This past weekend I had the pleasure of running a leg of the Sinister 7
100 mile trail race, leg 5 of 7 to be precise. Sinister 7 takes place in the Crows Nest Pass in Alberta.
This was my first time attending an ultra event of any type, and it was pretty amazing. The organization was excellent and the people at the event were very friendly. My training leading up to the event was less than stellar. I knew that one of my team mates had slacked off on training, and that rubbed off on me. In the future, if I run another relay, I need to focus on myself rather than paying attention to what the people on my team are doing. My longest run had been ~22k with ~750m of elevation gain, which sounds good, but I had been shirking my mid week runs and generally not training hard.
This was my first relay race, running one of the later legs made knowing my precise start time impossible. So I grazed throughout the day, having an elk burger that one of my team mates brought for lunch, and waited as the first four runners completed their legs.
I started leg 5, 29.6 km with 763m of gain, at 5:30 pm. The sky had been looking rather ominous before I started and the wind was howling through the transition area. As soon as I began running I knew this was going to be a tough one. I could feel the altitude in my lungs, and my HR was at hovering at about 170 on the flats, which is about 20 bpm above where it normally is. To compensate for the altitude I ended up walking even the shallowest incline. The leg started on dirt road/ATV path, then split off to follow an undulating track under some high tension lines. After climbing 180m in 10k from the start, the track veered off the power line and the real climbing began. The next 1 km saw a climb of 100m and over the next 20 km the inclines were up to %45, at 1500m above sea level. My lungs were burning for quite a while. I swapped places with a soloist for a bit, with him overtaking me on the ups and me passing him on the downs. The last 10 km was generally downhill and my knees started to ache. I'm pretty sure this was related to my low training volume. I walked a fair bit of the last 5 km which was a gradual ascent. The final 500m dropped 50m into the transition area, and I had a great sense of accomplishment as I handed the timing chip off to my next team member.
Overall, it was really great to run in an ultra event. Everyone who passed me on the trail (and there were many of them) offered great words of encouragement which I gave right back. This race cemented my preference for trail running over road. I like the smaller crowds and the supportive atmosphere.
Next up? I will probably to a 25k on Orcas Island
at the end of January followed by the Diez Vista 50 k
in April. I also plan on doing some speed work in the fall. I hope my team wanted to do the Sinister 7 again next year, as I feel there is so much more I could bring.
Jul 09, 2016
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/14/2016 12:27PM by Skye.