Sunday, October 27, 2013

Horror Hill 6 Hour Ultra - Saturday, October 26, 2013

 Had lots of fun at Camp Heidelberg near Waterloo yesterday.    Did this race for my second time and consecutive year.   Last year it was wet ,  really wet and it made for some pretty tough running.  I didn't think  it could be any worse but this year was something to behold.   It was around 5C cooler and for the first 3 hours it was heavy wet snow and howling winds.   In spite of what Mother Nature threw at us I actually had fun and really enjoyed most of the race.  The key was being comfortable and that I was.   For the first time ever I wore my new Ron Hill  water / wind proof jacket ,  Mizuno compression short under ,  shorts,  wind proof underwear and to round it off I used my Saucony Gortex Exodus shoes with Injji Toe Socks and of course gloves.

 Race day started early ,  up  a little after 5am,   hot tub and coffee leaving around 6:15 am.  The 90 minute drive took close to 2 hours as I hit some heavy wet Snow between Tiviotdale and Salem...plows were out!  Had lots of time before heading out at 09:00 am.

I was optimistic that I could have a faster run and headed out easy with the plan to pick it up as the day went on.   I wasn't wearing a Garmin but wanted to keep track of how many 2.5K loops I had done.    I have a hard time keeping track of numbers besides they start bouncing around in my head a drive me crazy after awhile so I came up with a different way of counting laps.     I  aim for a monthly average distance of around 300K which works out to around 10K a day.   Last week in prep for HH I logged 5X5K lunch runs.   At HH every 2 laps was 5K and made up for the distance I didn't cover through the week.  So in mind loop 1 was Monday morning ,  when I started loop 2 it was Monday afternoon,   completing loop 2 it was Tuesday morning and so on and so forth.  Did my first Gel Tuesday at lunch and then decided to do the next one Wednesday morning.   This way of keeping track of my progress was fun and helped me to Gel on schedule.    For the first 3 hours it was really snowing hard and every lap was a tiny bit harder.   It was really slippery in spots,  almost as bad as water on Ice!   I had my music on from the start and it really helped me enjoy the run.   Usually I find it mentally tough getting to the half way point but I was moving well and was really enjoying the nasty weather.    When it was Friday afternoon I had completed the first 25K of the race.   I decided to skip the weekend and start back on Monday morning again.   If I remember corrector I was also 2hrs54 minutes into the race.  My minimum goal was to get to 50K ,  maybe 51 or 52 but doing the math I didn't have much time in the bank so it was going to be a real challenge to get there.   I felt like I wasn't getting quite enough calories so I decided to do Gels every 2 laps ( once a day) instead of every 3 laps ( every 1.5 days).   The 4th hour wasn't too bad ,  the snow turned to light rain and the wind picked up but I felt warmer and took my Ball cap off.   In the 5th hour things really begin to hurt.   Right shoulder and just general aches and pains and I continued to slow down.  I did however manage to avoid the "Death March" and continued to run albeit  slowly.   More or less continued on the last hour the same as the previous and made it to my second "Friday Afternoon" crossing"  the timing mat logging 47.5K in 5hrs59minXXsec.   The moment I was done I hosed down the mud from my legs ,  removed my shoes ,  sprayed them and my feet off then walked across the parking lot to my car to change!

 All and all a fun day with great results under somewhat grueling conditions.   The general consensus   from those who ran was it was a bit tougher then last year and that was certainly reflected in the overall results.  They had some great food ,  had 2 bowls of Chilly and 2 Sausage on a Bun.   Sat ,  talked recovered for an hour or so before heading out.    Right Knee was really stiff and by the time I got home it was quite swollen.   There wasn't anything in particular that I did to it but I suspect that  it was all the slip sliding around!   Its done that sorts of thing before so I am not particularly  concerned about it.     Should make today's 5K interesting ...think I will put on some tights!

Results are up ...I was credited with 47.8 k and  out of the 20 of us who braved the weather I placed 12th,  I was  8th out of  14 males and finished 2nd out of 3 in the 50+ age group.  

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