Sunday, June 24, 2012

Niagara Ultra - June 23,2012

On a positive note this was my third fastest 50ker ever,  I managed to more or less pull off the majority of the race plan,   I was faster through 42.2 then my last Marathon,  I haven't run that far that fast in a long time.

On a negative this was my slowest  Niagara Ultra,  2009 4:40:11 (Rain) , 2010 4:52:51 ( Similar Weather to 2012) and yesterday 5:06:10.

 The graph above (Blue=Pace, Green=Elevation)  more or less tells the tale of how the day went. The Yellow  deliminators divide the day into 4 distinct phases.  The Red bloobs show may walking breaks.   The race plan was to go out "fast" 5:15 pace then return at a 5:45 pace for and overall average 5:30 pace bringing it home at 4hrs30mins.

Part 1 , the dash for the falls.  Made it to the Horse Show Falls with an average 5:15 pace.  I had done a couple of Gels and been drinking water every 5K and sometimes in between  aide stations.  I was feeling good and totally enjoying the run but the Sun exposure and temps pushing the mid 20s were starting to take their toll.   At the turnaround I broke out my first Eload Zone Caps X5.  Took on some more water and headed back looking forward to slowing things down a little.

Part 2,  made it through 32.5K more or less sticking to the race plan but it was becoming a real struggle to keep a 5:45 pace.   There was very little shade over the past 12.5K and the sans shirt running in mid 20's temps and very little breeze were starting to catch up with me.   I had blisters on both feet at the inside front of the arch.  I was feeling a bit nauseous and was suspicious of the Eload Caps.   I was also feeling some muscle pain ,  particularly my inside  upper thigh to knee ...this was new!    The pain party was just beginning.   As is usual I wasn't slowing down all that much it just felt that way.

Part 3,  OK this is where the wheels fell off.  I tried all the tricks to recover ,  did gels , more zone caps, coke, water but nothing was bringing me back so  this is where the death march started.   My back was starting to hurt allot and the leg and foot pain continued. I was still trying to recover something and tried a couple of 200-300m walk breaks at 39 and 43K.     Although a  4hrs30min finish was no longer reachable I felt like I could still bring it home in under 5 hours ... new goal.

Part 4.  Beyond 45K it became tough to keep the shuffle going and this is where the wheels really fell off.   Now it was all about just getting to the finish.    I gelled one last time in an effort to recover something but I just wanted it to be over.   I would run a bit ., walk a bit but mostly try to shuffle along all the was to the finish.

 So I crossed the Matt with a chip time of 5hrs6min10sec,  36mins short of my goal but I was happy to be done and was OK with the results.   I played the fade at Niagara and I paid the price but it was a pretty darn good day all and all.   A better way to run this race would have been to go out at a 5:30 pace and try to hold it as long as possible....probably would have shaved 15min off my time.   Regardless this run reinforced the need to approach Creemore in 2 weeks in a more conservative race plan.

 There were 173 finishers in the 50K race and I placed in the top 1/3 as the 54 runner to cross the finish line .  There were  21 finishers  in the 50-54 age group and I placed   9th.     Overall it was a pretty good day with decent results.  Looking forward to back to back to back 50Kers Creemore and Limberlost in 2 and 3 weeks.


Jennifer P said...

Congratulations! See you in Creemore - where I'm chickening out and only doing the 25K.

chris mcpeake said...

well done Ron, it was brutal out there on Saturday. I too got to practice my walking :-).

Still you had a decent race given the conditions.

Digger said...

The 50-54 group is a killer, 4 of the top 6 (including the top 2) in the 50K were all in our age category and all under 4 hours! I thought people were supposed to slow down after 50. Great job, sorry I missed it.