In any case, during our long runs, we hatched a plan to get us through the race... It was pretty simple... Run to every aid station, refuel... Then walk for a bit to digest (up to a mile) and then run to the next aid stations. This worked quote well... In fact, we had originally thought we would want to walk the full mile between aid stations, but we were feeling so good that we rarely used the full mile.
The month leading up to the race, Jax and I cracked down and followed a slightly more strict "paleo diet" and ensured our fluid intake was increased as well as our sleep. This seemed to work amazingly as on race day, neither my rheumatoid arthritis nor fibromyalgia was acting up and Jax stomach felt great.
We devoured our pre-race meal of 1/2 a sweet potato with ghee and salt, 1 sunny side up egg, and some leftover steak from dinner the night before, all washed down with our favorite Gatorade (limon pepino!!) and hit the road at 0500. Having gone to bed at 1845 the night before, we were both well rested and the 30 minute drive to the race was far easier than last year's trek to oriflamme!
We even had time to goof off a bit, which ordinarily would have been our strategy to calm our nerves... But neither of us were nervous... Which is always a good sign!
Packet pick up was easy as The race was well put together and run by a great team of experienced runners and coaches. The aid stations were wonderfully stocked and for the first time ever, I took advantage of the soda. The trail was well marked and with the exception of "Raptor Ridge," the course was pretty flat.... And gorgeous!
We executed our plan to perfection... And entertained ourselves with our pre-determined strategy of discussing certain topics such as "don't ever let me do ______ again," "remember when," and "goals/bucket list ideas." We planned future events, we laughed, we took in the beauty, and we soaked up the energy radiating from all the other runners. It was a truly beautiful experience.
Around mile 27, neither of us were feeling like superwoman anymore but we trekked on... And soon the finish line was in our sight. We both smiled as we saw Jax two kids come barreling up the finish chute to bring us in... At that point, they were definitely dragging US! And then we finished.... About a 2 hour personal record (PR) from last year's 50k time AND I got to finish along side my best friend/partner in
Neither of us could come up with anything that we'd do differently next time, though I'm sure ideas will come to us over time. All in all, though, it was a great race. The perfect storm of good conditions... Perfect weather, cooperating diseases/ailments, great course, great company... Everything came together perfectly... So well that I'm fairly certain we will be doing another one eventually.
This race is particularly meaningful and special for a couple reasons... The primary one is that Jax deploys for a 7 month tour in Afghanistan with the Navy Reserves, and that this was our last big race until she returns... And the second being that Jax didn't finish oriflamme with me last year, due to illness, and wanted redemption. Well, Jax, you got it!!