People often tell me that I make running look easy. And for most of the Antelope Island 100K I was relaxed, comfortable and having fun. I train and run smarter, not harder and rely on an efficient technique to get the results I desire which is to run injury-free, perform well and do what I love. And it really paid off with a win and the 2nd fastest time ever.
I made the decision to do the race just the week before. That week was spent doing hard, manual labor for my brother’s landscaping business including moving over 2.5 tons of rock in one day. It wasn’t ideal right before a race and I went into Antelope a little fatigued and beat up. No worries, I just had to focus on efficiency even more.
The start of the race was glorious. We ran underneath a huge full moon and the stars all overlooking the Great Salt Lake. For nearly 1.5 hours we ran in the dark with the moonlight shimmering on the lake. The sunrise and brilliant alpenglow on the Wasatch mountain range was also spectacular. There were lots of bison and antelope out there as well.
The first 50K I ran with friends and was pretty conservative. I was trailing behind Zac Marion who was in 1st and caught him at the halfway aid station. We took off together comfortably chatting and discussing the day so far. We had a pretty fast first half and I decided that if I pushed it I might have a chance to go under 9 hours. So, I took off. I ran miles 32-52 pretty fast. I was all alone and was reminding myself to run smarter, not harder. The course was fairly technical and hilly with some long, gradual climbs including one of over 1000 ft. When my hamstrings were tired I focused on pelvic and spinal rotation. When my quads were fatiguing I focused on engaging my core. Around mile 52 my left quad starting seizing up from a deep bruise I got when I pinched my leg between a large rock and wheel barrow a few days before. This threw my technique off a bit but I was determined to keep moving.
I never carry a watch when I run so I actually had no idea how much time I had to break 9 hours. I just decided to keep pushing it. I repeated a mantra, “I am light, I am strong” thousands of times. I finished fairly strong with a 1st place finish and the 2nd fastest time ever of 9:06:40.
I was happy about my race because I had fun, enjoyed being out with friends and took in the spectacular scenery. My consistent work of practicing technique sure paid off. The amazing thing is that I never really got sore after the race. Even 4 days after, I literally feel like I didn’t do a race. I attribute this to my efficient running technique, smarter way of training and plant-based diet. Now it’s time to look into doing another ultra in a few weeks…
I wanted to thank my friends and family for all their wonderful support. Also, a thanks to my sponsors, Altra shoes, Hammer Nutition and Macrolife Naturals. I am grateful to be able to do what I love, thank you!
Photos: Courtesy of Lori Burlison
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