Monday, August 16, 2010

Howl at the Moon 2010

After a decent summer of training I figured HATM would be a nice reward. If you haven't done this race before, it's 8 hours on a 3.29 mile loop, some double track trail and some short road sections, run/walk as many miles as you can. Race is at Kennekuk County Park near Danville, IL. Goals for this were just to cover ultra distance. I just don't do that well in the heat. Forecast was 95 degrees with high humidity, not conducive to huge miles.

Race started at 7:00 a.m. under cloudy skies, an advantage. My strategy was to push a bit early and get some miles in before the sun and heat of late morning and early afternoon, leading to some relatively fast early loops. Three and a half hours in the, out came the sun, instantly making things considerably more difficult. I was pushing fluids heavily, essentially drinking two bottles of water/gatorade mix every loop, sometimes pushing straight water, and s-caps about every hour. Was able to maintain a good electrolyte balance, there were some very slight twinges but never cramped. Kept a decent running pace for about 5 hours then slowed down quite a bit in the heat and with some slight blistering on the bottoms of my feet, attributed to sweating into my socks causing my feet to slide around. Still, felt pretty good most of the time. Lots of folks looked to be way worse off than I was.

Ended up getting in 10 loops plus one slowly walked out and back 1/2 mile for a total of 34.40 miles. I'm happy with this. Postrace is great at Howl; we're talking catered chicken and green beans and beer. Surprise beers this year were Killian's and Sam Adams. Felt ok enough for a Killian's.

So, good race for me considering I'm still about 15 pounds over ideal ultra weight. This summer has been good, have built up to decent miles and long runs in the 4-5 hour range. Also feel that incorporating some swimming into the mix helped with overall fitness.

If you're looking for a fun, "easy" ultra in terms of terrain and support, Howl is a great one with a total party atmosphere. Mad fun.

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