When my alarm went off at 4:45am I was wondering why I sign up for these races again? I was half asleep when I got to Race Central. Thankfully, the race was very well organized and the gentleman at the check-in table kindly repeated all the gear and race instructions for me in my sleepy daze.
I think I was still waking up for the first few laps as I can barley remember them. It was just getting light out but was perfectly clear with no wind. I only ran one lap before peeling off my gloves and long sleeved shirt. I ran the first few laps with different runners and had great conversation as we shared ultra stories and made a few jokes. I was running very consistent 40 min laps and was happy that my Achilles tendon was not bothering me too much.
After 4 loops around Lake Merced, the flat, representativeness of the course started to wear on me so I threw on my headphones and tried not to repeatedly count the remaining laps in my head. After 6 laps I was ready to call it a day. I decided to run my last lap with Aaron who I knew would be waiting for me at Race Central to finish the 50km distance. The thought of another 5 laps and 3 hours around the lake was too much. I looked at my watch and thought it strange that I was running at a fairly good clip yet was projecting a 5:20 50km finish.
As I turned the final corner of my lap, there was Aaron in bright yellow sunglasses asking me when he should but his things. When I got to Race Central I realized that I had somehow lost count of a lap and was actually finished. Poor Aaron was ready run and I was very confused. Then the race director pulled me aside wanting to take my picture and present me with a plaque for winning my division. Needless to say, it was a bad picture :)
All and all, it was a beautiful day. I finished in 4:36. Many thanks to all of you for your support. A very big hug and thank you to Nate for waking up at the crack of dawn on Saturday to drive me and Aaron for driving out to the boon docks to cheer me on!