Monday, April 6, 2020

Yeti Ultra 24-Hour Challenge Recap

Originally I was supposed to be running Ragnar SoCal this past Friday and Saturday as part of an official #SweatPink team... and then, as I’m sure all of you're all aware, COVID-19 hit and event after event was cancelled or postponed. Unfortunately, Ragnar SoCal was one of the many cancellations left in the wake of the coronavirus. Even though I absolutely understand it had to happen, I was still pretty bummed that I wouldn’t be tackling the relay race for a fifth time.

Last week I saw a post from a running group I follow, the Yeti Trail Runners. The organizer had been asked on multiple occasions if he could put together an "at home" challenge for folks... so he came up with the Yeti Ultra 24-Hour Challenge.

The premise was simple. Run 5 miles every 4 hours for 24 hours. {You couldn't run all of the miles at once, nor could you accumulate miles so you could miss a shift.} The challenge was to be completed within any 24 hour time period in April.


Well, seeing as I had been laid off a couple weeks earlier and had nothing official on my calendar until May {and who knows if those races/ events will still actually happen?!}, I figured this was right up my alley... And I had already run an unofficial 50K a couple weeks prior when my Old West Trails 50K was cancelled in mid-March so I figured, why not?!


The registration was $30 and you’d get a shirt and sticker, as well as help their friends who provide the printing through the Easter Seals Community Rehabilitation Program (which provides vocational development and extended employment primarily for individuals with mental, emotional and physical disabilities, to maximize their employment potential).


I decided I’d tackle the challenge on Friday, when I was originally scheduled to run Ragnar, and see if I could try and do it in as close to the three “legs” format like Ragnar. Obviously part of the rules for the challenge is to run within every four hour chunk, so I figured if I ran as close to the end of the first chunk and as close to the beginning of the second chunk (and so on), it would be more like three 10-mile runs (with more recovery time between the runs).


Now that I had my plan (and all of my gear laid out and ready to go), all I needed was to make it a reality...

Left: #FlatCarlee for my early morning runs / Center: #FlatCarlee for my midday runs / Right: #FlatCarlee for my evening runs

Run #1 {between 12am and 4am}

Start Time: 3:10am
Distance: 5.01 miles
Run Time: 44:44
Average Pace: 8:56/mile
Overall Distance Run: 5.01 miles
Weather at Start: 52*, dark (obviously), partly cloudy, 92% humidity
Specific Challenges for this Leg: Not getting started too early... I had originally gone to bed at 8pm, hoping to wake up at 2am, but when I got up at 11pm and had to pee I was never able to get back to sleep... Normally I am an early morning runner, so the early start time is never too incredibly difficult for me, but I couldn't start too early because then I would have more down time between my runs (and I didn't want to be walking around in the dark for longer than I needed to).

Run #2 {between 4am and 8am}

Start Time: 4:00am
Distance: 5.34 miles
Run Time: 47:10
Average Pace: 8:50/mile
Overall Distance Run: 10.35 miles
Weather at Start: 49*, dark (obviously), mostly cloudy, 88% humidity
Specific Challenges for this Leg: Keeping the pace easy (when it’s dark and cooler I want to push the pace, but I had to remind myself that I still had 20+ miles after this leg to go before I could call it a day).

Run #3 {between 8am and 12pm}

Start Time: 11:05am
Distance: 5 miles
Run Time: 43:08
Average Pace: 8:37/mile
Overall Distance Run: 15.35 miles
Weather at Start: 61*, mostly sunny, 65% humidity
Specific Challenges for this Leg: Feeling bloated while I was running because I ate too close to the run (seems like I didn't figure out fueling between my second and third runs as to not be “full” when starting but still fueled enough).

Run #4 {between 12pm and 4pm}

Start Time: 12:00pm
Distance: 5.65 miles
Run Time: 48:48
Average Pace: 8:38/mile
Overall Distance Run: 21 miles
Weather at Start: 66*, sunny, 63% humidity
Specific Challenge for this Leg: Dodging people to make sure I kept the 6 foot social distance requirement (tried to do my best to stay away from heavily trafficked areas, but there are obviously more people out midday than at 3am...). Also, because I was feeling bloated during my third run, I wasn't drinking enough water and started feeling dehydrated.

Run #5 {between 4pm and 8pm}

Start Time: 7:00pm
Distance: 5 miles
Run Time: 47:50
Average Pace: 9:34/mile
Overall Distance Run: 26 miles
Weather at Start: 63*, sun setting (with cloudy/ hazy skies), 72% humidity
Specific Challenges for this Leg: I was lucky enough to have the hubby join me for this leg of the run. Although I loved having him along for this one, I had to remind myself to not let him pull me faster... Throughout the day I'd tell myself it was "just 5 miles", but in fact, it wasn't! Those collective miles add up and I needed to be sure I was honoring my body (what it had done up to that point, what I'd be asking of it for the rest of the day, what it needed and was telling me).

Run #6 {between 8pm and 12am}

Start Time: 8:00pm
Distance: 5.01 miles
Run Time: 47:51
Average Pace: 9:34/mile
Overall Distance Run: 31.01 miles
Weather at Start: 59*, clear skies, dark (obviously), 79% humidity
Specific Challenges for this Leg: Physically tired after being awake since 11pm the night before... Not to mention my stomach was revolting a bit and I was trying not to vomit on this last leg (fun, right?!). It might be a little TMI, but I literally felt like my dinner was sitting at the top of my throat and one wrong burp would've forced it up and out. This was the only leg that I took walk breaks on (funny that I ran it almost the exact same pace as the leg before with the hubby but with no walk breaks), but again, I had to do what I had to do to get it done. #NoShameInMyWalkingGame #AndIDidntVomit

Overall I loved this challenge. Don't get me wrong, it was tough, but it was a fun way to break up an ultra (although, truth be told, I would much prefer to do it all at once... I felt like I couldn't be very productive with my in between down time, therefore this challenge really ate up a full day in my mind, rather than just a handful of hours in the morning). I definitely missed the camaraderie of participating with friends and fellow runners, but I know we will be back at it soon enough!

PS It was brought to my attention during the event that some people felt as though I was doing it "wrong". They felt like the correct (and only) way to participate was by starting each 5 mile run ON the four-hour mark, rather than running the 5 miles WITHIN the four-hour window. Thankfully this was just a fun challenge that was meant to help out an awesome print shop that benefits Easter Seals Program special needs employees (not to mention, if everyone thought exactly the same, wouldn't life be super boring?!). I in no way felt like I was cheating or doing the challenge incorrectly (just a different way to look at it), but I'm sorry to any of you out there who felt as though I was trying to shortchange the challenge.


PPS (Or is it PSS?!) If you're interested in joining the challenge (whether you want to do it the "wrong way" like me or start on the hour every 4 hours (or something in between)), there's still time! You have until the end of the month to complete the 24-Hour challenge. Register HERE (then send me updates along the way because I love following the journey!).

Left: The Yeti Trail Runners' Logo with a progression of me trying to freehand draw it... / Right: Me and my homemade
 medal to commemorate the challenge (plus a Big Foot painting the hubby made a couple months ago in the background)

What sort of 24-hour challenge would you be interested in tackling?

1 comment:

Andrew said...

The event page says complete 5 miles every 4 hours for 24 hours and doesn't say anything about exactly what time during those four hour periods you have to start. I think the way you did it was brilliant and gave you enough time to rest in between.