Sunday, March 8, 2009

First 50 in 2009!

Yesterday Neil and I completed the Dirty Duo 50km run. The weather forecast for the day was terrible with predictions of rain/snow and high winds. We woke at 4AM to the sounds of ice rain hitting the window. I lay there thinking do I really want to run 50k in this today? By 5AM it was much calmer and by 6AM the skies were starting to clear and it turned into a beautiful clear but cold winters day. Neil and I decided to try running this event together. We run together (or should I say he waits at strategic points) all the time in training but have only attempted it once before at this exact event 2 years ago in the 25km event. I recall that it did not go that well 2 years ago but yesterday it worked well. The purpose in practicing running in events together is for the potential that we may do this for the West Highland Way, 95 mile run in Scotland. Yesterday we opted for the early 7:30am start. There were 5 of us early starters in total. It was clear and cold, I wore my head band, gloves and jacket all day. The course had snow throughout and in areas quite deep. Good thing we have had lots of practice running in the snow lately. It was so beautiful and quiet, no one on the trails but us. After awhile the rest of the 50km runners started to catch up with us. It was amazing to see the leaders fly up the hills making it look effortless. The next wave of runners were those in the 25km event. They were moving quite quickly compared to us. This event also has a bike race component that tackle the course in the opposite direction so we soon found ourselves dodging bikes as they came flying down the hill at what appeared to be completely out of control. Nearing the end of the event the 15km runners join the course. At one point I heard some very heavy breathing behind me and I thought a runner was about to be sick when I turned around to discover it was our friend Chad who was participating in the 15km event. It was an attempt to get my attention and that it did! Neil, Chad and I ran the last 5km or so together. It was a nice way to end the event having Chad run us in. Marla was waiting at the finish with their dog Ella. Marla and I both did this event last year but her achilles tendon has been bothering her lately so she is staying off the hills for now. I felt a little "queasy" at the end so we opted for a quick change of clothes in the car and a coffee and scone with Chad and Marla before heading home. This event is one with lots of variety of terrain despite it being 2 loops for the 50k. You pass by a few aid stations several times and there is an out and back long flat run section that you do 3 times which was deep in snow this year. I recall several years ago doing the 25k for the first time thinking that the 50k would be impossible. Well it feels good to say that 2 years in a row I have completed the Dirty Duo 50km event! Oh and the running together with Neil went very well. He was very patient all day. At one point he commented that we still had a long way to go and I caught him out on his negative words. Another interesting strategy I had was I did not look at my watch the entire route. The only clock I saw was the finishing clock that read 6:51 when we crossed the line.

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