Wednesday, July 24, 2013

You Yangs 50km - Ultra Initiation!

Ahhhh.. the You Yangs.

The wife first asked me back in April whether we're gonna run the You Yangs & I remember saying I'd run it coz the name sounded funny! ha.. we weren't sure whether we would be ready to tackle our first 50k - I did want us to have our Ultra Initiation together, but the run was just a few days after the wife's scheduled arrival in Melb & it would be in the dead of winter as well. I had doubts, so did she. Maybe 30k then.. that was the unspoken decision we seem to have left it at.. :)

But of course we secretly wanted to start running ultras, few of the fancy trail runs I had lined up for the rest of the year are trail ultras - we def needed to get started (just to qualify!). After having the opportunity to check out the You Yang trails with Gary & friends - the decision was finally made to stop waffling & just do it.. bring on the 50k! (Gary did say he would unfriend us if we didn't so we really had little choice :D)

To be honest - not much thought went into how we were gonna run the 50k.. I was more concerned that I haven't prepared enough thermal sports wear for the wife. If the weather forecast came true, she would've been jumping straight into lashing winter rain & winds during the run, I really did not think any target was necessary - as long as we gave it our best shot?.. (but I know she had secret target of her own!) so my race strategy was pretty simple:

Race objective: Complete within cut-off!
Target pace: Slow & steady!

The day starts with a frozen smile! 730 @ You Yangs
Ran with confidence too with my new UD PB Vest (not bad looking huh? reviews coming!)
felt funny at first (not used to carrying two jugs on my chest heh.. )
Brett Saxon the RD: Are you taking a pic of me?
Everyone was fidgeting to keep warm during race briefing
50k flag off!


With the unexpected blue skies, we were off to a slow start - the 50k runners were all forging ahead steadily & we were definitely part of the last few slow-pokes - it was still cold, & we were convinced we'd be keeping our jackets on throughout the run (rookie mistake) that we pinned our bibs on the jacket itself (also we were following the race brief stating that bibs must not be pinned on shorts - such newbies)

And of course I ended up stripping off the jacket (had to repin the bib on my shorts) around 8-10k into the run.. all was good first 20k.


Leaving Flinder's peak & leading towards 30k, the poor wife started to have signs of cramps on the quads - she certainly felt frustrated & naturally soldiered on as she always does. I didn't want her to push herself too hard & told her if it was hurting v bad we could always stop. But of course she wouldn't hear of even contemplating a 'DNF' - (it was actually my secret tactic to fire her up kakaka..)

We made it up Flinder's peak the 2nd time with vonsy hobbling & stretching & I was proud of her trying so hard. But with 20k to go - I really did not expect her muscles to hold up all the way & kept asking her to sip on the electrolytes...

Conquering Flinder's the 2nd time but there was much pain behind them smiles!

Leaving the aid station at the foothill of Flinders, we had another half-marathon to conquer. If we could sustain a slow but steady pace - we'd still be able to make the cut-off for sure. It was now purely keeping the flow of electrolytes & sugar & carbs into her system going & letting her mental do the rest :)

Along Branding yard going into Saddleback.. 
It didn't cross our minds at that point there was still the steep climb up Saddleback that was waiting for us.. until we were faced with it:

Saddleback in all its glory
Much to our relief - vonsy seemed to have found a mini 2nd-wind as we left Saddleback & entered gum tree territory.. she was able to stay running & we were slowly picking up pace!

45k mark thereabouts..  breaking new barriers at this point!
she could still smile which was a good sign!
So close now.. 
Never mind the party's gone home, we're ultra-marathoners now! :D yay

We've literally spent the whole of Sunday just running - how many crazy folks do that except the lovers of ultra-running.. and on that note we've been in the company of such strong runners & it's great to have achieved our first ultra together in their presence.

It excites us as newbies to the ultra-scene but really I'm just happy we've finally done it, we've talked about it for ages & it's just added bonus we're making new friends along the way in a sport we both love, it's a blessing. No other way of putting it :)

Certainly we've got a score to settle improving our 50k time so onward to the next run!!

Thanks for reading folks!

Elevation profile for ye perusal.. 

ps. Oh yea.. we did anticipate that our poor lil garmin watches would struggle with battery life & so we took turn to record the run - 25k each! But i think if we're gonna get serious bout running ultras, we'll need newwwwwwwwwwww watches.. it's most unfortunate. 

1 comment:

  1. Great work guys! Congrats on your first ultra. I would have still friend you even if you decided not to do the 50km. Maybe just don't talk to you that's all ;)