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Elkhorn Endurance Run (50k) - Run

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Montana City, Montana
United States
HURL-Helena Ultra Runners' League
Total Time = 00m
Overall Rank = /
Age Group =
Age Group Rank = 0/
Pre-race routine:

I found a quiet place by the creek to tuck in for the night before the race. This was my first time "Jeep Camping". Absolute success. I was so warm and cozy and just short enough to be able to stretch out all the way.
  • 9h 49m 9s
  • 32 miles
  • 18m 25s  min/mile

I knew it would be slow going with my nearly non-existent training this summer, but at least some of that slowness could be attributed to the terrain. I even brought my camera along to reinforce the goal of soaking up the scenery while getting in some miles. (Of course it came out of my pocket somewhere around mile 15, but thankfully another runner picked it up and I got it back at the finish.) This was an interesting race mentally in that I felt better and better and better still the further I went. Around mile 2 I was already in the negotiating phrase trying to convince myself to just "run to that tree". It really was a struggle until about mile 5 when I really started to have fun...just in time to face some of the toughest climbs. My blood was pounding so hard in my head I did get a bit of a headache just from the exertion and high heart-rate, if that's even possible. I've become mantra girl anymore on my races. For this one I kept thinking "Slow and steady might not win this race, but it does finish it." and "ANYTHING is faster than stopping". I also think this is the very first time in a race when I have utilized mini-breaks. Several times during the hardest climbs I let myself stop and slowly count to five just to catch my breath. I did NOT however sit or even seriously contemplate sitting on the many convenient logs or boulders. In keeping with my more laid back approach to this race I also spent quite a bit of time chatting with two different folks running their first 50k. There were a few miles of dirt road and some sections of runnable single-track, but lots of areas that were just too technical or steep for me to actually run. It was good to work on my power-hike. I have a lot to learn about descending. I had several people pass me on the downhills maneuvering like mountain goats on a mission. Also, NO WIPE OUTS! A very big first for me. I was so super careful, which again slowed me down some, because I was confident I could finish fine with my base, but not so sure I'd be ok if I banged up my joints badly like I did at Kettle Moraine. (Although I'm not counting it as a "wipe out" I did create a small avalanche going over a trail section that had some loose, deep rocks, caught myself from following the rocks down the hill, but did scrape my knees in the process, but no impact.) Around mile 24 it's like I could "smell the hay in the barn" and felt myself really pick up the pace, especially the last four or so very runnable miles. I had a good laugh at a sign along the trail a few miles from the finish "Trust your training!" followed a little further by "You did train, didn't you?" Funny of course because what I've done lately could hardly be counted as "training".
Post race
Warm down:

Another first: post-race ice bath. Well, not quite, but people were sitting in the very cold (snow melt?) creek afterwards and convinced me to join them.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Very limited and somewhat sporadic training. No prior experience on this type of terrain.

Event comments:

Well ran race and good experience. My feet still feel a little trashed, so still a work-in-progress figuring out how to protect them. I'm much more sore than usual for a 50k, but very glad I did the race and hoping it'll get me on track to kick up my training for the Heartland 100 this year.

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Last updated: 2012-08-05 12:00 AM
09:49:09 | 32 miles | 18m 25s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Course: Note to self: "Elkhorn" is not just a cute name for a's a mountain range! Oops! 7,400 ft. of elevation gain and loss over 32 miles. I had basically no idea what that meant until now. There were sections that literally involved climbing for MILES at a time. I don't think it was just me, even the long-time locals thought the course was pretty brutal. The steep downhills were only a little easier. The scenery was great though and I really got to see back country areas of the Elkhorn Mountains that I'd never have seen if not for the race. The course was bar-bell shaped with a point on the end. The lay-out worked really well for me mentally.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Too hard
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2012-08-05 4:26 PM

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Subject: Elkhorn Endurance Run (50k)

2012-08-05 6:20 PM
in reply to: #4347924

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Central Kansas
Subject: RE: Elkhorn Endurance Run (50k)
Nice job. I love reading your race reports. You are an inspiration.
2012-08-06 11:32 AM
in reply to: #4347924

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Roswell, Georgia
Subject: RE: Elkhorn Endurance Run (50k)
Mountains 50K! You are a rock star!
Happy to see you racing in your new surroundings, can't wait for Heartland  
2012-08-06 11:52 AM
in reply to: #4347924

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