The Beach Run

I promised to make this race report in English. Now the blog is not exactly about race reports. So there will be some mix&match of documentary vs. some ideas triggered by my first 50 miler run Destin50 .

Myth #4: All ultrarunners hate themselves
and are just punishing themselves somehow.

INCORRECT!

The Stereotypical Ultrarunner
by Zach Adams

Zenhabits on his 50K:
16 Surprising Lessons from My First 50-Mile Ultramarathon

Pacers are super useful.

whatisultra.tumblr.com: When the media spotlights ultrarunners as “Healthy” vs “unhealthy”

2014 – Destin 50K , race report in Russian: Why Destin50 , SOWF , 50K out-n-back : all fun, fast, radiating bliss of happiness.

2015 – parallel universe aka Sliders : when the events happen in a similar manner yet it’s obviously a different world.

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Saturday: hanging out at the 5K finish line.
A bunch of medals- “dog-tags” in a cardboard box – calls for trouble: quite a bunch of them get entangled right as the finishers start coming in. So we sit there with other runners, “Destin50 family”, pulling the strings, de-tangling the knot, limited in time given for the task by seconds. It all looks like we are ancient humans trying to make fire before sun goes down. An ancient craft repeated in this word, a test of patience in preparation for Sunday.

Test Passed.
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A briefing meeting was so worth going to:

– “Children don’t care about you!” – Zane refers to multiple beach-goers families we were bound to dodge on the way through the city area. He knows what he’s saying – you don’t get to have the “obstacle course ” at 50K !

Somebody mentions high tides, it stays at the corner of my mind.

Sunday

4:15 am – I am at the parking lot of the shuttle pick up for the start. No party bus this time of the day
A quick stop to drop bags at the start, a long anthem (yes, there are different versions of the same song!) , and off we go: a bunch of fireflies tracing the beach with headlamps.

“Water crossings” – not as nearly as dramatic as in 2014 except for the police trucks lighting the way for the runners (thank you!) . They promised chest-up water at the event briefing – there was none!

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Gliding towards the sunrise – the best part of the race. As per the plan discussed with my coach, I pace myself here, going steady

15 miles, Turnaround, re-filling my backpack with water. Getting back steady, yet slowing down here and there. The water is not as cyan as in 2014, it’s all waves and wind this time.

Somebody praises bacon at 10 mile aid station: I’m vegan and it’s no fun for me, trying to run away from the fragrance as fast as I can.

Mile 30, the start-n-finish, but I am not done yet. I’m asking volunteers for my drop bag, get my sunscreen – by this time the day’s warmed up , re-stock my Vega Bars and Power Gels, load up my small bottle with UCAN – and move on.

Mile 35-ish, Pompano Joe’s reminds me of my parents visit to Destin – we stayed right there when I went for Sandestin triathlon 2012

Every now and then I get this question:
What are you thinking about during long time like that?

I don’t. I did couple of long runs, over 3 hours, on treadmill, no music, no video, no distractions. Just me and the brick wall of the building in front of the gym. It’s primitive thoughts, notifications on time, pace, body condition, fueling. 20 min – a gel, 20 min – UCAN, 20 min – Vega Bar / Chia bar. Water. BASE salt. All tried and tested at Ironman events, this run went easy physically on my body: I didn’t push it until mile 40.

Yet mentally this was a totally different race for me. All the previous year sunshine and rainbows were done at mile 30: right about that distance I was on endorphins high in 2014. 8 hours is a good time for having fun max. What happens after that is totally different story. Ironman races were fun and change of scenery or type of activity. My Ironman events in 2014 were easier for me then this Destin 50 miler.

High tides, soft sand, hot sun and “obstacle course”.

I’m good at “zoning out” (treadmill runs). I am not good at zoning out when you have to dodge kids, dogs, couples walking , clicking pictures, having all sorts of beach fun while you are at the race.

They call athletes “a beast” – it’s considered to be a compliment

I did not like that this race “turned me to a beast.” I wasn’t fast. I was mid-pack. But my first 50-mile effort caught me off-guard by pealing of layers of civilized human mind, leaving bare soul , a few threads of prayer , 1:1 with body pushing through soft sand, yet not getting anywhere much. No triathlon does that – you get keep your mind in order not to drown and in order not to crash on bike. No shorter hours of running did this trick either. I ran 3 50Ks before, yet this weekend I ran my first Ultra.
– Your own dark cave, I know that one – a triathlete friend laughs when I answer to his “How did the race go?” question. I know he understands. Many of us do.

I felt like I’ve just barely touched the beast’s fur.

– Positive thoughts! – my coach advice kept me from staying at that 1:1 for longer then required.

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Smashfestqueen kit – love it:

my favourite colors – the green color of LIFE + Yellow positivity!

The Back Porch Seafood & Oyster House aid station – they ask me what I want: I want just water with lemon juice and salt: an Indian remedy for hot weather, a runner’s lemonade.

Mile 46-50: I’m playing skipping with couple of runners , thinking – now would be a good time to have some runners pacing you , pealing you out of that dark cave. I’m mashing through the waves if they roll on soft sand. Brooks Pure Drift – not even a blister!

Hotel hot tab, hanging out with fellow runners, quietly observing the world around and other people , going through the same over and over again, each one for their own reasons.

2014 was fun, 2015 was as real as life

I think, I know what 2016 will be like.

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2 thoughts on “The Beach Run

  1. Pingback: Fearless | avatarakali

  2. Pingback: Manifesting | avatarakali

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