After last month’s Mesquite Canyon fail, I was determined to get another 50K lined up so I could get that notch in my belt. Of course, the good folks at Aravaipa Running just happened to put together a new race in Prescott. And of course, I already had friends who’d be there. Game on!
First of all, this course was (mostly) fantastic:
- Amazing views – coming up on mountain passes was something to look forward to, as you always got a new perspective on Prescott and the surrounding area
- Not a ton of steep grades – there was certainly climbing involved, but it was mostly through lengthy switchbacks
- Did I mention the views? The finish was at Watson Lake, which itself is a sight to be seen, especially for this desert dweller
- Trails were very runnable, with the exception of a rock bed area past Goldwater Lake. I mean, that part could be runnable too – but certainly a bit dangerous. I heard stories at the following aid station of people showing up bloodied from falling over the rocks. But hey, that’s trail running!
I guess I would say my run was satisfactory. I could do better, but I did about what I was shooting for. A touch over 9 hours at a 15 minute / mile pace.
I was pretty happy with the way things were going in the first half of the race. Decent enough pace. Leap frogging with some new friends and other runners. Great stuff.
By the second half, I realized I wasn’t taking in calories as I should have. And then IT band issues started up. And then the rock bed came into play, and THAT slowed me down a fair bit. It is what it is. Just kept moving, though, and soon enough I was back on nicer trails and hustling to the finish.
IT band issues and other things will happen. But I can keep training, building in proper recovery time, and doing things like using my foam roller to decrease the likelihood. Nutrition shouldn’t be a problem, though. I had extra gels and other things in my pack I probably should have eaten along the way. I just need to simplify that plan and not just wing it along the way. By the time you realize you need it, it’s too late.
Overall, it’s pretty cool to know that just a few months after logging my first 26.2, I was able to put in 36+ miles on trail with a few thousand feet in elevation gain along the way. The human body is capable of amazing things, and I’m excited to keep seeing what people are capable of in that regard. I’m thankful for the friends I’ve met through trail running, as well as my other friends who I’ve run with over the past year. Next up? A return trip to the Grand Canyon! This time I’ll be bringing my running shoes… Stay tuned.
Here I am while doing a recovery hike the next day. Am I doing it right?