Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The North Face Endurance Challenge Championship - San Francisco (50 Mile)

It's been so long since I've posted here that I'd actually forgotten that I had started a blog! Oops! A lot has happened since my last post, but I can't be bothered trying to remember it all so I'll just jump in to the present and try to do better in the future.

I ran my second 50-miler this past weekend in the spectacular Marin Headlands, north of San Francisco. (My first was White River in July.) It was the final event in The North Face Endurance Challenge series and I had a blast.

The race was very well organized and the course was incredible - tough but scenic enough to make you forget how hard you are working - and we were fortunate to have near perfect weather which was a bonus. I finished in 8:42 - almost 20 minutes faster than my time for White River and good enough for 11th place overall for women so I'm pretty happy!

Thanks to some decent prize money, this race attracts many of the best ultrarunners in the world and a highlight for me was seeing superstars like Ellie G, Kami S, Anna F, Lizzy H, etc. out on the course.

The lowlight (is that a word?) was spending the night of the race retching into the toilet. I had some nutrition/electrolyte issues at White River and ended up in the med tent for a few hours after the race but I thought that I had things figured out now. Obviously, I was wrong. My gut felt fine during the whole race and even immediately after it was good, but on our way back to the hotel, I started to feel very nauseated and it was all I could do to not to throw up on the shuttle. (I managed to make it about a 100 yards from where the shuttle dropped us off before vomiting in a school field. Sorry kids!) We finally made it back to the hotel where I collapsed on the bed and spent the next few hours trying, and failing, not to barf. I eventually fell into a fitful sleep and when I awoke around midnight, I knew the badness had passed because I was craving a big plate of fries. And maybe a burger and milkshake. Pizza would be good too. I was starving and couldn't fall back to sleep so I ventured out in search of a vending machine. I couldn't find any junk food and was too lazy to actually get dressed and leave the hotel so I settled for a fruit bar and went back to bed.

Our trip home was uneventful and other than some expected stiffness and soreness, my body feels pretty good. I'll probably take it easy for the next few weeks and then make some tentative race goals for 2012. I've entered the Western States lottery and will know next week if I got in. I'm kind of hoping that I don't get in this year because a 100-miles is more than I want to take on at this point (but that's also what I said about 50-miles not too long ago).