Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Rockledge Rumble 50K 2012

With a tough race schedule leading up to this race I planned to use this as a training run. I would go off feel and if I felt good go after my time for last year. (5:27) It was a bit warmer this year. Around 65 at the start and probably around 75 at the end. The course was a little different this year as we didn't have to climb the stairs after the first loop.

Mile 1-5 Murrel (46 min/9:20 pace) Ran this section nice and easy. This first 5 miles is very runnable. I was maybe around 20th place. I had plenty of runners around and it takes this first 5 miles for the runners to find their position in the race.       

Mile 6-10 Twin Coves (1:39/10:30 pace) This was the toughest section. This is where the rocks are located. Some areas have to be walked. I also stopped for a potty break where I cut my ankle on some vines. A little blood is good in a trail race.              

Mile 11-13 Twin Coves (2:04/8:30 pace) Once I hit this aid station I knew I was getting close to the turn around and I would have a chance to see the front runners. Once I saw them they looked very worn out. I think the front pack took off way too fast for a warm day. I was glad I made it to the last mile before I saw them so they went more than 20 min ahead so far.                 

Mile 14-18 Murrel (2:51/9:30 pace) I finally caught back up to some friends at this aid station. I was running very strong and my nutrition was working well. One gel every 20 min and water. One salt tab every hour starting a 2 hours. 

Mile 19-22.5 Jackson (3:37/10:00 pace) I got back to the turn around and I thought I was running well. I had passed a few 30K runners and even caught up with Laz close to the beach. My GPS was useless because it kept losing signal so I was just estimating 45 min between aid stations. Total time was still good to work off of.      

Mile 23.5-27.5 Murrel (4:28/10:00 pace) As I took off I passed Josh and he said I was just out of 10th place and I just had to run some people down. I felt confident I could run strong and catch anyone that had slowed. It is hard to know if you are passing a 30K or 50K runner especially if they are walking at the time which many people were doing at this point. I was thinking if I could make it to Murrel by 4:20 I would have a shot to break 5 hours. After a few side stiches I got there at 4:28 and figured my sub 5 was out.  

Mile 28.5-32 Jackson (5:16/10:20 pace) I felt better after leaving the last aid station. The pressure was off to break 5 and I figured I would be done around 5:15. I am pretty sure this section is a little longer than advertised at 4.4M. Just before I got to the beach I caught up to Paul Smith. I figured this would turn the last mile into real hard work. I was pretty sure he was hurting worse than me so I picked it up. He latched on to my tail so I just kept picking it up. Once on the beach we were running a tempo run. I decided to let him latch on and then once we hit the road I would lay down a 6 min pace if I had to. I started to accelerate on the road and within 100 yards I could tell he was going to let me go. I kept a strong pace till the end and even attacked the stairs as best I can.       

Total:               5:16:32

Distance:         50K

Place:              9/59                

After I finished I had a couple of drinks and visited with all the other runners. We shared our experience with the bikes on the trail. The bikes were tough as they were all over the course. I got frustrated a couple of times as I was trying to keep going and pulling over for the bikes was cause me to have to get started all over again.  

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Cactus Rose 50 Mile 2012

The last few months I have been training on the roads. I had run almost no trail miles. With no long runs longer than 22 miles. My concentration was on long tempos 5-6 miles, track workouts to a lesser extent and some faster log runs with 20 miles at 7:30 average pace. I felt going into this race I was in top shape but my doubt was on distance and I was taking my Ultra skills for granted. I drove down on Friday afternoon and met some friends for pasta in Bandera. I camped out the night before the race.


On race morning we had perfect weather. Mid 40s and the wind had died down. I had a drop bag at the start and the Equestrian aid station. I would stop at miles 15/25/35 for supplies.



Mile 1-5 (50 min)        I ran easy with Jorge and Shaheen was just behind us. I stopped at Equestrian at mile 5 to drop off a shirt. I was over dressed. Mile 2 has a big climb but the rest of the first 5 miles was very runnable. I had a headlamp and handheld flashlight. This really helped me the trail. I also had one handheld for hydration.

Mile 6-10 (1:46)          This was the most runnable section of the race. I still didn't need to stop for water at this aid station. My nutrition plan was to eat a gel every 30 min. I have no idea why I didn't realize till the end of the race that this was 100 cal per hour short. I wore compression socks to protect my legs from the sotol. It was not a good call because my left calf was tight and hurt the entire race.

Mile 11-15 (2:42)        This section was tougher than I was told it would be. Lots of sotol cactus so I had my first run thru that. We also started climbing up and down hills and rocks. When we got back to Equestrian I dropped off my lights and long sleeve shirt. Then picked up 4 gels I think. But maybe I missed a couple because I ran the last hour back to the start without nutrition. I refilled my handheld and took off feeling great.         

Mile 16-20 (3:53)        These last 10 miles of the loop is supposed to be hiller and rocky section. I felt pretty strong running up the hills. I was able to hold around a 12 min pace thru these miles.

Mile 21-25 (4:52)        I felt strong in this section but I was starting to get the feeling that my nutrition was really messed up. I was stretching the gels I had to 3 and 4 miles which was 35-50 min. That means I was getting less than 200 calories per hour. This was going to cost me later in the race. I reloaded my gels at the turn around and ate a waffle. I also got my music to listen to on the second loop.    

Mile 26-30 (5:55)        I got out of the aid station about 20 seconds behind Shaheen so I figured I wouldn't see her again. I started running hard and before I knew what happened I tripped and went down hard. I was lucky there were no rocks and because I was going so fast I rolled over. I was a little shaken up by the fall so I took it easy for a min to get my breath back. I started working hard again pushing up the hills and after a couple of miles I caught back up to Shaheen. 

Mile 31-35 (7:15)         I left this aid station feeling good but I was starting to go thru my handheld a lot faster as the temperature started to climb. I drank as much as I could before I left the aid station and hoped it would last. I would add a second handheld at Equestrian at mile 35. At mile 32 I really started to go thru a low point energy wise so I told Shaheen she had a shot at 10 hours and she needed to go ahead of me. It was like all of a sudden I went from 12 min pace to 13-14 min pace. It was like I was standing still. I knew I need to hammer the calories, catch-up and then get off the pity bus fast and see what I could do the last 15 miles.   

Mile 36-40 (8:20)        Equestrian had out food so I grabbed a couple of PB&Js I drank a whole can of Mountain Dew, got 2 handhelds. As I left I was determined to not just throw in the towel and prove that I could run tough and smart. I was a couple of min behind a couple of other runners and I was determined to run them down. I started to click off a better pace and I was really starting to sweat. I kept drinking and pouring water on my head.

Mile 41-45 (9:20)        Here is the section that gets runnable so I was going as fast as I could on the flat parts. I caught one of the guys on this section. I figured sub 11 hours was now in the bag and I was going to hit my goal.

Mile 46-50 (10:17)      I met Olga at Equestrian for the first time. She didn't seem so mean but I wasn't trying to rest or whine. After another mile I caught up to the other runner Mike. I run into him at so many trail runs. We were holding together great until the big climb with 2 miles to go. He was able to go down it much faster than I could. It flattened back out with 1 mile to go and I decided I would give all I had and see what I could do. I was working on the math and I figured I could break :25 but once I hit the ½ mile mark with the out and back I thought I have a shot at sub 10:20 so I broke into my finishing kick. I could see Mike ahead and I figured I could catch him. We ended up finishing with the same time.


Total:               10:17

Distance:         50

Place:              18/158            


I really enjoyed the trails out in Bandera. They have a great mix of rocks that I have been getting better on and hills. I made a bunch of mistakes and still had a great race. The camping was great and the town had some good restaurants to eat at. After the race Jorge and I hung out and then later we grabbed Elysa and went in town for pizza. The 2 downsides to that was the stairs and they didn't sell beer. FYI BYOB next time.