365Runners
Welcome to 365Runners! We are here because we all share a running addiction. Whether training for a first marathon, a new PR, a new race distance, or anything else... welcome!

To stop the banner ads, please register and login. Otherwise, please enjoy browsing as a guest.

Rosaryville Veterans Day 50k

Go down

Rosaryville Veterans Day 50k

Post  Mike MacLellan on Sat Nov 08, 2014 3:59 pm

This was a kind of impromptu thing.  At least, signing up for it was.  I had mentioned to Kevin and Chris that I found this small, local 50k in early November...  But that was before Twin Cities and I wasn't sure if I'd be recovered enough for it.  Still, I'd planted the seed and given myself some cause for accountability.  

Those of you following my blog know that two weeks ago, I was in pretty bad shape.  Turns out that my slump was a mental one, and after a few days, I was able to string together a 4-day weekend of 1.5hr, 2hr, 1hr, and 2hr runs.  That series ended Monday, which lead to a very short and sharp taper this week.  

Despite recent forays into the world of sociability (which lead to some sleep deprivation Thursday night), I turned up to the starting line this morning feeling reasonably fresh and alert.  I may have struck gold with my combination of lots-of-pasta for lunch and two Taco Bell burritos for dinner last night, as my stomach was in reasonably good shape.  

It was in the low 30's (car read 29 when I parked) as the race started, the shaded sections of grass still crunchy with frost.  A very slight breeze brought a chill to my hands.  For the first .75mi - mostly on asphalt - I sat back and watched as 3/4 of the 200 racers passed me.  I was intent on keeping my HR and effort level somewhere in the easy/recovery range, but it took copious amounts of discipline and constant reminders of "They'll all fade later" to keep me in check.  

Hitting the trail, which is where we'd spend the majority of the day, I began to regret my overly cautious approach.  Trains of runners started forming, with me near the back, now putting along at a glacial 12min/mi pace.  Or so I thought - though it wasn't until much later that I realized that this was erroneous.  I tucked in for 3mi before starting to bridge from group to group, still at a low HR and effort level, though there were a few little surges as I passed up to 10 runners in one fell swoop.

The first aid station came out of nowhere, and two guys I'd been trailing for a mile or so pulled aside to grab some food.  I pushed on, downing a GU (for which I was not at all hungry) and skipping the goodies on the table.  

I began to try and calculate what kind of finish I was looking at.  Before the race, I was shooting for 5hr, for which I was now a few minutes off pace.  I decided to drop into a still comfortable but more steady effort until the end of the first lap, then reassess.  The second half of lap 1 comprised of more picking off of runners, a near groin strain as I bombed down a hill and landed in a small pothole while passing someone, and a short kicker of a hill just before the aid station came into sight.

Okay, my numbering system for the aid stations is wrong.  The "first" one is actually the second, as we passed the real first one (that begins/ends each lap) at .75mi.  The course is basically 3x 9.8mi laps - all singletrack - on the Perimeter Trail of Rosearyville State Park.  To make 31mi, there's that little .75mi start/finish.  

So imagine my surprise when I rolled into the real first aid station at 1:37 and 9.12mi.  What?!  I asked a volunteer what mile this was.  "Around 10."  Oh.  Okay, so I'm not off pace, I'm actually already ahead of 5hr pace.  A thought appeared: could I make 4:30?  It would be a stretch... 

I took care of some bubble gut issues that had come from the first GU, grabbed two more GUs from my dropbag - eating one, got a refill of water, and continued onto lap 2.  I tried to judge my effort level and how much I thought I had left.  This felt like a comfortable 50mi pace, which is what I wanted to mimic, and I decided I'd used somewhere between 25-30% of my energy.  So, all systems go.

The second lap, in its entirety, was much lonelier, with just a runner or two every few miles.  I reminded myself to reign it in until the end of this lap, since a lot could go wrong in 15mi, let alone 10.  The second aid station had potatoes, which sounded (and were) divine.  The only problem was the small climb out of the aid station and the nature of potatoes to sort of fill your esophagus when eaten quickly.  Still, I made a mental note to try and train with salted potatoes.  

My HR, by this point, was somewhere in the low-mid 160s, much higher than I'd planned, but I was still at a pretty easy/steady effort.  Definitely not marathon effort.  I decided to run by feel, since I'd kind of already thrown the whole Maffetone HR plan out the window.

Some Achilles pain (that, fortunately, was brief) and a left knee niggle (that, unfortunately, never went away) gave me some pause, so I changed my hill technique to try and alleviate it.  The 3 sections of screaming downhill on the 2nd half of the loop didn't help.  

End of lap 2, a volunteer asked how I was feeling.  "Eh."  I knew by now I'd finish, but I knew it would hurt.  I was out of the aid station at just over 3hr.  Maybe 4:30 was within reach.  

The third lap was a series of cruel mind games, as all the waypoints I'd been trying to sort out got jumbled up and, with a highly inaccurate distance measuring device on my wrist, I had no real way of knowing where I was.  There was a bridge, two sections of meadow, and it was flat just before the aid station.  This I knew.  Well, there were really three sections of meadow, and it was flat in more than one place.  

I was running at marathon effort by the time I hit the aid station.  More potatoes and a walk up the little hill.  I knew that there were somewhere around 5-6mi left, so it was time to start draining the tank.  I pulled people in, now lapping some, and tried to convince myself that there were only so many more minutes until I was done.  

Then a root jumped out and bit my right big toe and I went down.  It didn't hurt.  It still doesn't.  I'm sure it will tomorrow.  The guy ahead of me stopped to make sure I was okay.  I said yes, keep going, but he waited for me.  I felt a little bad flying by him, since he never caught me after that, but I did tell him to keep going.

I finally settled in behind a guy who sounded stronger than me but was running at a pace that felt "right."  Just hard enough to have something left in the tank for the asphalt section.  I wanted to offer to help pace, but I thought I'd slow him down.  I needed the rabbit, and I didn't think I could do much without it.  In hindsight, I feel bad for not helping out, but he seemed fine with it, even after the finish.

The last steep section came up, and the wheels were holding on by a thread.  I saw the road and knew it was time to make a move.  I surged on a riser - "Strong finish!" - and encouraged the guy I'd been pacing on to stick on my hip.  I heard him fall back about 10m and pushed on.  Cresting the riser, I saw... road.  Oh, shit.  Did I mistime this?

Gritted teeth, grunting, and piston arms took over for the next 5min.  There it was, the finish, with just 100m of inclined meadow to go.  4:30 had gone out the window, but the clock was reading 4:33:0x and that was good enough for me.  I pushed with what I had left to the finish for a 4:33:4x and became an ultramarathoner.  Oof.

---

Pros:

- I came into the race well rested, and the casual approach to it seemed to help with that.  
- The race itself.  From the course to the volunteers to the food - I gorged on two huge plates of Mexican rice and black/refried beans after finishing - everything was 5 stars, in my book.  
- My pacing.  Even though the conservative start probably cost me a 4:30, it kept me from blowing up and allowed me to enjoy the experience.

Cons:

- Hydration.  Since it was chilly, I didn't drink much.  Probably 25-30oz total.  My pee afterward let me know how poorly I had kept up with that.
- My pacing.  What, you say?  Well, I came into this one hoping for a 153 average HR.  Most of the race was run in the 160s, and my average was 159.  While maybe a few bpm can be attributed to race day arousal, still too high to be an effective "training run."
avatar
Mike MacLellan
Explaining To Spouse
Explaining To Spouse

Posts : 3142
Points : 7717
Join date : 2011-06-14
Age : 31
Location : Arlington, VA

View user profile http://www.facebook.com/mike.a.maclellan

Back to top Go down

Re: Rosaryville Veterans Day 50k

Post  Tom H on Sat Nov 08, 2014 4:13 pm

Nice job overall, Mike!  You beat your 5 hour goal handily with a good strong finish.  I'm guessing you learned quite a bit from this one.
avatar
Tom H
Regular
Regular

Posts : 564
Points : 3394
Join date : 2011-06-15
Age : 59
Location : Fremont, SF Bay Area

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Rosaryville Veterans Day 50k

Post  Mark B on Sat Nov 08, 2014 5:27 pm

Welcome to the world of ultras, Mike! I'd argue that restraining yourself on that first lap was the best thing you could have done. It gives you the ability to ease up on the discipline as you get closer to the finish, which can work very well if you're having a good day -- which it sounds like you were -- while increasing the chances of finishing if it all goes to hell.

But do remember to hydrate: I wonder if you whizzed at all during the race -- if you didn't, you weren't drinking enough, and that could have accounted for the slightly higher heart rate on your total.

Great job!


Last edited by Mark B on Sat Nov 08, 2014 8:28 pm; edited 1 time in total
avatar
Mark B
Needs A Life
Needs A Life

Posts : 7396
Points : 16078
Join date : 2011-06-15
Age : 54
Location : Vancouver, Wash.

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Rosaryville Veterans Day 50k

Post  Jim Lentz on Sat Nov 08, 2014 6:32 pm

Very nice finish on the 50K!
avatar
Jim Lentz
Explaining To Spouse
Explaining To Spouse

Posts : 1171
Points : 4509
Join date : 2011-06-15
Age : 56
Location : Downers Grove

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Rosaryville Veterans Day 50k

Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Sat Nov 08, 2014 6:40 pm

Nice job, Mike!  Having run one and only one 50k, I know that holding back on the first loop was indeed the right approach, and I'm glad you did.  You ran well and you blew that 5 hr goal away.  (5 hrs dude?  Even my one and only was 4:42!)
avatar
Michele "1L" Keane
Explaining To Spouse
Explaining To Spouse

Posts : 4804
Points : 11432
Join date : 2011-06-15
Age : 56
Location : Cleveland (Bay Village), OH/Atlanta, GA

View user profile http://1lranthere.blogspot.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Rosaryville Veterans Day 50k

Post  ounce on Sat Nov 08, 2014 11:07 pm

Great job, Mike.  Glad your tummy was happy.
avatar
ounce
Explaining To Spouse
Explaining To Spouse

Posts : 4885
Points : 13521
Join date : 2011-06-26
Age : 61
Location : houston

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Rosaryville Veterans Day 50k

Post  Chris M on Sat Nov 08, 2014 11:53 pm

You are officially a nutty ultra runner now!  All that loop and mileage point stuff sounded confusing.  I would NOT like having no clue what mile marker I was at for a 30+ mile run!!
avatar
Chris M
Explaining To Spouse
Explaining To Spouse

Posts : 1061
Points : 3877
Join date : 2011-06-14
Age : 49
Location : Washington, DC

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Rosaryville Veterans Day 50k

Post  Mike MacLellan on Sun Nov 09, 2014 8:35 am

Mark - I did not.

Mom - I wasn't racing it, originally, hence the slower goal.

Chris - It was more like a bargaining technique.  "How much longer can I sustain this?" type of thing.  But yes, not having mile markers was actually hugely beneficial to the race.
avatar
Mike MacLellan
Explaining To Spouse
Explaining To Spouse

Posts : 3142
Points : 7717
Join date : 2011-06-14
Age : 31
Location : Arlington, VA

View user profile http://www.facebook.com/mike.a.maclellan

Back to top Go down

Re: Rosaryville Veterans Day 50k

Post  KBFitz on Sun Nov 09, 2014 1:25 pm

So THAT's the race you were talking about. I didn't know about this race. Annapolis Striders is a first-rate running club. Well done Mike. Welcome to the ultra running world. Going out real easy is the right way to tackle one of these long-long runs. The temptation is to start running too early. You did not ... and had plenty left in the tank to pass those who went out quicker. Your patience paid off big netting you a fine performance in your first ultra. Hooah!
avatar
KBFitz
Regular
Regular

Posts : 746
Points : 5984
Join date : 2011-06-15
Age : 59
Location : Off-center

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Rosaryville Veterans Day 50k

Post  Gobbles on Sun Nov 09, 2014 7:43 pm

Congrats Mike!
Did one Ultra, will be a while until I do another.
avatar
Gobbles
Poster
Poster

Posts : 335
Points : 3100
Join date : 2011-06-15
Age : 41
Location : Outside the Perimeter - Atlanta, GA

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Rosaryville Veterans Day 50k

Post  mountandog on Tue Nov 11, 2014 5:44 pm

Nice job Mike.  How's the foot?  I hate it when those damn thinking roots get a mind of their own and grab your foot.
avatar
mountandog
Explaining To Spouse
Explaining To Spouse

Posts : 1393
Points : 5702
Join date : 2011-07-14
Age : 61
Location : Michigan

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Rosaryville Veterans Day 50k

Post  Mike MacLellan on Tue Nov 11, 2014 5:46 pm

Kevin - Very astute analysis.

Gobbles - Definitely more to come for me.  Though I swore off distance running sometime around the 3:30 mark...

Michael - Foot is fine.  Big toe is a little black and blue under the nail, but I won't be losing it.
avatar
Mike MacLellan
Explaining To Spouse
Explaining To Spouse

Posts : 3142
Points : 7717
Join date : 2011-06-14
Age : 31
Location : Arlington, VA

View user profile http://www.facebook.com/mike.a.maclellan

Back to top Go down

Re: Rosaryville Veterans Day 50k

Post  Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

Back to top

- Similar topics

 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum