Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Frozen Ass 50km in Pictures

Here is a shot of the day before the race. It was foggy and frosty when we were out for a run. Thankfully Monday was a nicer day.
I had a great sleep Sunday night and woke up before the 7am alarm. Breakfast was oatmeal and berries, 2 poached eggs and a bagel with pb and honey. The waitress seemed a bit shocked at the volume of food I consumed.
We got to the canoe club nice and early and had time to say hi to everyone and use the washroom a few times. It was a nice change to have no line for the girls washroom and a big line for the men's.
We had to cross the bow river to get to the start...
Here we are looking fresh and ready to go
waiting for the start...hopefully the sign in the background isn't an omen!
And we're off...kind of. I insisted we seed ourselves near the back so the deep powder would be a bit more packed down. But it was a very slow start and we had to run through the powder to pass people as we went anyway.
The trail conditions were not great. There was deep snow, ridgy hard pack and ice. There was a bit of clear pavement especially towards Chestermere, but the sun caused more slushy mess on the way back.
The aid stations were great, there were 3, we hit each one twice. The first was 8km out, the second 18km and then the 3rd at the halfway. This was the middle station- there was bacon, which I took, but unfortunately gave me nasty heartburn.
I was filling my pockets :)
Here we are still looking happy...Celine is catching a nap?

Here is Alan's aid station at the half way point. 
We hit the half at 2hrs 23. I knew it would be a longer run back as we tired, but I didn't realize how much longer. The sloppy trails really took a lot out of us. My feet were actually cramping from the uneven terrain. We were both a bit dizzy from running with our heads down and had to take turns in the lead as the follower tended to get the most dizzy.

The sun came out and we removed a layer- lucky for us D came by and took our jackets for us. Here I am on the middle aid station, trying to fix my shoe so my foot would stop cramping.
Things got pretty ugly after this point. We were both deep in the pain cave and it was all we could do to keep moving forward. I love the next shot, it is just before the last aid station and we got stuck at a red light crossing Glenmore Trail. Darin caught us both in the same position, clearly tired.
We waited a long time at that light, we lost the group ahead we were catching, and were caught by the group behind us. At this point neither of us cared. 
A loooong 7km later we heard a cowbell and saw a figure in the distance. It was Alan, who assured us we had just 1km to the finish. We begged him to carry us, but he refused and just ran with us instead.
As we approached the finish Celine's fur baby Wrigley came to greet us
And gave us a celebratory hug!
Here we are, 5:08 later, looking a little worse for wear...
Celine took another nap in the snow
And then we headed in for.....PIZZA!
Actually I was too nauseous to eat, but we did enjoy a visit and some yummy root beer
And Celine took yet another nap...
It was a tough day, but I am very proud to have finished what I started 6 weeks ago. It was a huge bonus to share the day with a great friend. (Even though she called me a few choice names towards the end). Darin was the support crew extraordinaire, running to and fro to check on us, take photos and carry our extra stuff. I think he clocked about 40km himself!
I am less sore than I expected to be, I only feel stiff in my back and am actually looking forward to a little run tomorrow. I will give myself a week to recover and then formulate the next phase of the training program to lead me towards the Blackfoot 80km in May. 
Thanks for all the notes and messages on Facebook! I was overwhelmed when I checked my phone after the run!!!


Kelly B. said...

Good job Amber! That kind of looks like...fun!? Challenging but fun!

Lisa G said...

Way to go! That is amazing! Now you deserve a break! Nice that you had good company the whole race as well. I like the number on the leg idea!

Deb said...

Dude, you totally rock! Way to go! Running in that type of snow IS exhausting! I can't imagine!

Julie said...

Congratulations -- what a huge, honking challenge to run in such piss poor conditions!!! A 5:08 in conditions like that???? Holy crap, girl you are a total STUD!!!!!! :) :) :) :)

The pics are awesome! I can feel the pain and exhaustion of you two at the stop light -- eeeeeek!!!

Amazing journey you are on, Amber! :) Just think -- this will go down in history as your *first* ultra running event. YAY!!!!!!

Naomi Rae Nicholson said...

Congratulations, AD!!! Awesome job!!! :-D
No worries: a little break, then onto a successful 80KM and then The Death Race!!
The orange hoodies are great too.:) Hugs and Smiles!!! :)

cherelli said...

Outstanding, well done Amber! I cannot imagine running on that surface for 50kms!

Jenna said...

Way to go AD!! (And Friend) - The pictures do say it all - I love the one with you both waiting for the light and leaning over. I must say, until you run in those conditions you do not know what you will face - like feeling dizzy from looking down. I am so proud of you and I am so sorry the bacon wasn't what it should have been!!! (And Darin - you are such a good support peep!!)

Keith said...

Wow, as if running that far wasn't challenge enough, but to do it in slushy snow. Amazing!

Amy said...

Congratulations! You guys killed it! Your pictures told the race perfectly! Such a great accomplishment.

PS: I can't believe your friend did the whole race without a ponytail. Running with my hair down drives me nuts...you both looked great out there!