I've had 3 days to review what transpired last Saturday. I've taken some time to review other race reports and articles regarding the events of that day. So I've come to a few conclusions and will simply list them as additional thoughts rather than rewrite a more detailed race report or modify yesterday's post.
- The Black Hills course is very difficult terrain.
- I didn't adjust my pace to account for the difference in difficulty compared to my training.
- I became impatient with passing and being re-passed, so ran too aggressively on some downhills for the state of my knees.
- While, I had made some intelligent decisions about what to include in my drop bag, I became rattled by a missing support crew and, therefore, left the Elk Creek aid without eating adequately. I also rushed through the next aid station without receiving much help and, thereby, missed another opportunity to eat more than gel.
- I have never raced well in heat and I definitely became over-heated and showed some classic symptoms of heat exhaustion.
- Other, more experienced, ultrarunners were also affected by the heat and a rather high dropout rate resulted from all 3 races.
But the weekend provided a lot of positives, as well. Even with the DNF, I had a great time and only regret that I didn't find a way to walk through to the finish.
- The Black Hills are a beautiful place to visit...whether driving or running on the trails.
- The race organization is great (both race directors are ultra runners themselves) and the volunteers were fantastic.
- There is very good spacing of the aid stations to help make up for the difficult terrain.
- A year ago, if someone had told me I'd be running 33 miles (in a 50), I would have thought they were crazy because of the knee issues I've been fighting. This whole race preparation and participation are a bonus!
- Sturgis has the distinction of the huge motorcycle rally in August, therefore, the selection of restaurants and saloons is excellent and I ate a couple of the best meals I've had in quite some time. This includes "The Knuckle Sandwich", a 1 lb. burger with sweet potato fries at The Knuckle and a stuffed salmon the was heavenly at One Eyed Jacks!
- There was enough free time the day before the race to see Mt. Rushmore for my first time and also see the progress on Crazy Horse monument.
|This place was huge and includes acres that are not visible in this photo|
Today I got out early because the weather forecast is for a steep rise in temperature. The legs are getting much better and I almost walk downhill without favoring my steps. I might even be capable of running again tomorrow or Friday.
4 miles in the AM. 3 mile hike after dark.