This past weekend I ran my third ultra marathon, a 100k race on the Island of Ometepe in Nicaragua. For more info on our adventures before and after the race checkout Tarah's post.
I definitely had my apprehensions concerning the race right until the launching of the bottle rocket to start the race. My training had been almost nonexistent since the Panama City International Marathon in December, I had been battling injury/pain in both of my knees and the back of my right leg, and the week before the race I could hardly walk. In hindsight, I should have changed to the 50k distance as soon as we got to the island, but I didn't, and at 4:00am on Saturday I was toeing the line of my biggest running challenge yet.
gearing up
waiting for the gun
My plan was to go out super conservatively and listen to my body. The sun didn't rise until about 6:00 so we had almost two hours of running by headlamp. The first section wasn't very technical, but since it was difficult to see, I managed to twist my ankle before we got to the first aid station. At the aid station (9.1k), I checked in (there were only a couple of runners behind me) and got my first of nine bracelets for the day. We had short sections of pavement before and after the aid station so I was able to run a little more smoothly in those sections. Shortly after leaving San José del Sur, the community where the aid station was located, the course moved back to trail and eventually beach and banana fields. Through this section, I chatted with some other back of the packers and found out that a bunch of runners had missed a turn and lost a fair amount of time, so for a bit we were actually towards the front of the pack. Pat, the runner that would eventually take second, caught back up to us just as we were entering the banana fields. There was a small wall and some large roots obstructing the trail, but Pat charged past us and by the time we (the back of the packers) managed to navigate the obstacles, Pat was out of sight.