I have been told that running ultra-marathons, like many sports, is simply about learning to keep your head in check while you suffer in beautiful places. With that being said, what better way to spend a sunny weekend but gathering up a group of awesome folk renting a huge house on a San Juan Island golf course, cycling, hot-tubbing, billiards, cooking up a storm, drinking some delicious ceasars and wine on the patio and then capping it off with the Kings Market 1/2 marathon. http://sjmarathon.org/.
Seeing as my current goal is to complete a 50 mile ultra in a little over a month, I figured running a 1/2 marathon on tired legs would be good training. So, I had a lovely time with intentionally tuckering out my legs as much as I could prior (53km running on the weekend before followed by a standard week of cross-training then 75kms of riding on San Juan the day before) I successfully tuckered out those legs and set up to the start line with two other friends and 200 other folk.
Looking at times from the last year and well warned about the copious amount of hills, I set a goal of running 7:45-8:00 min/mile to keep good form and push through the hills without regard for any consequences. With my successfully tuckered legs the first half of the race felt absolutely awful, but began to feel great at around the 1/2 way point. Thanks to my Ski to Sea downhill race a couple of weekends ago, I could really let go on the downhills and my legs did not seem to care much. As heavy as I often feel now a days I felt really strong and light on the uphills also.
Well, I successfully kept my head in check while I suffered very much in an absolutely beautiful place and crossed the line as the first female overall and 7th overall in a time of 1:43:02. That was my first win in a running race so I was pretty happy with that and a very well run local race. On to my big adventure in a little over a month.....oh gees.