Sunday, September 30, 2012

Run for the Toad 50K - Sept 29, 2012

 Just ran one of my better trail races this year ,  not perfect but reasonably OK.

 Race start was 09:30 am ,  a bit of  a break from the Summer 6/7/8 am starts.   Had lousy nights sleep dreaming I was helplessly lost in an Ultra without trail markings.   The alarm went off at 05:30 but after a 2 hour drive ,  race kit pick up  and all the usual pre-race things I didn't really seem to wake up until I started putting one foot in front of the other.

 Race plan was to get the 50K done in under 5hrs20min beating last years time.   I planned on going out "fast" and playing the fade.

 Race start was better this year.  The 100+ 50Kers headed out at 09:30am ahead of the 900+ 25K participants....much better then the mass start. .  3K in  I rolled my left Ankle ,  there was a popping sound and it hurt like hell.   First thought was "fantastic now I have a reason to quit".   Well I didn't stop and the pain subsided but never went away.   I gauged the damages and decided it was a light to moderate sprain that would end up with a bit of swelling.  4K in we pass by a bathroom in the campground so I popped in for pee that I had to do before the race started but was too lazy to wait in a line up.   Past the 5K mark I checked the avg pace 6:47 doh!     With 7K left in the first of 4 12.5K loops I decided to pick up the pace and make to the "Skeleton Hill" with an avg 6:30 pace.     With less then a K to go I checked the avg pace at the base of "Skeleton" and it was 6:25. Finsihed lap 1 of 4 on    1hr18min which was at least 8 min off where I thought I should be.  Heading out on the second loop I did my first Gel of the day,  cranked up the music and concentrated on chipping away or maintaining my avg pace.   I was moving allot better on the second loop and ever so slowly continued to chip away at the avg pace.    It had become overcast and I found that I was a bit chilled,  mostly my exposed forearms    I was wearing shorts and a tech T and had my UltraSpire pack on.  Every hour on the hour I took and S Cap and was gelling every 45min to 1 hour.    I had 2L of water with me and was drinking regularly  I was also  grabbing a cup of water at every aide station.  I figured that I had the nutrition  hydration and electrolytes dialed in.  Finished loop 2 in 1hr17min a small improvement over the first loop.  This is where I started to think about beating 5hrs20min.  I felt that I had a 4 minutes banked and all I had to do was maintain my loop 2 pace perhaps slightly slower then pick it up in the final lap.    Half way through the third loop  I started to feel sluggish and  the avg pace was ever slowly increasing.   The Sun was out again and things were really getting warm in the exposed parts of the course.    I felt like I was over heating and was really sweating allot.  It was about this time that I realized that I hadn't been getting enough fluids or electrolytes underestimating the conditions.   So with 18 or so Ks to go I doubled up the S Caps to a 30 min interval and started taking 2 cups of water at the Aide Stations.  Finished the 3rd of 4 laps in 1hr20min giving up all but 1 minute of my banked time.   Heading out on the 4th loop I believed I still had a shot at a sub 5hr20min time but there was very little wiggle room.  I remember thinking to myself that  it was  great motivator to keep me running and prevent me from giving into the urge to back off.   As I progress past each K marker I  redid the numbers and felt always felt like a had a really good chance of achieving the goal so I kept pushing.   Half way through the loop I had planned on one last Gel to give me a much needed finishing kick.    To my surprise I had consumed all 7 Gels and only had a pack of GU Chomps.    I wanted to gulp calories not chew them  but not having any other options I managed to get 3 "Chomps" down ... I was not impressed!!!!   Going into the last couple of Ks I really felt like I still had a shot at my goal so I really started to push even harder.    When I crossed the mat the clock struck 5:21:00 rats,  so very close to my goal.

 So I sat down and quickly thought back to the lousy fist lap knowing that that we where I more or less blew the goal, the unnecessary bathroom break ,  the rolled ankle coming to mind.  But then I realized that I had a pretty solid day running the entire 50K with the exception of the bigger hills.  I didn't give up a single position in the last half of the race and was passing the odd 50ker here and there.    Comparing 2012 and 2012 splits also made me realize that I had a pretty solid day.

Lap        2011     2012                    
  1       1:14:33   1:18:11
  2       1:14:15   1:17:27
  3       1:20:03   1:20:12
  4       1:31:06   1:25:16

Chip time was 5hrs20min58sec good for  56th out of the 125 that showed up at the starting line.  I was 43 out of 86 men and I finished 9th out of 20 in the 50-59 age group.

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