This is not a race report. Instead I am going to explain my learnings from this race. Every race, however well you perform, provide great learning opportunities.
1. Lead up to the race was great.
My lead up to the race was good. I ran a tempo the Saturday before and I felt great. I had booked a massage and physio treatment in two weeks before the race. I slept and ate well the week before. I also didn't overly carb load this time but I constantly snacked, drank and made sure food that I was eating was good.
LEARNING: SELF CARE BEFORE THE RACE IS VITAL.
2. Wore too many clothes at the start.
I am known for the number of clothes I wear running. In fact I think there is only one other person that I know of who always wears more than me! (You know who you are!) Within 10 minutes I had removed a long sleeved top and Katherine P nearly yelled out to me "Knew you would be too hot!" So I need to trust that I am ok to be cold, just for a bit because I will warm up!
LEARNING: DON"T WEAR TOO MANY LAYERS...
3. Went out faster than I normal do.
I started out at a faster pace than I normal do and I felt fine throughout the race. I even managed to run in the last 2 km. It felt good running slightly harder first of all, particularly as it meant I got ahead of the crowds for the single track.
LEARNING: MANAGE YOUR PACE AND EFFORT.
4. Management of fluids and food was awful!
My food actually was not that bad, for me. But my liquid intake was awful! It hit me in the second section after 65k. My stomach was cramping so badly and even though I ate several ginger tablets, these provided no relief. I only really came to appreciate my poor fluid when I realized that I only took two pee breaks in the 15 hours I was out there.......
LEARNING: DRINK MORE CONSISTENTLY DURING A RACE.
5. Always carry a hat.
I forgot to bring a hat with me, but luckily Katherine had one that I could borrow. I think I would have been in real problems because at the Rucky Chucky turnaround it was about 30 degrees. It was that type of heat where the sun beats down on the floor and bounces straight back into your face. I certainly got my goal of improving my Vitamin D levels!
LEARNING: TAKE A HAT!
6. More salt tablets
I just need to consume more of these every hour in hot temperatures.
LEARNING: CONSUME MORE SALT IF IT IS HOT.
I wrote "Be in the moment" on my arm and every time I felt off I just checked my arm and focused on the "Here and Now" and breathing. I had worked really hard on my mental preparation and it actually felt great to be out there.
8. More hills needed in training
Legs were a bit tired by the end so a few more climbs of Prairie would have helped.
LEARNING: TRAIN TO THE TERRAIN
I did not see it as 100k but as four separate runs that I needed to complete. I never thought of the enormity of the stages but just that I needed to get to the turnaround at Deadman Cemetery, HQ and Rucky Chucky. This process certainly helped me with the management of the race.
LEARNING: THE RACE IS A PROCESS. JUST COMPLETE EACH PART OF THE PROCESS.
While I was removing my layers earlier in the race, an amazing lady behind me said she was hot just looking at what I was wearing. Every time I saw her, I cheered her on and at the end of the race, she thanked me for cheering her. Also smiling and thanking all the volunteers really helped keep my spirits high. The volunteers were fabulous and so attentive and helpful. The poor guy at Rucky Chucky who asked what I needed and all I could grunt was that I thought I was going to vomit everywhere, so he offered me a chair!!!
It was a great race which was really well organized and I certainly would consider running this again.
Calls for comment?