Monday, March 12, 2018

All 50Ks Are Not Created Equal

I went to a "happy hour" at a running store in Golden, CO last week all focused on the Golden Gate Dirty Thirty (50K) that I'm running in June (happy hour to runners = free craft beer, kale salad, gear reviews and lots of race talk). This will be my first ultra. I learned three important facts:

1. This is the second hardest 50K in the nation (probably due to vertical gain and technical conditions - 7,250 vertical gain. lots of single track with the highest peak reached at mile 26. Ouch)

2. An award is given ($100) to who is the bloodiest and most torn up at the end (I think I'll bring some ketchup and a butter knife just to jack myself up. $100 buys a lot of chardonnay).

3. All first timers are given a green shirt to wear. Volunteers are specifically instructed to not let the newbies quit (they probably threaten them with a butter knife).

You all know I'm not afraid of a good challenge, so bring it on. Any race that has a sign like this (taken at last year's race) is my kind of race. Yes, I just may be that one out of 100.

But, I will tell you that I am going to train my ass off to make this race go as well as possible. This week was #6 of 18 training weeks. And it kind of kicked my butt. But, at the same time I'm adapting to the challenge and can feel myself getting stronger.

Monday: Swim 3,200 yards
Tuesday: Run 5
Wednesday: Run 7 (intervals)
Thursday: Run 8, steady
Friday: Run 3, easy
Saturday: Run 14 - hills/snow
Sunday: Run 6 easy

Total: 45 miles

The hardest day was obviously Saturday. We went up to the famous Magnolia Road, which starts at about 8,000 feet and goes way up from there. The challenge was made even more of a bitch because it was windy and started snowing really hard. I was in shorts because it was 20 degrees warmer at my house. Colorado, you kill me.  I've lived here for over 20 years and still can't dress right.

I wish you could see my legs. They are a few shades redder than my face.

This week is also high mileage, but the following week when I'm doing the Cross Channel swim in the Caribbean (Island of Nevis) is a recovery week, so perfect timing.

Image result for nevis cross channel swim
2.5 miles of Caribbean bath water. No one will even know if you pee in it.
I had a choice for this race - to RACE, i.e, be eligible for age group awards or to not race, which means you can use snorkels, fins, wet suits, arm floaties, anything to get you 2.5 miles from island to island. While floaties sound fun, I opted to RACE. So, we'll see how that goes...

What's the hardest race you've ever done? Mine was probably the Leadville Marathon. But, it was also one of my favorite races ever.

Would you consider a long swim from one island to the next? 



  1. My hardest race? My first half Iron, which was my first triathlon. Why? Because I didn't know if I could do it, and wanted to quit on the run. Or being accurate, the mediocre shuffle I was doing for the last 10K.

  2. Go big or go home, right?

    Hardest race I've ever done? Big Sur. Of course, I didn't train very well, since I was injured for most of the time leading up to the race. No excuses, it's a hard course, especially when you live where there are no hills to speak of!

    1. That one is on my bucket list, but it does look tough

    2. Big Sur is my favorite marathon, hard but worth it!

  3. I've done two Ironman races, and they were hard! But like you, I am training for ultrarunning now and I think this race will be harder than Ironman. Elkhorn Endurance 53 miler 13000 ft gain. But it's right here in my backyard.

    1. That sounds tough. 13K gain?? I agree - Ironman is so hard, but I like that you get to mix it up with the different sports. Somehow makes it easier.

  4. Actually you can get arrested for going bathroom in a body of water. You up for working out in the County jail? Right.

    1. Yea sure. I'm up for working in the county jail. If they have the intelligence enough to monitor that sort of thing, I'm impressed. Bring it on. Like they can tell who pees in an ocean. Right.

    2. Well you seem a little agitated and not too afraid of the law it seems. This is a great reason to believe in "More Government." End of discussion, Maam.

  5. Probably the Leadville 100....only race I dint finish made it 44 miles.
    Doing The Casco Bay swim Run from Island to Island this summer in Maine for my 50th!!!

  6. Either Fat Dog 120 (actually 122) or Cruel Jewel 100 (actually 108). But Dirty Thirty was my first ultra, too. It's a beast, but so worth it. I usually volunteer there now, so maybe I'll see you out there.
    Practice your power hiking. That hill at mile 26 will take for-freaking-ever if you're death marching (which I was in 2012, so I speak from experience!)

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  8. Hardest race? Well it wasn't a race but the 40+ miles across the Grand Canyon and back was pretty challenging!

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