Thursday, December 15, 2011

Next year's schedule unfolds...

I decided not to enter the lottery for Western States - I'd rather focus on a couple of solid 100's before graduating to a more rigorous schedule.

The big races:

March 30-31: Badger Mountain Challenge 100 - Kennewick, WA

May 12: Quad Rock 50 - Fort Collins, CO

August 18-19: Leadville 100 - Leadville, CO

October 7: Blue Sky Marathon - Fort Collins, CO


February 18: Hagg Lake 50K - Forest Grove, OR


February 18: Moab Red Hot 50K - Moab, UT

June 23: Black Hills 50 - Rapid City, SD

And maybe one or two of the 10 milers offered in the Winter Distance Series in Littleton. On the one hand, Hagg Lake is epic - lots of mud and PacNW camaraderie - but it will require a plane flight. On the other hand, I've never been to Moab, and it is 'closer' (I have no delusions about the length of the drive). Probably Hagg Lake.

I have heard that the Black Hills races will put hairs of iron on your chest. Participation depends upon whether the grueling Quad Rock 50 in my hometown will eat me alive. Lory State Park and Horsetooth Mountain are not things to be toyed with...

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Briefly noted: NF Endurance Challenge 50 Mile

I ran a pinch faster than I did last year - 9:45-ish, 10 minutes better.

What saved me was one of those Pro-Tec IT-band straps. I had to tighten it throughout the race, but it never became painful, just a little tweaky.

Until Stinson Beach (mile ~28) my stomach was all over the place. Even broth and boiled potatoes did not sit right. I have a feeling something happened with my electrolyte balance, but I also switched over to drinking plain water from Stinson onward, and that really seemed to help. I think I'm just going to have to do that by default from now on.Nevertheless, that didn't stop me from eating. It just meant I had to slow down on occasion to prevent a stomach blowup, and I think I spent about 20 minutes in porapotties.

Brownie bites, Coke, and potatoes dipped in salt - I had those at every aid station in the second half of the race. Can I just say that brownie bites go down really easy, and apparently they're ridiculously caloric. New race food?

Mile 25-35 was slow going, as I think my nutrition from the first half of the race caught up to me. However, once I got to Old Inn and hooked up with the Miwok trail, I was cruising. I blasted out of Muir Beach and passed a ton of people on those uphills, and left a lot of folks in my wake on the long descent into Tennessee Valley. Now that I know how to run downhill properly (leaning forward and planting my feet behind my body), I was able to really open up on the fire roads down into the valleys.

I had so much fun from from Tennessee Valley to the finish. I hiked the first steep section of the uphill, but then I kicked it into gear, knowing that if I wanted to finish with a faster time than last year I'd need to pour it on.

I bombed down the fire road and ran hard up the last hill to the Alta Water stop.As I did last year, I basically flew down the last downhill and ran hard around the final hill and into the finish.