This picture doesn't really do justice to how steep the hills were. There was a lot of hiking at this point. I figured it would just make me stronger for New Zealand.
Despite my hatred for reverse Spider, Rana loved it!
There was lots of mud wallowing and this part of the run was where she was allowed to run off leash. She is amazing to watch jump over ravines and crevasses. I've got to get her in agility classes when we move back to the states.
After reverse Spider we did the 12K loop again. I thought this picture was very fitting because I couldn't have asked for a better "real partner" for this venture!
I actually felt pretty good the entire run. I got a little side stitch the second time we did the 12K loop, but it worked itself out. My right lower back/hip area felt a little wonky, but nothing terrible and by the last 8K or so the bottom of my feet hurt. It wasn't as bad as I thought it could be. Here are some shots from the last 5K.
Chris was sweet and had flowers waiting in his van for me at the finish. He didn't know Bri was going to gut the whole thing out with me so he only had one bouquet, but we did what "real partners" do and split them.
Thanks so much to Bri, Chris, and Rana for getting me through the first and last annual B&A 50K!