Sunday, March 10, 2013

Way Too Cool 50k week

Monday - rest day

Tuesday - 4.17 miles during lunch today.  Great weather, it has cooled down a bit from the 70's we've been seeing the last week or so.  A storm is coming, they say.

Wednesday - Lunch run again today, down Iron Pt. Rd. to the American River trail towards Sacramento and back.  I was hoping for some rain but it seems it all fell overnight.  I did catch a sprinkle or two from a would-be thunderstorm.  The trail and weather were perfect.  I'm feeling a little better about Way Too Cool after today's run.  10.06 miles < 1:30 felt easy, I enjoyed it.

Thursday - 4 miles during lunch.  Two more days to WTC 50k!

Friday - WTC packet pickup day!

Saturday -  My 2nd Way Too Cool 50k went about as good as I could have hoped for!  I didn't make any strict finish time goals for myself, but figured I would finish somewhere between 5:15 (if everything went perfectly) and 7 hours (if I blew up and had a really rough day on the trails).  Last year I ran my fastest 50k at WTC, in 5:29:xx.  I compared my 2013 training, to date, to my training from this time last year and knew that I was in a little better shape last year, but was more rested for the race this year.  So, I decided my race plan would be to run the first 8 miles a little slower than I did last year and then try to run the last 23 miles as fast as or faster than I did last year and maybe sneak out a new 50k PR.

I was placed in Wave 1 of 2 and started right at 8am.  I stayed focused on maintaining an easy pace early in the run and made sure not to get caught up with all of the fresh legs, positive energy, and cool morning temps.  Not going out too fast is my #1 priority in an ultra.  I ran my first mile in 10 minutes and averaged ~10:30-11:00 min/miles for the first 8.  I was feeling good and picked up the pace a bit on the ~4 mile downhill section, on the way to the first HWY 49 crossing.  I averaged ~8:00-9:00 min/miles for that stretch.

I hit the 15.5 mile (halfway) mark in 2:45:xx dead on a 5:30 (PR) pace.  I acknowledged that it was very unlikely that I would run an even or negative split on this course, since roughly 2/3 of the elevation gain is in the second half, but I was feeling good and had not yet run hard to this point, so I knew it was possible.  I kept chugging along and began to push my pace very slightly.  I got a bit of a runner's high around mile 19-20 and that worried me. :)  I knew I wasn't going to feel that good for another 12 miles, but I just went with it and ran fairly hard (for me) on the most prolonged uphill section of the course.

Mile 22 and I needed to average a low 10:00 min/mile pace for the rest of the course in order to finish under 5:29.  With the two steepest climbs of the course still ahead, I knew that this wasn't feasible, but I also knew that I would probably finish around 5:45 and would still come in under 6:00, as long as things didn't completely unravel.  At around mile 21-25, the runner's high had worn off and while I wasn't feeling terrible (considering the circumstances), I did feel some pretty heavy fatigue setting into my legs and at times was feeling mildly foggy in the mind (for distance runners, this is a clear sign that a bonk may be coming).  I was able to keep everything in check by fueling right at aid stations.  From mile 19-25, I ate a couple oranges, a half banana, two Roctane Ultra Gu's, a handful or two of ruffles and maybe a pint or so of coke.

I came into the second HWY 49 crossing in about 5:30 and was ecstatic to see some friends at the aid station and to know that the finish line was ~1.4 miles away.  After a steep ~half mile climb up from the highway, I suddenly felt as good as I had all day and ran strong for the last mile into the finish.

My official finish time was 5:48:02 31.1 miles, +4,851 ft., good for my 2nd fastest 50k (of five).

I had such a great day on the trails, ran into (and with) lots of friends and met some new ones.  The course was gorgeous (as always), it was a beautiful day, and it was awesome to see SO MANY friends at the start/finish, at aid stations, and out on the trails during the race!  It seemed like everyone I know who ran had a great race.  The positive energy and camaraderie at the finish was magical.  Thanks to all the volunteers/spectators and congrats to all the finishers!!!  Today was what trail running is all about.

Oh yeah, I'm floored by Max King's course record, 3:08... 6:04 minute miles.  Honored to be able to run the course behind the top runners. WOW!

Sunday - 9.5 mile run with Lucy.  My legs started to feel great after 3-4 miles and then started to feel really tired after 7-8 miles. :)  Lucy had a blast.

LA Marathon... next week! :)  Is 60 miles of running and your 2nd fastest 50k the week before a marathon a good way to taper?  I think so!

Weekly Totals: 58.40 M +6,781 ft.

Way Too Cool 50k:
Frog at the WTC packet pickup at Auburn Running Company.

Cool bandanas.

Staying warm in the car, pre-race.

Pre-race pic with FTRs

Feeling great at mile ~14.

Gordy streamed across the finish line while we were chatting after the run.

Lots of fun hanging out after the race, everybody had such a great day on the trails.

Lucy's Sunday:
Wildflowers are out.


There's a ~30% chance that Lucy will be carrying a log while she's running.

Post-run shower.

I think the log took it out of her.

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