By Leigh Ann Guveiyian
The Nanny Goat 24 hour race takes place on a one mile dirt loop on a private horse ranch located in Riverside California.
The race is open to solo runners or teams of four runners. The object is to complete as many laps as possible within an allotted 12 or 24 hour period. Any runner logging 86 or more miles in 24 hours may continue to 100 miles (with a firm cutoff at 28 hours).
This was my 3rd year competing and finishing Nanny Goat as a 100 miler.
The course is flat, the footing is good (weather dependent), and the trail is wide enough to allow easy passing. You are on a mix of dirt, gravel, asphalt and grass section over the 1 mile loop. People often ask “How can you stand running in circles?” but honestly I love loop ultra marathons as there is always an aide station a short distance away or a fellow endurance junkie to help you pass time away as you run.
This race I trained in my SKORA Running FIT and FORM. I have raced serval other distances including one other 100 miler in these before. I love the natural feel of them, their is plenty of toe box room which for me is ideal because my feet tend to swell at the end of an ultra. I train on both roads and trails with both style of shoes so my body is use to either of them. This training cycle was different because the new SKORA Tempos were launched in April. I was not sure if I wanted to attempt running my 100 miler in them since I really only had 4 weeks to train before my taper would start. But I decided since the design of the shoe is ideal for ultra runners I would give it a go. It gave me comfort knowing I had 4 solid weeks of miles under my belt in the Tempos before I attempted my 100 miler in them.
I awoke on the morning of Saturday, May 23rd to perfect running conditions. Overcast, a cool 53 degree and a little damp of a morning. It’s just how I love it. I started the race off in my TEMPOs and I was plowing through the miles. The course this year along the grassy section was very uneven and full of holes created from gophers. So as with any trail running your footing and placement need to be very precise and careful. I started to feel like I was slowing down along certain sections and drew the conclusion it was because I had not trained long enough on the trails in these shoes to feel 100% confident in my footing placement on this particular course. So after achieving a sub 6 hour 50k I made the decision to change back into my FITs for the best footing and security to help me get through the next 70 miles of the ultra.
Once I switched my socks and changed into my Fits I took off once more, lap after lap after lap I could feel my feet naturally hitting the ground. It was almost effortless running to mile 50. I realized I PR’d my 50 mile time by almost 20 mins and was on track to have a Sub 24hour 100 miler.
The sun started to go down and this is the part of the race I hate the most…nighttime!! In the night on a trail race my pace tends to drop some. I maintained a good pace until around 12am when I think a combination of weather and nutrition started to slow me down even more. I started to feel cold which then started to make my muscles tense causing a bit of hip and IT Band issues for me as I ran along the uneven trail loop. Around mile 80 I decided it was safer for me to continue on with the ultra but not running it fully. I committed to shuffling, running and walking. I find that with any loop course and repetitive circle with the same directional changes your body tends to develop overuse issues along the way. I realized my sub 24 goal was going to pass but knew with 100% confidence that if I stuck to my plan B I would no doubt be able to complete this 100 miler with my second best finishing time ever.
As the clocked ticked my feet kept moving. Tired, thirsty, sore but determined I crossed the finish line at 25 hours and 38 mins and securing my second best finishing time to date. This was my 7th 100 miler completed in 2 years and I have no plans of stopping there. I loved having the option of my FITs and TEMPOs and to be able to interchange them during the race. I do look forward to adding more miles to my Tempos and being able to race more in them now that I have them for my next training cycle. I am completely overjoyed that I started and finished this race and training cycle in such good condition and credit my cross training and running in my SKORAs as one of the reasons why I had great success.
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