I learned some lessons in the last 20 weeks and am going to dump them here to remind myself to apply them all through the summer and fall.
Racing lighter was fun. I carried less on my back than I have at previous Quad Rocks and switched for even lighter equipment at the 40 mile mark. It makes me wonder if I could have run all 50 miles in more agile shoes. And I'm also curious about going with a hand-held bottle from the start, picking up my vest only at the turn-around to carry two bottles up the afternoon Timber and Mill Creek climbs.
It's important to not get behind on fuel and salt. I waited too long to start nibbling at Quad Rock. I was on the edge of bonking after 30 miles and had some cramps that I attributed to low electrolytes. It can be tough to catch up on missed calories later in a race when you're tired and dehydrated. Large portions of solid food don't always sit well. At Never Summer I will be nibbling from the start of the race.
Being efficient in aid stations can have a big impact on your placing in the race results. I was better at Quad Rock this year than in 2019. But I am sure I could have spent 5 minutes less overall in aid stations, which would have put me in 78th place overall instead of 92nd.
My base fitness level is getting pretty good. I only spent 19 weeks training for a hard 50 mile race and four of those, my peak training block, were practically cancelled due to snow and my inner thigh injury. I'm going to keep working to keep my base fitness as high as I can.
Strength training helped me run pain-free at Quad Rock. Unlike at the 2019 race and at Never Summer last year, I had no hip or calf pain. I've been doing an hour of yoga, core exercises, and squats and lunges twice a week since last fall and I believe it has helped. I'm going to try to find time to do more before Never Summer.