Sunday, February 24, 2013

Run Log: Feb 18-24, 50-mile PR

86.9 miles for the week. I ran all 7 days, if you count the mostly walking to Target that one day.

I ran NJ Trail Series' Febapple 50-Miler yesterday. (They run the same course called the Mayapple in May, hence February's name.) As I mentioned here earlier, I was hoping to PR and perhaps go below 9 hours. In the end I finished in sixth place in 9:05. Only twenty people or so finished the 50 miler, with another twenty of those who started dropping down to the lower distance races.

When I started the race I felt pretty good, so as I am wont to do, I made my goal a little faster, hoping to maintain constant 10-minute-mile pace and finish in 8:20. I managed to do that fine for the first 25 or so, but my stomach didn't want any more glucose after five Gu gels, and I started getting pretty tired. This seems pretty similar to what happened at Wasatch, where I puked after 25 miles. I'm pretty sure I would have done the same yesterday if I'd forced the issue. I'd like to think the glucose would just go straight to my muscles without needing to get my liver involved, since I thought that's what glucose does, but apparently my stomach isn't a fan. I might try Honey Stingers or Cliff Shots (brown rice syrup) instead, though I typically haven't liked the flavor of Cliff Shots before. Non-ultrarunners are of course thinking "Why not just eat real food?" To which the answer is of course that I'd love to, but it's a lot harder to carry that with you in your pocket so you can eat it every 30-60 minutes like clockwork without much difficulty chewing to keep your stomach working every minute since it can only give you so many calories in an hour.

Anyway, the course was five ten-mile loops, which I ran in 1:33:21, 1:36:29, 1:48:37, 2:08:26 and 1:58:13. The fourth one is slightly exaggerated since I stopped to switch shoes between the third and fourth loops, but clearly, I was slowing down. The weather was cold, grey, and rainy all day long, but at least the rain never really came down very hard. At the end when I was trying to still break nine hours, I was still running as much of the course (I think) but I really had no speed left--it was all 12-minute miles.

The first few laps were quite icy, so I was glad to have the screw shoes. I was indifferent about them on the third lap, so I switched out into my Altra Lone Peaks for the last two loops. It felt great to put on dry socks and then run the mile or so that was on pavement in shoes without sheet metal screws in them. Now that the ice was melting, the course was very muddy, and the anklebreaker rocks were of course still there. Given the course and weather conditions, I'm pretty happy with my performance.

A few photos of me in the race are here.

I managed to run 6 miles with M&M in Philly this morning and felt OK, so I'm looking forward to a speedy post-race recovery. Now for a few weeks of midterm exam-giving and regular training. Next race up is probably a March 16 repeat of the 50K in the Marin Headlands from a couple weeks ago. Sub 5!

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