Sunday, December 16, 2012

Seashore Trail 50k - Virigina Beach, VA: My first ultra!

So the time had come that I was going run my first ultramarathon.  After the MCM (marine corp marathon) in October, I thought I would try and keep up my miles and give the Seashore 50k a shot.  So on Friday the 14th, the crew (Heather, zach, and nic) all went down to Virginia Beach, VA for the race.  Packet pickup was from 4pm - 8pm that night at Virginia beach resort hotel.  So I picked my packet up and Heather got a few shots of me to document the occasion:

We also got a cool jacket during the pick up of our bib...After pickup, we headed over to some pizza joint where I got a big fat burger and a salad.  Before any big run, I like to get a well done plain burger and a for me - probably should of had some more carbs but there were not a ton of options where our hotel was.  Back to the room and get some shut eye.  Unfortunately for me, the bed in my room had me sleeping at a 45 degree angle the whole night which did wonders for the back.  Woke up around 5:15 am for an 8:15am start.  Stuffed down a marathon bar, two pure athletic nutrient supplements, a bottle of water and we are off to the First landing state park to pick up my chip for the race.   We all walk over and pick up the chip, then back to the car to stay warm before the race.  Here is a nice shot of me looking quite nervous!

Walked back over at 7:30 to stretch and hit the potty one more time...nerves.  Here is the  banner for the race, lol:

One thing of note was the lack of port o pottys there...only THREE for 300 people...I just didn't get that but oh well...note to all those who run this, don't wait to get to the race to drop a deuce.  Maybe I didn't see any others but I was a tad surprised?  I ended up pissing in the woods around mile 4 anyway so it really didn't matter.  Other than that, the race was managed great and would highly recommend!  Great volunteers and plenty of food at the aid station.  Additionally, the trails were marked very well and had no problems moving from trail to trail - would rate it a 4 out of 5...great time.
After we took off from the start line:

our first stop would be at the 64th Street Aid station at mile 5.1 miles.  Heather got a nice shot of the aid station here:

I ran conservatively at about a upper 9 minute pace.  At this first stop, I grabbed a quick cup of gatorade.  Then onto the Narrows Turn around which is 1.5 miles out from there and back which would put us at the 64th street aid station back at around mile 8+.  From there, we would run down Cape Henry to White Hill lake to King Fisher, then back to Cape Henry which put me at the 12.5 mile mark.  During this whole time, I was keeping a high 9, low to mid 10 minute pace the whole way.  Once we got to the Bald Cyprus - Cape Henry Aid station I grabbed a small PBJ sandwhich, some gatorade, then left some people I was running with and took off in the Bald Cypress - Osmanthus loop ...The trail was had tons of roots sticking out and I knew this would be brutal coming back..   Came out of the loop at about mile 15 and change, hit the aid station again, then 4+ miles back to the 64th street aid station to see heather and the boys.  At miles 12-16, things were not that bad and I was looking forward to getting back to the aid station to see the family.  Some guy gave me a piece of gum which was like heaven - note to self, bring a couple pieces of gum, it makes time fly. Felt pretty decent the whole way up to 19.95 which is when I hit the aid station...This is me coming into the 64th street aid station:

Knowing I would be back there in 3 miles, I just grabbed a quick recoverite from heather, then head out, got back to her from the Narrows turn around at miles 23.2.  A race would not be complete without my cheering section - here is a snap of Nic holding up a sign as I came in:

Zach also made up a nice sign for me too.  Now, I am starting to get a little tired.  A little dazed at the aid station, I grabbed some oranges and Gatorade, and then did a no no...grabbed carbonated coke which did not sit well with my stomach.  Here is me at the 23+ mile marker:

Telling myself that all I needed to go was to the BC/O trail point was a nice way of breaking up the run to the finish.  However, got to mile 25 and walked for  a few times (not that long), then picked it back up when I heard the cowbells for the aid station.  Ok, now only 4 miles to go ....Picked up a few stragglers with me, we all ran together, sort was more of a death march more than anything else.  A few people passed us like they had just been shot out of a cannon...Finally, and I say finally b/c it felt like forever, I got to the 30.38 mile marker and the guy says, only .60 to the finish.  However, that .60 felts like 5 miles but I finally made it with a time of 5 hours, 31 minutes, 56 seconds for my first Ultra marathon event (50k).  Here is a picture of me rounding the turn: