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.....
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.
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.
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.
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 ....
April Sun Brings Some Fun - Sunshine and overnight freezing temps made for a great morning at Blue. There is just something special about spring skiing. Soft snow , lack of crowd...