Well, I wish the news was better, but Saturday didn't quite go as planned...
After originally planning to stay at a hostel in Leadville, some friends cancelled at the last minute and we (fellow Team C.R.U.D. runner, J.T. and I) decided to leave for Buena Vista at 3:45 am on race morning... not my favorite way to get ready to run 50 miles!
So race morning arrived and the forecast was for rain and wind all day and temps in the low to mid 40's. Thankfully, by the time we got into Buena Vista for the race it was just cold and not precipitating.
Now I'll just go ahead and skip all the boring details:
At the first aid station (around 5-6 miles) I came to the painful realization that gels weren't being provided at any point during the race and (since I eat one every half hour just to be safe and avoid bonking) the 5 I had on me weren't going to keep me going for 8+ hours. You can guess how happy I was about this.
I decide to improvise and take a handful of nearly frozen M&M's and try to choke them down over the next mile or two. (Note to self: Don't try a new form of fueling on race day..)
By mile 10 my knees were hurting about as much as I would expect at mile 40. This concerned me a little bit, but I just figured the pain would go away as the race progressed.
I used the new M&M strategy at the next aid station (12 miles?)and by mile 18 I had the privilege of getting to enjoy them again as they came back up!
From here on it was a 6-7 mile downhill suffer fest all the way to the 25 mile mark which was the turnaround point for the 50 milers and the finish line for all other racers. At this point I was ahead of my estimated time but my knees were hurting so badly that I decided I would be risking real injury if I went out for lap 2. J.T. came in about 15 minutes later (while I was sprawled out on the grass) and almost convinced me to go back out onto the course, but I listened to my body and decided that I hadn't had enough recovery time from my last ultra and that I would meet him in a couple hours and bring him in for the last few miles. I ended up running to meet him about 3 1/2 miles from the finish and then ran him in. Seeing how dead he was definitely reinforced my decision to only do 25 miles.
In the end, I was given an official 25 mile finish time of 3:55 and I was able to tack on an additional 6-7 miles by running to meet J.T.
I'll just chalk Saturday up as a long training run and live to race another day!