Yes, you are getting not one but two shiny posts from me today. Kind of annoying, right?! Well if you know anything about me you know that I really enjoy recapping races. So, let’s chat about the Cowtown Ultramarathon today…and recap!
This was my FIRST TIME ever pacing a 50k race…which was super exciting. Last year I paced the 26.2 distance so this year was super huge for me. Actually this race alone is so special to me simply because I’ve run it so many times. This was my 6th year running it and actually the place that I raced my first ever 50k road race 2 years ago. Actually, 3 years ago I was signed up to run the 50k, it got canceled because of ice on the ground…and I ran it on my own a few days later. Literally, I got off from work early that day, went straight to the park and ran 31 miles till it got dark all by my lonesome. Who does that?! Me I guess. And I finished the whole thing, mostly because I trained for it and I’ll be damn if a little bad weather is going to change that!! Yes, I am stubborn as all get out. Anyway, I attribute that to the reason why I’m so gung ho about ultra distances to this day. There was just something about running beyond that 26.2 mark that TRANSFORMED my heart and soul. I can’t quite put my finger on it.
Anyway, I was looking forward to this race all week long. I admittedly did no tapering whatsoever, really just used this pacing opportunity as a training run for the 50 miler that I am scheduled to run in May. So, I knew it would be a high mileage week and also that my legs needed to be tired to run a 10:30ish pace. As most of my readers know in the last year…I’ve gotten significantly faster and really a lot of my training has been more within the 7 minute to 9 minute mile range. Even my slow easy runs at this point are well under 10 minute miles. So, going into this I knew it would be a challenge to maintain that pace and not feel like molasses. But, I went ahead with it anyway and was excited for the ride.
Half pace bunnies in purple, full in white. ULTRA in yellow.
Sunday, I got my pacer stick and met up with my pace bud, Jon. Jon and I actually both ran Rocky Raccoon 100 last year and I had done some running with him before. We are even Strava buds!! So, even cooler that I was actually pacing with someone that I knew! As a pacer, sometimes you are paired up with people that you have never met, and at times that can make it hard to mesh well and plan out your pacing strategy. I’ve been pretty lucky too in the last few pacing ‘jobs’ I’ve had, I’ve paced solo so I kind of could do what I wanted. But, this ended up working out great because Jon and I were on the same page.
We had a few runners along with us for the ride that actually ended up staying with us for a majority of the run. One gal (actually a girl that reads here!) Rebecca ran her first 19 ish or so miles with us until she found her friends before we hit Trinity Park. So it was really cool to run with her, and really kind of chat with all of the runners to hear their stories. Another girl that ran with us ran the ultra last year, and finished well over the 6 hour mark so she was looking to have a major PR. And that she did, she stuck with us up until mile 30 or so and she took off to victory.
I felt really good during this run, of course the legs got pretty tired past the 20 mile mark but I expected them to be (see previous post with weekly running recap here). Also it got pretty warm in the back half of this race, when we do a little out and back to get the extra 5 miles in before heading back to the finish line. Those last 5ish miles were basically ALL IN THE SUN, so we had banked a little time to take our time during this portion of the race. As far as the hills went, they didn’t really feel that difficult this time. I attribute that to doing lots of hill training and of course doing lots of trail runs in the last several months. It is amazing how when your fitness improves, things just feel a ton easier.
I took one salt tablet throughout the race, a few Gus and some gatorade. I also had a lil shot of beer (yes they were passing out lots of that) towards about mile 23 or so. The girl that PR’d had one too. HA…I was a great influence. But yeah, at that point in the race I have to say a little shot of a fizzy alcoholic beverage kind of helps. Especially when you are running an ultra.
We booked it to the finish line and actually had a little time to spare – 5:28 finish time right under 5:30. I like to leave a little wiggle room there especially for the runners who run with us so it turned out just perfect. Jon and I made a great team! He commented that it was the best he ever felt during an ultra race. And honestly, I feel that way too!! I really enjoyed pacing this distance and part of me kind of wants to do it all again next year. This was one of my most favorite pacing experiences to date.
50k – 31ish miles, dunski.
Thank you, Cowtown for showing us a marvelous time.
Pacers gonna pace. (yes that is my new favorite saying now, someone said it yesterday during the race and now I can’t stop saying it.)
See you next year. Congrats to all.
Any other Cowtown Ultramarathoners out there?? How was your race? Tell me all about it!!