I also ran the last couple miles into the ski area with some really nice women from Albuquerque and Durango. I was running way harder than I normally would at this point because Haley didn't want to pass me yet, but I could tell she could run fast (and she did, in her first ultra, and first marathon haha) so we chatted and as soon as we hit the ski lodge I didn't see her again until the finish!
Ahhhh the ski lodge, mile 15! I was able to get my drop bag, which meant my nice cold bottle of Skratch Labs, sunblock, and some chews for the next climb. Having recently fried my legs on Wheeler Peak, I spent some time here putting a second layer of sunblock on. I also ate some boiled potatoes dipped in salt and filled my pack with water. Then off to tackle the ski hill, which has over 1000 feet of climbing in less than a mile, oof.
The weather really wasn't very hot- I heard about 74 degrees- but those trails just bake you, and I know others had some trouble too. The heat made me slightly nauseous, which impaired my ability to eat enough, which resulted in a pretty good bonk around mile 25. It was also around this time that I ate it and superman fell on the rocks, then rolled on the side of the trail into some sort of thorny plant. Thank goodness it wasn't cactus!! I mostly blame my big clown shoes for the fall, but I'm sure the bonk didn't help either. I also found myself alone a few times during this section and nervously started yelling "hey bearrrrr!" until Sarah and some guys who kept me sane during the ski hill passed me, and I picked it up, trying to stick with them.
At the Camp May Road aid station I grabbed some grapes... and that was it. Stupid. I'm not sure how long it took, but I tried to get down some peanut butter crackers, which have been my favorite training snack lately. Only, on this day, my mouth was SO dry that the peanut butter caked around my mouth and I could barely swallow- especially because I ran out of water! Man. I guess it HAD been 2 years since my last trail race, such rookie mistakes!
At the Quemazon aid station I got some coke for calories, maybe only 1/3 a cup, but it did the trick. At the last aid station, I filled up my water and the awesome volunteers poured ice water over my head. Glorious. I debated getting water since it was only 2.3 miles to the finish, but I ran out again, so it was a good move!
I was all alone for the last 2 miles and I'm happy to say I did NOT feel like death, and ran up until the scrambling section right before the finish. Final time was 7:19:42. I had been guesstimating around 8 hours, so I was happy with it, even if it wasn't the most well executed race I've ever run!
Can I say it again? I love this race. A huge thank you to the all the volunteers and race directors. I'll keep coming back for sure. I think the 50k is a great distance, and I plan on saving the 50 miler for if I ever get into Hardrock again (I've applied to the "else" lottery the last 2 years with no luck). I was really surprised this week to find that my legs feel just fine, and I was even able to do a track workout on Tuesday! This was just what I needed to feel like my training is on track so far. Next up- San Juan Solstice!