well, I finished! which is more than I can say for my last race...
The course is basically set up to consist of one long climb (16 miles, 6000 feet) and one large decent(15 miles, 6000 feet). Sure, there are little rises and falls in between but not a whole lot. The race starts off on a paved road for about a mile before going off into the woods for 30 miles of dusty, single track, motorcycle ridden trails.
My legs felt pretty good that morning so I took off down the road towards the front of the pack. About 5 minutes later I asked myself if I thought I could keep that pace, or if I even wanted to try and keep that pace. My answer to both of those questions was no. Although my legs felt fine I was definitely not fresh after running roughly 100 miles in the 6 days leading up to this race. Besides that I just wanted to enjoy myself and the trail. I took the first several miles of up hill at a more conservative pace but I was still pushing it quite a bit.
After about 8 miles I decided I had absolutely no desire to finish in anything that remotely resembled a fast time so from that point on I decided to walk most up hills. This race has two aid stations, one at mile 12, one at mile 21, so it is easy to get behind on your fuel intake. Since my breakfast consisted of 5 cookies, I was pretty hungry by the time I got to the first aid station, on top of not drinking enough and taking 1 S! cap in 2+ hours. I stayed at the aid station for about 10 minutes scarfing down all the Pringles and fig newtons I could get my hands on.
I then continued to meander up the hills enjoying the smell of pine and the deep blue skies. After completing 4 or 5 climbs that I thought were all the final climb before the long down hill, I finally reached the top of Windy pass and started the decent. I picked up the pace in the second half and did a lot more ruining, as it was all down hill.
I still never improved my eating or drinking habits. I only drank 4, 20 once bottles of water, took four S! caps and eat about 500 calories in 7.5 hours on the trail, but it was good enough to get me through the race in a comfortable manner. I crossed the in 7:27:59 just glad to have completed a Washington ultra before returning to Ohio.
This was a really great race. I am glad I had the opportunity to run it. I just hope I don't run it next year, which would mean I DNF'ED at Plain...again!