Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Limberlost Challenge 56K Ultra - July 16,2011

Did my second 56K Limberlost Challenge yesterday.

Made the 3hour drive on race day , the morning started early with the alarm going off at 03:00 am. I didn't eat at home hitting Tims in Orillia for breakfast at 5:00am and again in Huntsville at 06:30am. Arrived at the race shortly before 07:00 leaving over an hour to prepare.

The race started at 08:00 , cool morning temperatures and a nice breeze made for a rather pleasant beginning but I really wondered how long it would last. There was a total of 3 aide stations in the 14K loop. I made a point of stopping at the very first one downing a couple of glasses of Heed. I finished the first loop in 1hr51 minutes feeling fantastic. Heading out on the second loop I decided to go shirt free, it felt allot cooler and I remained that was the rest of the day! On the second loop I started drinking Heed, Water and Coke as well as consume a Gel. I more or less repeated this routine the remainder of the day. I was also carrying water and was drinking between aide stations. 2/3 into the second loop I did my first Eload Zone caps....I was really beginning to sweat and was tasting salt on my lips. Finished the second loop in 1hr49 mins 2 min faster then loop one and I was feeling fantastic although the heat was starting to catch up to me. Heading out on the third loop I noticed a bit of a burning sensation in my legs. It felt like I was slowing but it I was maintaining my pace, it just felt harder. About half way through the 3rd loop you pass through an open gravel pit , it was only couple of hundred meters or less but the heat was overwhelming ... this is the moment where it all changed. The last 20K of the day would be all about managing the resources taking it 1K at a time trying to bring it in in under 8 hours. Finished the 3rd loop in 2hrs feeling extremely fatigued knowing that the next 14K would be a struggle to keep it together. Heading out on the 4th loop I was eating ice, when the ice melted ( it didn't take long in the 30C heat) I drank a baggie of ice water. This really picked me up and I was able to move along at a reasonable pace. I could run the flats and downhills and was walking all of the inclines. Passing the first aide station I loaded up on ice again , Ice and Ice water were the two main things that were keeping me going. With 10K to go I was taking it 1K at a time. I was able to maintain the 10min pace with the run / walk combo and really thought I had a shot at breaking 8hrs. Every K that went by I was checking my Garmins lap time , 10:14, 9:49, 10:03, 10:42, 10:08. I kept doing the math as I past by the distance markers , I knew it would be close but knowing I had a shot at breaking 8hrs really pushed me along. With a few Ks to go the #s were no longer pointing towards a sub 8 , surprisingly enough I didn't give into to it and kept up the lap 4 routine until I finished loop 4 in 2hrs22min.

Finished the race in 8hrs3min26sec an improvement of 18mins over last year. There were a total of 72 runners who started the race of which 53 finished. I came in the 35th overall , 5th /8th in the 50+ AG and 24th/51 men.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great work! I was there too and it was my first 56k run. I agree that it was really getting warm as the day went on. I found it tough to do those laps quickly. Having no idea I had a goal of 6:30 and my laps would be 1:45 (trying to hold back for the 1st lap), 1:45 (still trying to be conservative) , 1:30 (wishful thinking!) & 1:30 (ha ha). The first 2 laps were right on, the 3rd was about 1:43 and the last was around 1:50 for a finishing time of 7:02.