bear chase 50 mile race report, part 2: laps 2 & 3

see yesterday’s post for pre-race and lap 1 commentary!

lap 2
heading out of the station, i walked a good long stretch to let my full stomach settle a bit. but, as i got close to becki’s timing station, i started running again to “impress” her… a pattern that would continue all day. shameful, i know. 😉

from the get-go, my calf sleeves didn’t feel great… probably because i’d never used them before (yikes.). there’s an old adage about not trying new things race day. it’s true. one should listen to that wisdom. i took them off a few miles into lap 2 and immediately felt better.

frankly, though, much of lap 2 is a hazy blur of nausea. the sun came out, it warmed up and my stomach just flipped over. ugh. feedings became super-forced. got behind on my carbs. clouds had built up on the mountains and i was praying that they’d finish rolling in and cool things off…

at the top of mt. carbon (6.5 into the loop, 19 overall) i stopped for a potty break and splashed a bit of cold water all over myself. felt a wee bit better from that, and the downhill running to the stream crossings.

on top of mt. carbon, beginning to roll downhill

i was still nauseous, having trouble getting carbs into my system until coming up out of the water crossings (#’s 4, 5 & 6 for the day). that’s when i discovered/ remembered the candy pumpkins in my pack. lawdhammercy. they tasted so good and they were JUST what i needed. lots of carbs in a tiny package.

up the hill out of the fox hollow aid station, i was still moving pretty slowly, though, so i tried to run down that hill and felt my calves starting to seize up.

yep. not quite half way done with the day and my calves were locking up like a chick-fil-a on a sunday. awesome. (perhaps still residual effects of calf sleeves?)

near end of lap 2

so, i kept moving, walking, walking, walking. and it was only mile 22. whee.

that’s when i decided i needed to incorporate the intentional run/ walk: 2 minutes running, 2 minutes walking and eating. repeat. that picked up my pace significantly and i almost immediately felt better. also began passing people at regular intervals.

and FINALLY those clouds rolled in and it cooled off. aaahh…

skipped the walking for a while and ran most of the way in at the end of the loop… love that last mile being downhill!

was met by sarah, who came out quite a ways out to check in with me and ask how i was doing… so encouraging!!

#wce was in full effect again, as we swapped out shirts, applied sunscreen, changed shoes and socks again… and ben noticed i was getting pretty red, so he gave me an icy, wet bandana around my neck. which would make a huge difference on lap 3. food was a bit difficult to get down, but i had another pudding cup, more coconut water and we filled my bag with some more fluid nutrition.

and again, it is overwhelming to go from being sort of “alone” to being surrounded by loved ones caring for you so intensely. really powerful.

headed out for lap 3 and whined loudly about how much heavier my bag felt, but was forgiven by the graciousness of my crew. i love those people.

lap 2 time: 2:49:45
overall time: 5:17:53
overall distance: 25 miles

lap 3
before the race, i was really dreading lap 3. i’ve done “4 lap” training runs and lap 3 always sucks. it’s more than half-way, but you’ve still got a long way to go… there’s just something about that space between 1/2 way and 3/4 that’s just terrible.

furthermore, i was heading into the unknown… into that range of miles, that place i’ve never been.

but, coming out of the aid station, i was feeling great! i had some good mojo working from the end of lap 2 and so lap 3 wasn’t seeming so bad. furthermore, it was still pretty cloudy, with the sun coming and going…

i walked quite a ways out of the aid station again, letting food settle, getting stuff situated and organized. started running again to impress becki at the bridge/ u-turn, and i felt pretty good.

i soon discovered that i could take the cold, wet bandana and turn it into a badwater-style sun covering, bringing some relief to my burning neck and ears. amazing.

and so, i kept moving and moving and moving, so very surprised to find myself feeling so great.

and then, i started passing people… lots of people. 50k people. 50 mile people. it was so energizing to be moving so well as i approached and passed the 30 mile mark. i was eating and drinking well, with no nausea. this was a real high-point of the race for me.

don’t get me wrong, i was tired, and was really beginning to hurt, but i was moving.

towards the end of the lap, darker clouds rolled in and it even spit some rain.

me. so. happy. i was praying for it to stay that way.

in some ways, this lap was uneventful.

#wce base camp for the day!

in other ways, it was monumental.

rolled into the aid station, with sarah coming out to help and encourage again. that’s one of my favorite memories of the day… sarah’s ongoing presence and encouragement…

a cool wind had picked up and it was blustery and spitting rain.

i just wanted to get out as fast as i could, because i was feeling so great. changed shoes and socks again. swapped out shirts again (so i could finish in team orange colors! boo yah.) food tasted amazing (another pudding cup! i do believe i could run an entire race fueled entirely by pudding… and candy pumpkins… and gummy worms… with a 7up chaser… )

as i was ready to head out, i had a long, strong embrace with my dear friend ben, because he had to leave and wouldn’t be there for the finish. this was another powerful mental snapshot for me, and another highlight of the day. he told me how proud he was and how confident he was of my finish… it felt so good. affections. sigh.

as i ran out of the aid station, i screamed “ONCE MORE UNTO THE BREACH!!!!”

lap 3 time: 3:09:36
overall time: 8:12:10
overall distance: 37.5 miles