I finished the Rockin' K 50 mile trail run yesterday. It started out at really cold and I could barely grip my water bottles because my hands were freezing for the first 30 minutes. It didn't take long for that to change. When the sun came up I took off my long sleeve shirt and it just got warmer from there...
On the Bluff loop (somewhere around mile 16) I was running with three other people and we went off trail. Way off trail! I think we were at least a half mile off trail running along a fence line when suddenly the fence ended and so did our little trail. I knew the scenery didn't look familiar but it took a long time for it to register. We retraced our steps and got back on trail and it took me a really long time to catch up with the people that I was ahead of before that. Strangely enough, I went off trail 3 or 4 times this year and I don't ever remember dong that in the past.
Everyone always says that the Rockin' K course is "deceivingly tough". Now more than ever, I agree. It was a hard, hot, windy day. I struggled to stay hydrated and keep my stomach balanced enough to continue to process water and calories. The second loop I was joined again this year by my good running friend, Andy, as a pacer. He was very, very helpful and very encouraging and motivating.
Overall, I gave it my best. I didn't finish my "best" or even my "second" goal time but instead I just finished (which is always my third goal at any race)! Two weeks prior I ran a 50 mile trail race in an hour and 23 minutes faster in even hotter conditions. I never had any really long stretches of walking or wimping out too much, I just pushed ahead running as much as I possibly could and could only come up with a 12 hour and 15 minute finish. Of course, I was just happy to finish and consider myself ready for the next adventure! This is my third Rockin' K 50 mile finish (one DNF halfway through the second loop in 2009).