Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Pacing, Lake Sonoma 50, Diablo 50K

It's been a busy month. Everything has been going along quite nicely until recently but let's keep this upbeat for the moment. 

Month started with pacing HK at the American River 50 mile run for the last 18 miles. He did very well for it being his first 50 mile run. HK wouldn't let me look at my watch to see what time it was so I had no idea if we were on pace or not to break 10 hours. I was pretty sure we were as he was moving much better than I was the year previous and I came in 10:08. I was really hoping he'd beat my time and he did. Running nearly 80% of the last 3 miles which are all uphill he brought it in for a strong 9:42. 

I was actually feeling quite tired after pacing for 18 miles and got the thought stirring about what lay one week ahead at Lake Sonoma. This was going to be my 2nd 50 mile race. The first being AR50 mentioned above where I came in at 10:08 and the last 8 miles saw my regurgitated gel packs along the course. It wasn't my greatest day. 

Lake Sonoma ended up being a complete success as compared to AR50 last year. I was happy and having fun the entire day. I stopped and ate at every aid station and had previously laid out when I would go from using 1 bottle to a full pack knowing I would be moving more slowly for the last 10-20 miles and overall it was just a beautiful day. I even beat my AR50 time. With about 7,000 feet more of climbing I'd call that a great jump in overall fitness!

I had a lot of energy still after Sonoma 50 so I didn't take the proper time to recover (note to self note to self note to self note to self). I probably should have cycled instead of putting so many miles on my legs in the days after Sonoma. I had a weird nagging thing in my arch the last half of Sonoma on descents. I was able to finish and it never became anything beyond annoying but something constantly there, nagging, is never a good sign. I'm starting to see why ultra runners are subject of crazy, long term injuries. Not only are you pounding the legs with long runs but the elated feeling one gets from running and adrenaline that runs through the veins its easy to run with something "nagging" and then find yourself in a boot for 8 weeks because that little annoying thing you had turned into a fracture or a badly torn muscle/ligament. 

So even though this foot thing had made an appearance still on the Thursday while in spin class, I still opted for Brazen Racing's Diablo 50K on Saturday. It was my friend's first 50K and a few of us were carpooling down together (at 4am!!!). Despite my ankle being in pretty ugly shape the last half of this run it was a fantastic course and great to see my friend complete his first 50K in the top 50% of those in his age group! 

A couple of frightening messages from a PT friend had me icing, elevating, Traumeel applying and supplementing with Turmeric all day Sunday (also, note to self: don't take large quantity of Turmeric - it causes heart palpitations). 

I'm supposed to caravan down to Grand Canyon this Thursday with a group to do Rim2Rim2Rim. Possibly the most difficult and beautiful run I would ever do. 47 miles and about 15K of climbing - next to the Western States 100 this was the most difficult run my friend said he has experienced. So - this and bum foot gives a forecast of turmoil. My foot is better but not healed and I'm stuck deciding if I will go and run if my foot is up to it (but likely not for 47 miles), go and hike or forego this trip altogether and wait for next year. 

I don't want to end on a sappy, poor me note so here are some fun photos from the last few weekends:

Hosted these fine fellows and they must have slept well because they had an amazing race!!! 
Coming up on Last Gasp - I allowed him to walk a small portion

Looking good for 50 miles! American River 50 Mile Finisher!
This must have been around mile 20 or so - I still have decent form. I like chicking dudes. 

Great having mom at the finish! Best crew ever! 

YK (his first 50K!) and Mitch
If you're a runner, or  not, you can probably guess which one is the veteran and which one is not by 1. attire 2. fluid carrier -
This is probably one of the more difficult 50Ks in Northern California at present

Amazing views and people 
Derrick coming in for a strong finish!