It took 3 years almost to the day but yesterday represents the first ultra marathon finish that I was thrilled with the days performance. Having utilized Duncan Callahan and his coaching to help sift through the piles of information and make some structural sense to training has seemed to have paid immediate dividends. My early impressions from the day are that the higher level of fitness allowed me to comfortably push closer to the red-line for a much longer duration than I previously thought possible.
From an over all event stand point the new Whistler 50 is a huge improvement over the H2H event it replaced. In particular from the Ultra marathon participant perspective. The updated attitude toward ‘aid stations’ left me feeling like I was part of an event and not a second class citizen not running the relay. There is still room for improvement on the momento side though as ultra finishers are only differentiated from the relay teams by one word on the event sweaters.
All in all yesterday was a fantastic day. The course was well laid out and the trail sections include picturesque mountain and Lost Lake views. The weather co-operated although it was a pinch on the cool side. From a personal performance side I couldn’t have wished it any better. Finishing strong and pushing hard to the finish more than 45 minutes ahead of what I thought would a be best case time left me near speechless. More than that I finally had a day where everything came together and I was able to just run. Aside from the discomfort of a 50 mile run I feel great. No bruises, blisters or hot spots.
Considering the way 2011 began, with fractured ribs on January 1 followed by heel trouble in April I am very happy with the way the year turned and began to pick up momentium. Starting with a somewhat surprising time at the Langley 1/2 marathon in July, followed by the Leadville 100 finish and the great day yesterday at the Whistler 50 my racing season has come to a glorious close. You know what they say in like a lamb out like a Ryan…er I mean a Lion. Here’s to 2012:)