The Speedgoat 50k was by far the hardest race I've ever done. I knew it was going to be hard, but that doesn't even explain the torture I went through. First of all, I had the worst race prep you could possibly imagine, but it was somewhat out of my control. It carried on and affected how I felt on race day, physically and mentally. I tried to fight it and work through the tiredness and anger, but the accumulation of no sleep and high stress levels defeated my ability to fight through it.
When I woke up on race day I felt weird. I felt bitter and didn't want to race. I didn't want to talk to or be around anyone. If you know me at all then you know I'm not like that. I love racing and I always love being around people. I knew something was wrong and that it was going to be a tough day. To top it all off I had my old worn out Wildhorse 3's on, which I later discovered would have me skiing down every descent.
As Karl counted down the seconds I just looked ahead and thought - I really need to focus on being competitive since that's not naturally happening right now. So, I took off with the front group right from the start. There were quite a few girls pushing the pace early on, especially Hillary Allen. I figured it would hurt either way so I might as well push the pace too. I tried to keep up with Hillary and managed to stay there until the halfway point, but shortly after I started trailing off. I couldn't hold it anymore and my sour attitude wasn't helping. My quads hurt, hips stiff, back ached and I was hungry. I was so over it and I even said it out loud to my self while kicking a few rocks. I just wanted to be done and go home.
Then one girl passed me to put me in third. Then another to put me in 4th. I didn't even try to keep up with them or close the gap. That's when I started running with Eric and Kyle - two runners I met during the race. That was probably the most fun I had the entire time. We all talked, ran a few miles together and even did leap frog (thanks to Kyle) on the trail. It was Kyle's energy that actually made my mood slightly better. I still didn't finish very fast, but partially because I had to be so careful on the descents, which is usually my strong suit. I definitely learned my lesson with my shoes. Stop being cheap and just buy a damn pair if it comes down to it.
So...I finished 4th with a bitter attitude. I'm ok with my place even though my original goal was top 3, but I'm not ok with the attitude I had. No one's perfect, but I should have the positive attitude that I always tell people to have. You don't have to know what was going on in my life leading up to it to understand that my attitude should not be excused. I should have brushed everything off that was out of my control, but it's much easier to say then to actually do. I know for my next race I won't let anything distract from my sleep, nutrition and mental state. My normal race prep will definitely be taking place before the Squamish 50 and I'll make sure of it. Either way, it can't hurt as bad as this one did.