I wasn't sure I was going to make it to the starting line of this race. With two weeks to go, I threw my back out of alignment, and was having trouble tying my shoes much less walking or running. With the help of my chiropractors and a liberal use of peptides, I slowly started to feel better.
The race was close to my mother-in-law's house in CA, so we were there anyway to visit her. With 24 hours to go, I risked a few burpees, didn't feel any pain while moving, and decided to race!
The venue was set in the middle of a vineyard. No water on course, no fires, and not many hills made this a very fast race. We started in the dark, and needed a headlamp for a good 1/2 hour...I've never run an Ultra this late in the year before. But I was grateful for the hours of cool and chill weather as temps were supposed to climb into the 80s by the afternoon.
An Ultra Spartan usually takes me between 8-9 hours to race. There's always 2 loops of a 13 mile course plus a little extra zinger on the first half, so I plan on 5 hours to get to transition/halfway bag, and then 4 more hours to finish. On this course I was back in transition at 31/2 hours which meant my pace was faster than usual (and the course was a little short).
I had a bag of ice waiting for me in transition, but it was barely hot enough to need it at 9:30 am. I kept waiting for my back to hurt, but never even felt a twinge and I was grateful for that! My pace did slow on the second half...I had only managed 3 runs in the previous month since my marathon and that's not quite enough.
Only 1 woman passed me the whole day and although I kept her in sight for hours I was behind by 15 minutes at the finish. I hoped that she wasn't in my age group, and thankfully she wasn't! I finished in 6:45, about an hour ahead of anyone in my age group. Yay.
I caved to common sense and didn't race the Super and Sprint the next day. No reason to push my luck and reinjure something. Jim raced the Trail Half Marathon, kicked ass as usual, and finished in 2:14. Not sure if I would run head to head with him right now, he's getting really fast.