So Day 3, which is appropriately called Tears (more on that later), technically is a 22k that rolls through the town, into the mountains and the woods… beautiful views, but not as much of a climb. Because of a crazy wind storm, the organizers had to cut this to a 19k so it was a little bit shorter but hey… after running 40ish miles the first two days, I wasn’t that mad about it.
After Day 2, we grabbed dinner at a local place in town for some pizza (which I thought I would be starving, but could barely eat two pieces) and then hit the hot tub for a bit which felt amazing on my feet because they were throbbing after running for nearly 11 hours. I was actually a little worried that I wasn’t going to be able to fit into my running shoes the next morning!
The best part about Day 3 is that the race doesn’t start until 9 a.m., so you get to sleep in (or so you tell yourself) and it was a lazy morning to get ready for the race. I thought that I would have been exhausted after all the running on Day 2, but it was hard to fall asleep and stay asleep — mostly because my legs were so sore and tired. I also worried myself into a bit of a frenzy because I had to use my arms to pull my leg to bend at the knee, so I had no idea how I was going to tackle nearly 12 miles the next morning.
We got to the race start about 15 minutes before (seriously, love that about smaller races!) and we were off! There was a video that the Golden Ultra posted that I was in (just of everyone leaving the start) and my hobble was pretty hilarious.
It took me a bit to get warmed up/convince my legs that we had some more miles to run, so the first few miles were a little rough… good thing the views were so great:
After the first 3 miles (which included a HUGE climb up a hill), we turned into the woods and hit some switchbacks, did a pretty good climb and then went between climbing and going downhills, which, I never thought I’d say this, but was some of the most painful running I’ve had to do. I totally know where the Tears come into play.
I knew that the last 3 miles were probably on the road as well, and that made me really happy. After looping around with some amazing views of the mountains, we were headed back into Golden to hit the finish line. I mean seriously, these views are so incredible:
(My pictures I took while running weren’t the most amazing, ha!) There were some turns at the end, and I went the long ways around the bridge to get to the finish line… oops. I realized that I probably shouldn’t have been running that way too late; I think I only tacked on .1 miles so nothing crazy.
Because I knew that it was the last bit of running for a long time, I was able to kick my legs into gear and finish strong:
I finished in 2:39.33, which I will take! I was aiming for anything under three hours, which I thought was less possible after Saturday night, but made it!
And of course, celebrated with the best donut ever (seriously, I am usually not the biggest donut fan but the local place in Golden had some amazing ones):
I think out of all the races, this is the one that will be most memorable in terms of pushing through and keeping going when things got tough. I never thought about quitting, but it was SO hard to keep running at some points. I don’t think my legs have ever been so sore in my life.
So there you have it, day 3 of the Golden Ultra. I am going to write one more recap from the entire weekend — coming your way soon! Plus, some recaps of our hikes. Because after Day 3, on our way back to Calgary, we decided to climb Ha Ling Peak…
😉 Perhaps a little crazy given the state of my legs, but man, those views were so worth it!
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