Sunday, October 4, 2009

Run For the Toad 50K

I did the Run for the Toad 50K Trail Race yesterday. Finished in 41st place out of 116 participants , I was 14th out of the 36 in my AG Male 45+, Gun Time was 5:29:28 and the Chip Time was 5:28:42. The 12.5K Splits were...... First 12.5K 1:19:19, Second 12.5K 1:20:11, Third 12.5K 1:19:36 and Fourth 1:30:24.

I decided to try something a little different at the Toad. I ran with no GPS or Watch , totally Gizmo free. I decided to pace by feel and see what happened. I really thought I would be able to do the loops in around 1:15:00 , at last years Toad my 25K splits were 1:13:20/1:11:12.

1st loop...

I started about 1/3 of the way back in the pack. I didn't hear the official start but I knew what to do when everyone in front of me started moving. I took me 46 seconds before I hit the timing mat. First K was pretty slow due to congestion but it wasn't long and things started to thin out. When I was able to open up it was at a fairly easy pace, I felt maybe a little too easy but then I had the whole race ahead and would have ample opportunity to pick it up later. Gelled at 7K and was drinking enough water but I was starting to overheat. I was running in shorts but I had 3 layers on up top, compression shirt , long sleeve tech then my Natahn Team Canada shirt. I removed the long sleeve short and became more comfortable. Nearing the end of the first loop I was really anxious to see the clock. I was pleasantly surprised when I saw 1:19:XX as I approached. I was almost 5 minutes off my pace but I was OK with that and decided to try to pick it up a bit on the next loop

2nd loop...

I started to run a bit faster , or so I thought! I was feeling really good but from time to time I felt a bit chilled. I was drinking lots and gelled again at the 15K mark. Gelled again just before the end of the loop. As I approached the start/finish I saw 2:39:XX on the clock. I really though that I had picked it up a bit but I was OK with the time but more importantly I was feeling good, my heart rate was comfortable and my breathing was easy!

3rd loop...

Once again I figured that I would pick up the pace. I was still feeling chilled now and again but my breathing was easy and I was running everything but the bigger hills. At the 30K mark I took a couple of Endurolytes and shortly there after I did my 4th Gel. As I approached the start finish I saw 3:59:XX on the clock. Crunching the numbers I was pleased that I was able to do the 3 loops so consistently , splits were 1:19:19/1:20:11/1:19:36.

4th loop...
As soon as I cleared the start finish I stopped at the aid station and did another Gel. There is a K or two of paved road before heading back into the trails. I tried to pick it up a but it was getting really hard! I was really having a tough time breathing and my heart was racing. I started walking small hills to recover but I was only able to run a to the next incline where I would have to walk again. The Oxygen deprivation was so bad that I was starting to see black spots. I was also hearing heavy breathing behind me , I kept looking to see if there was someone there! At 40K I did my last two Endurolytes I was also starting to feel Nauseous and I continued to struggle with my breathing. I slowed the running pace way down but I was still having to walk the hills that I ran earlier. At 42K I did my last Gel and then did Coke shots at the last two aide station stops. With a few Ks to go I started to feel a whole lot better and was doing a constant Run again! As I approached the finish line I saw the clock counting 5:29:XX and was able to sprint to the end. I finished standing up and felt really good wishing I could go back and redo the last loop!

So , what went wrong? I rule out Hydration , urine was clear and plentifully after the race... did I drink too much? I was quiet Nauseous, maybe I wasn't processing the 6 Gels / E Load/ Water / Gator Aide / Gummies. Was my lack of 02 my body metabolizing fat and muscles or was it due to a lactate acid buildup?

I looked at the results and came to some rather interesting conclusions about the way I paced my race. Here are the splits of the 10 runners that finished ahead of me .....

1:17:25 1:12:07 1:17:04 1:28:02
1:07:35 1:12:09 1:26:11 1:29:47
1:07:21 1:10:52 1:21:04 1:37:06
1:18:39 1:15:27 1:22:05 1:20:45
1:07:59 1:10:45 1:26:03 1:32:43
1:11:30 1:14:11 1:26:08 1:26:05
1:11:38 1:16:58 1:25:12 1:24:06
1:11:14 1:17:08 1:23:15 1:27:54
1:14:54 1:18:28 1:29:25 1:23:43
1:12:53 1:15:44 1:21:08 1:38:15
and my splits....
1:19:19 1:20:11 1:19:36 1:30:24

I was way slower then everyone on my first two loops but I beat all but one person on my third loop. Even in my lousy fourth loop I still managed a better time then 3 of the 10! So this got me thinking about my race strategy. I have been of the mindset that I would choose a pace that I felt I could maintain for the entire distance and if there was anything left I would use it up at the end. I really have been holding back early on! I am quiet sure I could have easily done a 1:10 on my first loop and I do not think it would have made any difference to the time I recorded on my last loop.

All and all I had a fantastic day , all that stuff above is me just trying to learn from the experience. The day started real early , I was in the Hot Tub with a pot of Coffee by 3am. Arrived at the Toad a little later then I expected , at 07:30 am after two Tim's stops and a brief 20 minutes of panic ... got turned around in Ayr! Picked up my race kit and did all the usual pre-race activities. Got to meet Benoit from Natahan, he was the one that picked me as the 2009 Nathan Team Canada Ultra Runner. Bumped into some Running Mania folks, Doonst briefly , Rabid Chipmunk, Mini-T, Tortoise, he isn't a Tortoise at all ... spotted him and then he disappeared like a Hare! I was really happy to meet Donald aka " Trailer" , two first for him , a trial race and a new distance! He was pumped but seemed really focused and having a great day and sticking to his race plan. I meet up with him after the race and he was still smiling...congratulations Donald, I know we will see you out at the OUS races next year! Ran with Rabidchipmunk for about half of the first loop. Caught up with the Viking and ran with him for a near then end of the second loop. I was in awe as a guy blew by use like we were standing still , the Viking said we were just lapped by the 50K leader!!!!! As I was heading out on my third loop Marg introduced herself as I ran by. Loop 4 was pretty solitary , two things really picked me up were the girls at the "Skeleton Hill" , they were encouraging me as much on my fourth visit as they were on my first. I don't know who there were but they were great! Hats off to all the walkers that graciously cleared the path as I ran up behind them. When I finished Mini T presented me with my medal!

After the race I relaxed over a coffee and donuts and chatted with Doug and Joanne Barber. The Toad would have been his 249th Marathon or longer Run, sadly he had to cheer from the sidelines due to an injury. I was satisfied with my snack and decided to skip the meal and get home, second year in a row!

I will definelty be back next year , I have some getting even to do with that 4th loop!

1 comment:

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