Sunday, May 24, 2015

Sulphur Springs 50 Mile Trail Race - May 23, 2015

 Did my 4th consecutive Sulphur 50 miler yesterday.   I was determined not to have a repeat of last year wanting to quite after 3 loops only to have a break with a cold brew then decided what the heck I may as well finish what I started.    This year was almost better making it through the 3rd loop successfully but the last loop didn't work out so well.   I had predicted a finish between 10 and 12 hour 10 being a good day and 12 not so good.    I tripped the mat at 11hrs6min so it was almost 1/2 way between the predict.

I wore my Garmin ,  turned the GPS off to make the battery last and watched my heart rate throughout the run.  

 The course is a 20K loop done 4 times.....

Loop 1

Brrrr... baby it was cold.   Temps were just a few degrees above freezing.  I felt a pain in my right hip similar to what I get if I sleep with it exposed in a cold room.  The pain was persistent through the first loop and subsequently went away as temps rose.  I was watching my HR and not really paying a whole lot of attention to the time and pace.   I was surprised that I was mostly in the high 120's breaking into the low 130's from time to time.  Finished the loop in 2hours20min  for a 7:04 avg pace.   This was pretty much where I expected to be for the conditions that I was running and of course fresh legs.

Loop 2

Pretty much the same as loop 1 but a tiny bit slower which I totally expected.   I started drinking more and gelling twice / loop.   The heart rate crept  up from the low 130s to the low 140s heading more and more into " Zone 3" .   The split for lap 2 was 2hours27min  for an avg 7:21 pace.    I felt good ,  really good at the 40K mark.  Though that there was a shot at the 10 hour goal also fearing a repeat of last years 3rd loop.

Loop 3

 The Sun was high in the sky and the temperatures were beginning to rise and of course I was starting to slow down but that I what I expected.   Made it to the 50 mark at around the 6 hour mark.   Doing the math that was 4 hours to go 30K... no problem or so I thought.  Heart rate was mostly in the low 140s occasionally nearing 150 and on the easy parts it would come in in the high 130s.  The split was 2hrs49min for an avg 8:28 pace.  

Loop 4
 This loop was all about keeping it together.   Heading out I was able to more or less run all the way to the entrance to the "Gatehouse Loop".  Fatigue was really starting to set in and the stomach was a little upset.  There was also allot of muscle pain.   I had contemplated a break at the 60K mark but decided I wanted to get it over with so I skipped it heading out on the 4th loop without stopping. After aid station 1 there wasn't a whole lot of running going on .  I could muster up a few hundred meters here and there but that was about all.   Half way through the loop I decided to take a break and sat down for 15 minutes.  The Heart Rate and Body Temperature dropped and it felt really good to get the rocks out of my shoes!   I thought I would be able to finish the remaining 9 or so Ks strong however I was only able to run the easy downhill parts.   The spit for this loop was a whopping 3hours29min.   With the 15 min break and the 5 min after the race before I stopped the Garmin the avg pace was 10:43!     The last loop really became all about just getting it done!!!!!!  

The 50 miler is a tough one to pace .... not as fast as a 50 ker not as slow as a 100 miler.   It has been awhile since I experienced the "death march" but the 4th loop proved that it was still a reality for me.    I use to think that it was an issues with nutrition ,  hydration or electrolytes that would cause these sorts of things to happen but the low Heart Rate in the last loop said otherwise.   I was fatigued ,  I was sore and the only goal was to get it done.  

Patrick took this picture of me crossing the finish line very happy to be done ....

Made a B line to the tent and sat for a bit having a recovery Beer ....

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Small Trail

5.4K done today on my backyard trail.   Thought about doubling it up but I spent the morning moving fire wood and was pretty beat and with Sulphur 50mile in a few days it wasn't really necessary.  

Monday, May 18, 2015

2nd Run - On the trail again!

6.4 Ks logged on my backyard trail and there were Beers!

Good for the Heart

 In the running news lately there was an article about intensity vs the good old LSD approach.   When I look back over the years I posted my fastest times when all of my "training" runs form 5K to into the 30Ks were at a 4:50 pace.   Surprise surprise that was the year I BQed running a 3:30 42.2.   I like running fast,  I like the feel and I like how it makes me feel BUT it can make things hurt so I slowed down satisfied that I have been to Boston and besides I like going long and slow its allot less stressful.    I am more nervous about doing a 5K or 10K race then lining up for a 50 miler!    My beloved Hokas are allowing me to introduce a bit of speed back into the training and I LIKE it!  

 After last nights Sugar blow out I was determined to get a much better run on.    Started much earlier at 11pm is and logged a very good 16K workout.    Everything was at a 5:00 pace and I did the 4:45 fartleks starting at 5K through to the 13K mark where I did the whole K at the 4:45 pace followed by a 4:30 fartlek at the 14K mark then I began a gradual cool down.    HR didn't push in Zone 3  ( 142-158 BPM) until I hit the 6K mark .   Hung around low to mid zone 3 until the 13K hitting mid 150's maxing out at 156 bpm after the 4:30 fartlek.

 I am finishing up my current set of mids and am setting sights on Saturdays 50 Miler.    I will probably stay up today and hope to log a little 5K on my trails with some Hammock time afterwards ... and oh yes I cannot forget the Beer!    

 Speaking of Beer weighed in after my run and I am tipping the scales at around `176 lbs which is my preferred Ultra weight and is 5 lbs lighter then the start of 2015 weighing in just over 181 lbs.  

Sunday, May 17, 2015


 This mornings run was brought to me by "Sugar" .  From the start of my shift at 8pm until I hit the treadmill at 3am I consumed a bag of hard candy or about 200 grams of pure Sugar thats close to the equivalent of 5 cans of Coke and oh I washed down all that sugar with a can of Coke!  Oh and I cant forget about the Pizza  and the XL Dark Roast from Tims , no Sugar  but I am sure that the sweet Ice Coffee had some!    I know if I consume allot of Sugar and I Run things get a little weird ...must be an Insulin spike or something because I feel really shaky and have a need o consume more Sugar...YIKEs.

 Did I mention that I have a sweet tooth?

 So I am booting along a few K s at the usual 5:00 pace anticipating my first fartlek at 5K and going 12K in total when that I had too give in to that too much sugar shaky feeling.   Jumped off the treadmill to find some more Sugar then was going to quit but I switched gears instead logging the rest of my "Run" at a 7:30 pace and cutting it short at 10K.

 When things do't go as planned its usually a learning opportunity.   The 7:30 pace feels like I am going backwards but its a darn good average  pace to set in any Ultra!   I was a little surprised at the dramatic decrease in the Heart Rate at the slower pace.

1 -  This is my 5:00 pace and the usual gradual increase towards 140 BPMs.

2-  Thats the walk to get more SUGAR!

3 - 7:30 pace BABY!

The difference is quite dramatic .... going long I would rather be a 3 then a 1!   Going slower yields a  way way lower body temperature a good things to remember on a HOT day.   Going slower also means more resources available to process food.... also a very important thing going long.

So this makes me ponder the Sulphur 50 mile race plan.   If I do a "3" I can maintain things a hell of allot longer then the "1".   Doing teh "1" will most likely lead to a "2" about mid was though Lap 3 ( 50K in ) .  However the race starts early so there is something to be said about logging some faster Ks in the COOL of the day....key here is to know when to switch gears.

So the #1 and BEST reason to go out a 3 and hold it .... it makes the day a whole lot more enjoyable not getting passed in the last half of the race as well as not having to go from a 1 to 2 to get to the 3...that sequence sucks.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Mid 5 - Increment 2

10K at the usual pace with the usual fartleks at 5,6,7,8 and 9 K mark.   The Gym was allot warmer this morn...sweat galore!    HR was up in zone 3 for the last half .. an effective Run.   2 more mids to go!  

Friday, May 15, 2015

Challenging the Mental

 Mid 4 and once again I incremented 1K logging a 8K run at a mostly 5:00 pace with three fartleks at a 4:45 pace thrown in a5 5,6 and 7K mark.

 Working nights is tough it always has been and always will be,   Getting to the Gym for a Run in the wee morning hours can be somewhat tough.    Making each nights run a little longer is really making it hard to wrap my head around.  Not only do the mids get tougher and even longer the runs become more taxing going longer and longer each morning...good for the mental and strangely satisfying!