The Watchung 50k was a mixture of cold, pain, cold, fun, and more cold. Temperatures rose to a high of 25 (with real feel temps being colder). I dressed like never before -- tshirt, 2 very warm baselayers, a running winter jacket, and two pairs of running tights. I wore mittens with handwarmers, and a face mask with a hat on over that. It was COLD!
My first 6 miles were painful. Lately, I've been dealing with extreme calf soreness the first 30-45 minutes of every run. I had to keep stopping to stretching the first 4 miles or so.
Eventually, I was warmed up and felt great. I pushed myself whenever I could, and was very careful around the ice. Oh, and there was SO much ice. I wore my Yak Trax, which really helped me stay upright.
The race is 3 loops, with lots of great single track. The trees and bushes were covered with pretty white, and there were some nice sections where you ran next to water. The RD had a big aid station in the parking lot where we started, along with 2 other primarily water stops.
Being fat ass style, conversations were easy, people were friendly, food at the aid station (including whiskey and beer!) was plentiful, and everyone had a cheerful, happy day. There were some hills, some rocky sections, but nothing I couldn't handle.
Around mile 26, my feet really started hurting. I have never worn Yak Trax for so long, and my feet were starting to feel sore and irritated. Indeed, when I took them off, a thick red mark remained across the middle of my foot, and the bottom of my right foot ached like never before.
At times, the white blazes were a little easy to miss (in the white snow!), but I'm proud that I didn't get lost once!
It was a fun race, despite being cold. I warmed up fairly quickly, and did not remove any layers except my ski mask (which got wet with sweat and then froze, yuck). Nutrionwise, I didn't eat enough my second loop, but fueled up before my final loop with some delicious oatmeal cookies and pretzels. The volunteers looked at me as I was crazing as I raved over the deliciousness of the treats, but they really helped me finish strong.
And finish strong I did! I felt happy and accomplished!