Now that our big goal race is over and done with, it’s time to look back at everything we did wrong and maybe even acknowledge some things we did right. The CDR this year had 600 soloist register, 360 of us turned up at the start line (or at least didn’t withdraw before then) only 131 crossed the finish line. I’m going to start by stating the obvious, it’s a hard race.
Let’s start with the positives. I learned that I love trail running and really enjoy the 50km distance. Dan enjoys trail running so much he’s given up on road races (at least more than half marathon distance). I was also pleasantly surprised by how well my body with stood the demands of high mileage training. And I’m happy to report that I now have abs and arm muscles, this overall strong is a good feeling, I’d like to keep it up. As for the CDR. Well I think we did a great job of organising our gear. We put everything into labeled Ziplocs for each leg, which made it easy for Lucas to have what we needed ready. It also turns out that we are quite resilient, with both finished with zero blisters (well Dan managed to get one on his hand) and injury free, which is awesome.
But mainly this race tought us some excellent lessons.
Train together but don’t race together. Dan and I tried to do everything together and only once did with both have a good race together. On one hand when you’re having a bad race it’s nice to have someone there to help motivate, but sometimes you need to get yourself back in the game. And for the person having a great race it’s just frustrating. So no more racing together from here on in, we’ll have our own race plans.
More hills and/or longer distance races. I did a lot of hill training, but as always I could have done more. Nuf said. Dan feels (especially since we don’t have mountains to train on) that knowing you can run 100 miles going into the CDR would help. I agree to a point, our longest training distance was only 50km, we needed at least one longer run in there just to see if our bodies could do it.
We need to work on our nutrition and fueling. I don’t think mine is too far off, but Dan was just following what I was doing and well he is a much bigger person to fuel. He will be working on this for himself now.
Night running. Even though we didn’t make it to the night legs we didn’t prepare enough to have done this. I have to admit that I don’t know that I would’ve carried on by myself knowing that I’d be running in the dark alone, I had always expected Dan to be there.
Train with poles more often if you plan to use them. I was quite happy using the poles but Dan didn’t feel that helped much, more just got in the way.
ALWAYS fill your water when you have the chance. Obvious, I know but when you’re caught up with timing you need to remember the stuff that keeps you going.
Get the right equipment for what you’re doing. Our packs were way to big, to be fair when we purchased them we didn’t think we’d have a crew, but even then they’re too big. But on the bright side I have a great hiking pack!
I’m sure that we learnt more than we’ve come to realise.
Of the people we knew that attempted to solo no one made it and they all trained hard. One never made it to the start line due to injury and the other two had run legs of the CDR but both missed the leg 3 cut-off just ahead of me. So the most important thing to remember is no matter how prepared you are you just don’t know what will happen race day.
So will we back next year?????
No. Next year will be about reaching other goals. Goals that will help us with CDR, at least that’s my aim, Dan hasn’t decided if would want to solo again or just run the relay, but there’s a lot of time between now and then and anything could happen.
As for race in pieces, we are going to keep blogging about our running experiences, it’s fun and we’ve met lots of like-minded people doing this.
Lastly I want to thank everyone for their well wishes and rooting for us. You have no idea how much that helped and how much it meant to us.
And for your viewing pleasure some pictures that never made it into any blog postings!