Monday, April 13, 2009

McNaughton Park 50 Mile 2009 Version

The weekend started on Friday at noon as I went out with Andrew to watch the 150 and early 100 starters in the cold rain, particularly Adam and Mike K. and S. Let me just say right off that I'm in awe of those guys and gals cranking the 150 or 100 on that course. It's just cool watching them launch off the start line then coming up Tanner's Pass, knowing some of these folks will be out there over two days later cranking out miles.

Lined up at 6:00 a.m. the next morning for the 50. First loop was good, maybe a bit fast at 2:16, ran most of it with Dex from Deer Creek and Stan Zygmunt from Indiana, who we were with most of the way in last year's race. Stayed steady on loop 2, felt good. The course, I thought, was actually very runnable. The rain had stopped Friday and most of the hills had dried out. Still, there was pretty severe mud in the usual low spots which made for tough going in stretches, but absolutely nothing like last year.

Loop 3 was my slowest at 2:32, hit a mental low spot from about 24-27, came out of it with some calories and never really dipped low again for the rest of the day. Picked up the I pod (Jayhawks) for loop 4. Music really isn't something I like on trail runs or in races, but in this case I sort of just tuned out, went inside myself and ran. Ended up pacing this loop off of a woman that passed me, tried to catch her for the rest of the race as a mental game, but was always 30 yards behind or so. Strong runner, whoever she was. Oh, she was doing the 100, demonstrating how slow my "running" actually was.

Loop 5 more of the same, actually picked it up a bit after totem pole and kept a solid pace. Was tired by heaven's gate, but m and m's and Pepsi cured it.

Ended up coming in at what for me is a good time in those conditions, 12 hours 7 minutes, with the family there to greet me.


-Training: I think it was good, could have probably been better. Got some good consistent long runs in in the preceding months, and I really think even the McNabb Fat Ass was a good jumping off point. I would have liked a few more weekly miles, but this is a time issue with family and such, or maybe that's just an excuse.

My mileage in the last few weeks leading up to mcN was fairly low due to life changes, basically an extended taper. I think this turned out to be beneficial. My legs felt really rested for mcN. That Illinois slam is tempting, but for me personally I just don't feel a 30 miler two weeks before something like mcN is what I want to do. Perhaps off of a better training base.

-Strategy: I had one and executed it pretty well. Going back over previous efforts and looking at other results, my conclusion was that it's really easy to go out too hard on this kind of loop course, thus the overall strategic goal was just to stay controlled and aim for more even paced loops. Even with the strategy in mind, went out a bit quick at 2:16, fading to 2:32 by 30, but then got back on track. Splits for 30-50 make me happy.

-Tactics: I consider this in-race stuff. Big guy=sweat a lot=drink a lot. I did this. Never got dehydrated. Took s-caps at the rate of about one per hour, added a few when little twinges came up. Never got too close to cramps, a possible issue for me. Adding gels this year was a help, I think. More easily absorbed into the blood, maybe? Added solid food like potatoes, peanuts, etc. when needed. No stomach problems at all except a bit of sloshing from a bit too much fluid at one point.

Knowing this course well from training out there so much helps tactically with being aware of when you want to run and when you want to walk. Some of this is dictated by the hills, but not all. I feel that I kept in a good rhythm, used the downhills to an advantage by running them, and ran more of the flats than usual. I honestly don't like the field sections at mcN and don't train on them, would rather be hill climbing, but this time having more flat miles on the road helped me run the flats better and took minutes off my finish time.

-Conclusion: This was a good race for me. Everything fell into place and I'm happy with the result. What's next? I'd like to jump off into a 100, although I'm not sure about mcN. One of the fall 100s holds appeal for several reasons. It's been a slow process, but I think with a little more training and the right buildup, it'd be possible. What form that takes, not sure yet. Going to enjoy this one for a few days.


Harriet said...

Nice report and a nice athletic result! As far as trail conditions: Friday was worse than the year before; Sunday was actually not that bad, save about a dozen really slippery mud patches.

Jerry Davison said...

Great report Jason ... and I'm very impressed (jealous) of your super consistent splits. I, too, am considering a 100 attempt in the future, but a flatter course would be in order for this big boy. I almost didn't do the Illinois Trail Ultra Grand Slam due to concerns about recovery (especially from Clinton to McMuddon), but it worked. I know you could do it. Great job!

Dex from Deer Creek said...

Great job Jason - I know exactly what you mean about going out too fast, since that's exactly what I did! I didn't have any issues with hydration or cramps like I did at Clinton. In fact, my stomach and core felt strong the whole race. It was really frustrating that my plantar picked mile 22 to really decide to flare up. I finally got it under control for the last lap, just in time to roll my ankle with about 3 to go (it's pretty swollen right now, but I think it'll be fine). I checked your time when I got home and must bow down, man - you nailed it plain and simple. Awesome job! I've been contemplating that Ozark Trail run in November as my first 100, but since I want to do the Slam I think it will wait until next year!

dirt_trail_runner said...

nice job, jerry and dex. see you guys on the trail.