It’s been a hot minute since I wrote a race recap! My last race was my 40th marathon in 2018. Yikes. It has been quite the year to say the least. Titletown Ultra Series holds a special place in my heart, it was my 1st ultra race. It still gives me that warm fuzzy feeling when I talk about that 1st race and beginning of what became a deep love for running lots and lots of miles. With experience has come comfort, so prepping for this race was far less stressful than in the past. It is always HOT, but that doesn’t freak me out anymore. I actually like the heat and feel good when temps are in the high 80’s…I know that is weird. The night before I spent about 30 minutes pulling gear and filling bottles then headed to bed early so I would be ready to rock at 4am.
The race starts around 5am. The race directors came out to announce a few last minute details and wish us well, then we were off. I hung in the back and eased in to a rhythm with my friend Cindy. I adore running with her. Our conversations are always the highlight of our meet ups. We chatted and glided through the 1st loop. Loop 2 the temps started to climb a tiny bit, but things were still quite comfortable. Cindy’s family was out to great her on this loop which was such a fun surprise. Loop 3 we parted ways about half way into the loop. Cindy had crushed her training and was in such great shape…I was holding her back and was happy to see her surge forward to strongly take on the remaining loops in her 8 hour event. I finished loop 3 and came into base camp not feeling all the best. Something was off. I stopped by the bathrooms which answered the question of what was up. Yep, got my period! Super YEAH! Not what you want in the middle of a race. Thank you to the compassionate aid station worker who ran to her car and grabbed me some supplies. Note to self, add these items to your race bucket. The wind at that point was out of my sails, but I was not yet ready to throw in the towel. I chatted with the Bigger Than the Trail crew that was there grabbed some Swedish Fish and headed out for loop 4. Nora (my coach) caught up with me on this loop and dragged me through it. Bless her sweet heart she stayed with me even though I was dogging it at this point. I always love my chats with Nora. She makes me laugh and also dig deep. After finishing loop 4 we parted was as she went on to place 2nd in the 8 hour event. I completed loop 5 with about 30 minutes until my 6 hour time was up. I had at that point given all I had and was ready to be done. 23 miles in total. I grabbed my lawn chair and cheered on the 8 hour runners before heading home to shower so that I could return to volunteer in the afternoon. Nothing makes me happier than giving back to the running community and working at an aid station. The 15.5 hour runners were such beasts! They battled in the heat and humidity all day. I miss having the fitness to be able to do the same…next year! I’m hungry for the big finishers mug:)
- Events – 6 Hours, 8 Hours or 15.5 Hours
- Date – June 29, 2019
- Location – UWGB Green Bay, WI
- Course – Trail
- Established – 2011
- 2019 Swag – Short Sleeve Maroon Tech Shirt, Buff, & Finishers Mug
Gear Used –
- Orange Mud HydraQuiver VP1 – This has become my go-to hydration pack. It fits like a glove and allows me to carry everything I need. Titletown is famous for its hot and humid conditions. The VP1 sits high on my back and allows for great air flow preventing me from feeling “hot”.
- Tailwind Nutrition – I filled my bottle with 2 scoops of Orange with 24oz of water and refilled at the start/finish line with Orange as it was the on course option. After loop 2 I did go 50/50 with Tailwind and water to cut down the sweetness. Knowing I needed more calories I added in Swedish Fish to my fueling plan. My energy level stayed consistent and stomach did not get upset. If I was running more than the 6 hour event I would have needed more fuel to keep up my physical efforts. I have been playing around with a few new gels and bars. When I find a combo that works I will share all the details.
- Oiselle – The temps were in the mid 80s to start. I wore with the black Distance shorts paired with my Bigger than the Trail team shirt, and Volee team bra. It was sticky and hot, but I felt cool. Just enough layers and I love black…when you are drenched in sweat no on is any wiser. I also love to add ice to the back pocket of my shorts. It melts slowly and keeps the small of my back cool. Tip though – add lube on your skin before hand to prevent chaffing with the ice melts. My favorite body lube is the Squirrel’s Nut Butter All Natural Vegan Anti-Chafe Salve in stick form.
- Run Gum – I had 2 pieces of Mint about 30 minutes before the start of the race on my drive to the start. It was the butt crack of dawn and I was TIRED…I needed the pick me up!
- Trail Toes Cream – I slather this stuff on before I put my socks on to prevent hot spots. I typically repeat the process when I change my socks on alternating loops. Like a giant idiot I did not change my socks and reapply. I paid dearly for this error of judgement. My feet are a blistered mess, which has not been the case for many years. Note to self…change your socks and apply LOTS of Trail Toes. The stuff works. I also always care a mini container in my hydration pack. That came in handy while on the course when I met up with a gentleman who was experiencing chafing from his shorts. TTC to the rescue. One of my favorite feature of this product is that you can apply it to wet surfaces, that is not the case with other lubes that I have tried. Once you are to the reapplying point you are wet or sweating. Having the product go on and stay on is key!
- Salt Stick Caps – I stuck to my regular schedule of 2 caps per hour to prevent cramping. I felt great. Zero cramping or feeling sluggish.
- FitSok – ISW Isolwool Crew have been my go-to socks for trail running over the past few years. Combined with Trail Toes I have been able to avoid blisters even in the wettest of conditions. I wore a new pair for this race (like straight out of the package). Sadly Fitsok has changed their socks. The fabric is not the same. I could tell from the start that something was “off”. Several times I had to stop and pull the socks up as they were sliding into my shoe. The result of both the slipping and fabric change caused discomfort. I was not pleased with their performance and I have been a die hard fan for years. It will be time for me to try some new brands to find something that works better for me. If you have any suggestions drop them in the comments.
- Altra Superior 3.0 – I have worn these Altra Superiors for several years and loved the zero drop. These are no nonsense shoes with very little cushion and a ton of grip. You feel the contact with the trail, which I love but that is not everyone’s thing. Altra has a huge selection of trail shoes that have varying levels of cushion and control. No two people will like or need the same things in a shoe. I highly recommend heading to your local running shoe store and having a chat with the sales crew to find what works for you. *The shoes I wore at Titletown are last years model. Altra Superior now comes in version 4 and has some amazing colors to choose from. I have my eye on picking up the Neon/Coral combo in the near future!