Tuesday, March 20, 2012
From 50K to 50M
I may be a little over my head here... I only finished my first 50K 10 short days ago and already I will be straggling (yes, straggling not straddling) the start line of the AR50. The thought has me in heart rate zones not normal for my sedentary work day. Alas, I'm confident in my ability despite my lack of training... I just have to be smart about pace & fueling. Why you ask? Well, I don't know..other than to test the limits of my own body and see what kind of guts I'm made of. I enjoy running... so much that I often, lately, find that work is just something that breaks up my thoughts from running and sometimes even gets in the way of running. And the thought of getting back on my bike to train for 2 upcoming centuries sounds...tiresome. I'm sure that will change after I run 50 miles in 1 day (when I haven't even logged 50 miles in 1 WEEK for at least 5 months).
In the end, I hope I can say I completed my first 50 miler feeling decent (and not dead-like) and encourage low mileage training to those who are/will be as nervous as I currently am.
WTC 50K - 5:28:40
Was having dreams the week leading up to this event but overall felt very relaxed. I started in the back and just followed the flow of people. A little over a mile on a fire road led us onto the single track Olmstead Loop. I kept my pace nice and easy (around 10 minute miles). This was difficult after about 3 miles when I was nice and warm but I stuck to it just as I said I would and knew I would keep this 'feel' until I hit mile 15 when I planned to re-assess. I find it funny that so many of the runners actually form a line to cross the rocky path of the streams to keep their feet as dry as possible. I find one of the lures of trail running is plowing right through the puddles and doing so allowed me pick off about 10 people every time. I chatted with people here and there and remained near or with my friend, Marites (AKA Tes).
After completing the first 8 mile loop and grabbing water at the first aid station so began the 23 mile loop. Leading to the loop I heard my mom shout "GO TYLER!". This was a nice surprise as I didn't expect to see her until I got to the aid station where she was volunteering. The loop starts out with a steady descent which allows you to pick up some great speed. I found myself behind a couple of runners and chatted it up with them for a bit before asking to pass. One was also doing her first 50K.
On to Quarry Road: the second aid station, Hawaiian theme appeared. I grabbed couple of potato poppers, rolled them in salt and munched. I also grabbed an S-cap when offered, I had never tried them before but always wanted to. Tes and I were on our way. We were rolling somewhere around 9 minute miles and I remember wondering if it was too fast but I just kept with it. Tes said her ankle was bothering her having sprained it earlier in the week. Not too sure where we got separated but next thing I know I'm running next to a shirtless veteran runner. He tells me this is a new course and its fast. If he were 20 years younger he'd be "blasting this hill". "So what are you waiting for? GET ON IT!" he says to me. "OK!" I smiled and took off. At this time I had reached my midway point and I felt good, fantastic actually, which I immediately contributed to the S-caps. I decided to just give it what I could the rest of the way. I ran, slowly, uphill (until Goat Hill, that is) and tried to take downhills as quickly as possible. There was still a bit of traffic but I welcomed the company and enjoyed talking to the vets of the course.
Final aid station, mile 28: WAY TOO AWESOME aid station! I was greeted by my mom and fellow runner friends. I grabbed another S-cap and my love note from friend Ashly and made my way up to the finish. Running alongside a very tall man with the finish in site I asked "Wanna race to the end?" He immediately sped up and we laughed. In the end he let me take the finish.
It was the best inaugural 50K I could have asked for. And now...I want to break 5:00 next year.