It seemed like I had just raced when I was preparing to leave for Squamish. It took me a long time to recover from Speedgoat due to several factors other than just running a kick in the ass race. Basically everything was the worst it could be before, during and after that race. Despite all that, I felt pretty good last week and I was excited to race.
The drive to Squamish was long but well worth it. That town is beautiful and full of the kind of people I prefer to surround myself with. Everywhere you go there is someone biking, running, kite boarding, wind surfing, hiking and basically any other outdoor activity you can imagine. We camped at Wonderland Valley Resort just outside of town and it was awesome. The weather was perfect so it as nice to sleep outside.
We chilled out on Friday until my interview with USL TV. They were covering the race and wanted to do a group athlete interview with Cassie Scallon, Mike Foote and I. It was short and sweet and then we headed back to prepare our gear.
I felt great lining up for the start on Saturday morning. Legs were great, confidence was high and I felt ready to race. I went out like a bat out of hell but felt like my pacing strategy would work for my fitness level. The first 10k was very flat as we made our way to the trails. I was up front and feeling awesome so I went through the aid stations quick. I planned on fueling on GU Roctance and water for a few hours and then eating something more substantial. However, I didn’t really think about how my pace with the difficulty of the course was going to affect my nutrition, which was a huge mistake. I passed an aid station and shortly after got to the halfway mark, which was right at the second climb. It was like a light switch and I instantly felt nauseous. I needed to eat but the only thing on me was GU and the there was no way I was going to get another one of those down. I chugged my water in attempt to feel better but that was my second mistake. I ran out of water and couldn’t eat anything for another 6-7 miles. Legs were cramping, my nausea wasn’t going away and I lost a lot of time. Both Catrin and Cassie had passed me and I was feeling so terrible that I convinced myself I was going to drop. I finally got to the aid station and there were so many people cheering I just couldn’t do it. I actually said a few inappropriate words to myself because I knew I wasn’t going to let myself drop in front of everyone. My pride wouldn’t let me do it, so I took a few minutes to grab food, refill my water and chug some Hammer Heed. I was off again with about 17 miles to go.
From then on it was very up and down with how I felt. I would feel ok for a few miles after an aid station and then shit would hit the fan. It was like that all the way until the last aid station. They had pickle juice and I chugged an entire cup of it. I had never tried that but I really wish I had from the beginning. I still didn’t feel anywhere close to my best but I did feel a hell of a lot better. I was expecting the last 10k to be nice and flat based on the course map but that wasn’t the case. All I could think about was how good a flat paved road would feel. I don’t suggest dreaming of that when you’re on rolling single track. It will not make it easier.
I finally got to the finish where Gary was waiting for a high five and a hug (which he gave to EVERY runner that crossed the finish line – seriously, this guy is incredible). I walked over to congratulate Cassie and Catrin and then grabbed all of the food I could find. I was feeling much better, got a massage and waited for my buddy, Dave.
Looking back on it I’m not disappointed at all. I pushed myself out of my comfort zone and I could have handled it if I had my nutrition down. That’s good to know because it’s somewhat of an easy fix. I also realized that running Hood to Coast one week after this race is probably not a smart idea, so I decided to drop. I’m actually more confident for Run Rabbit Run now. My race day nutrition has been one of my biggest struggles and I now have an idea of what I need and don’t need. There’s just over 3 weeks left until Run Rabbit Run and I’m no longer scared to do it. I don’t really know how to run a 100 miler, but I’m excited to find out.