Sunday, April 27, 2014

Pick Your Poison 50K - April 26, 2014

 Did my 4th PYP 50K yesterday.  After missing the LS100 I was really looking forward to this race.  Wasn't looking for a time,  just a solid consistent effort and thats more or less what I did.   The day started at 5:00 am with more or less my usual Race Day  routines.   Arrived and hour before the 09:00 am start doing all the usual last minute race prep things and chatting with a few running friends.  

 Started near the back of the pack and ended up in a Conga Line in the first single track section.  Things thinned out quickly and there was  no congestion on the course the rest of the day.    The "Tractor Trails" were a mix of Ice ,  Mud and Wet.  Ran mostly on the ice but it was akin to running on Concrete.  Just before the first Aid Station around 4K in there is a notoriously muddy section  and I was pleasantly surprised to see that it was completely buried under a meter or so of snow.   Started with Heed and Pretzels at the first Aid station the continued the climb to the top of the Ski Hill.    A K or so in we drop again ,  steep single track at first giving way to a K or 2 of gentle tractor trail leading to the next big climb leading to the Golf Course.  Gelled whilst walking up the steep Golf Course Hill.  At the top we continue to climb but a gentle grade that is Ok for a slow run.   It was only a K to the 2nd and Aid Station where I took in some fluids and headed out for the final 4K or so.   The last 1/3 of the course is the best with some of the best single track on the side of a hill with some  monster ups and downs ending on the Ski Hill in the picture above.   Ran the downhills very conservatively,  lots of Mud and Ice and I didn't want to trash my Quads.    The last  stretch to the start finish was down the Ski Hill...can you say Corn Snow.   Kept kicking it up and it was getting into my Gore-Tex Shoes so I kept stopping to get it out!     Speaking of Shoes I was wearing my Adidas Super Nova Riot Gore-Tex ,   Injinjji Toe Socks,   Shorts ,  Wind Proof Running Underwear ,  Mizuno Breath Right Thermal Mid Weight Long Sleeve Tech Top,  Ron Hill Water Proof Shell ,  Compression Cap and a pair of Columbia Gloves.    Had the Shell on until the first Aid Station then realized I was too hot so it came off and was tied around my waste.   The weather was 3C ,  light breeze, overcast and a we bit of light rain in the first hour.

 Heading out on to loop 2 of 4 I stopped and grabbed some Chicken Noodle Soup,  6 Oreo s 4 of which I took with me and some M&Ms for the road.  Walked whist I ate the soup and saved the Cookies and M&Ms for the climb at around the 4K mark.   Only stopped for Water at the first Aid Station ....plan was to Gel again on the "Golf Course " climb.    I was pretty comfortable temperature wise but  really started to Sweat on the downhills I ran and after I aggressively walked the steeper uphills.  Every now and again when I was wet I caught a bit of a chill but the fabric really wicked the sweat away quickly and before I knew if I was toasty dry again.   The odd breeze here and there really helped with the drying process.  Gelled on Cue , and then fluids at the 2nd aid station then back through the   single track ,  climbs and descents to the start finish.     I was feeling really good at the 1/2 mark.  I had no idea what so ever how much time had passed.  I wasnt wearing a watch and there was no clock at the start / finish.  I figured I was somewhere around a 1:40-1:45  loop maybe 6:30-7:00 finish time.  

Heading out on to loop 3 I grabbed the same nutrition as the previous loop with the exact same consumption plan and that's more or less what I did.  Ran into a bit of trouble leading up to the first aide station.   Fumbled to get some S Caps in me. I decided on 2 S Caps due to a bit of a sore tummy after all the solids not to mention that there was a fair bit of sweating that was on again off again!  Wondered into some deeper mud a little off course.   Was starting to feel a bit tired.  My lower back was sore and from time to time my left knee complained a bit.    Got it back together pasty eh Aid Station and concentrated on a decent downhill to the Golf Course Climb.   I was getting lots of fluids ,  probably enough calories but felt like I was a little low. Ran with Steve and Adi for a bit.  Adi was talking about trying to figure out numbers and was concerned about the 8 hour cutoff.....CUTOFF no way ... suddenly I was concerned about time and realized what slow ass I was!!!!    Finishing the 3rd loop I asked  the time and it was 2:30 pm.  I was 5.5 hours after three loops with 2.5 hours remaining to get one loop problem averaging 1hr50 / loop over the first 3 loops.

Heading out for the final loop it was Coke and Chicken Soup this time.   Made it through the long gentle 4 K of tractor trail  as I did the first 3 loops .  I was solid through the climb to the 2nd Aide Station where I took in a couple of more Cokes.  Passed Ron Gehl at the start to the downhill leading to the Golf Course Climb.   Felt like I was slowing a bit in the last 1/3 of the loop but I was still Running all the same bits as the first loop. Crossed the finish line happy to be done and forgetting to ask my time .... guessing somewhere between 7:15 and 7:30...will update the post when I find out.

Talking to folks afterwards the general conclusions was that it was a slower course with then previous years.  Most blamed the snow and Ice.  I was happy with my run ,  solid consistent taking care of my hydration ,  fuel and electrolytes.  I was also comfortable with the way I was dressed ,  the 3C at the start turned into a 5C at the end and the winds had picked up a bit.   I honestly didn't care about my time but I was surprised that I was as slow as I was.    This run was a good lead up race to the Sulphur 50 Mile in a months time.   No snow and a few more Ks on the trail should help me to pick it up a bit in the Dundas Valley.


Ultra Monk said...

Nice report. You amaze me.

Robin said...

Nice work Ron, great recap. I never ran that event before but found the conditions interesting.