Monday, October 6, 2014

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of the BEAR 100

I ran The Bear 100 last weekend and it was amazing. I went to grad school in Logan, UT where the race starts and always knew I wanted to go back and run the race. Green Canyon to Bear Lake is a gorgeous area with amazing trails and unbelievable views. My mom and I signed up for the race last December and have been getting ready ever since. My training wasn't as on point as I would have liked but I put in the miles over the past couple months so I felt prepared. I was just excited to get back to UTAH!

Here's the short version of the race....

GOOD: 

- First 10 miles were the best, long climb up to one of the highest points of the race but the higher you climbed the better the views got.

- Non-technical trails... after running in the Northeast for the past few years it was great running on rockless trails

- Amazing volunteers- at each aid station I had my dropbag before I even needed it, everyone was so helpful- someone even helped me with my gross toe blisters! THANK YOU!!!

- Long, gradual downhills were super fun!

- Met some GREAT people out on the trails, one of my favorite things about trail and ultra running is the community, people are so helpful and great out on the trails. 

- Watching about 5 male elk tearing down the woods about 10 feet from the trail while I was all by myself. The elk were so loud! It was terrifying until I realized I wasn't going to get trampled, then it was pretty neat :)

- Altitude... actually didn't effect me! I had a minor headache and stomach ache but overall it wasn't too bad, I was really worried about this coming from New York to the race so I was really happy I didn't get too sick or have any breathing problems.

- Climbs... I was really worried about the elevation gains but it wasn't horrible. The climbs were long but the trail was overall pretty runnable. My quads didn't quite get trashed, my feet hurt more than my legs. 

- Finishing with my MOM! So amazing to run the last 25 miles with my Mom, she pushed me so much the last part of the race... finishing with her was the best!

BAD:

- Blisters... DAMN blisters!! I have never had problems with blisters, ever! I think the combination of my feet swelling with the altitude and my shoes a little more narrow than normal killed my feet. I had blisters on every toe and all over the soles of my feet. It took so much time to take my shoes and socks off at every aid station and take care of my feet. I think I could have taken quite a bit of time off if I didn't have to worry about my feet. 

- Cold/Rain vs Hot.... The first day was super hot, which I didn't quite mind, I would rather hot than cold. The evening was great when a cold front came through with a couple thunderstorms. Once the rain started though, it got cold. From the early morning and on it was a challenge to stay warm and dry. I luckily had enough clothes in dropbags that it wasn't terrible. Thank goodness for my trashbag dress that I wore most of the early morning and Saturday

- Hallucinations... By the end of the race I was starting to see things in the woods... trees that looked like people, trees that looked like animals, trees that looked like cars, trees that looked like aid stations. Nothing crazy but was a little odd and a little alarming


- Taking time by myself at aid stations. I miss having a crew to help take care of me... I like being a little bit spoiled :)

UGLY:

- MUD! The last 10 miles were so muddy and slow... trying to stay upright was a huge challenge. At that point in the race I was so physically and mentally drained that it was very frustrating to keep climbing and descending in all the mud. The last 20 miles would have been a totally different race if it hadn't of rained. 

- Blisters IN the mud.... trying to walk/run in the mud with the blisters were the WORST! That was the one time I wanted treking poles to help me go downhill in the mud. 


Overall the race was AMAZING. The volunteers and aid stations were great- so helpful, especially because I didn't have a crew or pacer. The views and trails were absolutely gorgeous, I was smiling because it was so pretty for the majority of the first day. To look around and have mountains everywhere was overwhelmingly amazing :) Once it got dark and cold it started to get tough mentally... luckily I ran with a lot of great people that helped me through the hard times. I would highly recommend this race, the race had a laid back feel to it but also very supportive and positive.


Starting Line

Kansas City gals ready to go!!

After the first climb... Logan, UT down below


So runnable! And gorgeous views all around















 Momma Bear and her cub before the race!


Post Race!!!!!







1 comment:

  1. Wow. Congrats to you and you Mom. Awesome pics too!

    ReplyDelete