I wouldn't say I'm a newbie, but I'm also not terribly experienced at ultra trail running, as these past 5 years I've rotated between trail running, road marathoning, and 5k training- I love it all! This was my third 50 miler and the second hardest race I've done (behind The Bear), yet I went into it with almost no nerves, no expectations... and without fear comes a little lack of planning! Luckily for me though, Stephanie and Chris would be there too, and they knew where to camp the night before. Chris also took down my tent in the a.m. AND he crewed for both of us in the race!
It was only 2.7 miles to Pipeline, and then I finally got to experience The Cliff. 50k runners head right up a nice little incline, and 50 milers go left, to rock climb down a steep hill if you're like Stephanie and I and don't realize until halfway down that it's much easier on the far right. lol Maybe next time I'll remember that (next time?!).
I don't know what's going to happen at Hardrock, but whether I finish or not, I've had a great time racing for training and won't regret getting back on the trails. Knowing my work/life schedule coming up in June, this will likely be my last super long training run. Would I like to get another 50 miler in with tons of climbing in at high altitude? Yes, but it's not going to happen, so no reason to brood about it. I am just going to be happy I got THIS run in and do the best I can with the time I'll have!