Speedgoat 50k 2016

Well, overall I got 7:46:53 according to the watch. That’s an average pace of 14:28 v

Some report:

Done in 7:47 which is amazing. My watch says 7:46 but we’ll just take the ultrasingup at their word. I guess.

So the race starts. I’m still not that certain of how things are going to go. I know I have a plan but I don’t really know if I’m in better shape or what to expect. I sort of thought that thinking that I could do better would be stupid to think. But anyway. Nothing too big transpires on the first part of the race. Getting to the first aid station I’m 3 mins ahead of my time from last year and I remember last year I was at the aid station longer because I had to tie my shoes. Well, I got in and out pretty fast. Got down to the halfway point in decent time. Right now looking back I do think that I might have been able to make it to the halfway point just a little bit faster if I would have tried just a little harder to make it down the river of torture. But still, at half way I was ahead of my estimated time. Now for the uphill. I took the uphill very well. I decided that I was going to run 10 steps and walk 10 steps. That may not seem like much but it was enough to get me ahead of at least 5 other people. It may have been a wash at the end of the day because some of those people passed me again but I still made time on myself compared to last year. About 6 mins faster than last year, which is absolutely awesome. So I get to the Mineral Aid Station the 2nd time and I’m doing and feeling great. I’m well ahead of last year and I’m doing great. Of course to get to the next aid station is a lot of up so I just get out there and do it the best that I can. I was hoping to get some running steps in here but it wasn’t happening. All I could do was just keep moving forward. No problem.

Get up to Mt Baldy in decent time and get down to the tunnel aid in good time. My split last year was 6:06 and this year I got to the same aid station in 5:40 - so i’m 26 mins ahead of my target time and I hadn’t even counted the time from getting lost last year. Hooray for that all the way home.

No problems to really speak of. In hindsight I sort of think I should have just gave a little bit more effort to get down and up parts of the course. But when I’m exceeding expectations in every way it’s hard to say that something different should have been done.

So I’m huffing and puffing up to Hidden Peak for the 2nd time and it’s great. I like the fact that there aren’t a lots of runners around me and that every 20 mins or so I pass someone.

Eventually I get to Hidden Peak the 2nd time and get in and out as quick as I can. Getting to the finish is by no means a picnic with some climbing and some pretty steep downhill to manage. But I do okay. 

Funny thing? I'm rolling up to the finish and couldn't have been more than about 1/3rd of a mile from it. I decide that I'm making good time and I'm thirsty enough that I need a drink. I take out my water bottle and slow down just a little. As I tilt my head back to drink my foot lands on a rock a little sideways and my calve muscle cramps and stops me dead in my tracks. I don't know what to do because I've never had this happen before. I can't move my leg. I try to rub it but that doesn't seem to do anything. Within probably 20 seconds I'm back up and moving to the finish. That was weird.


Ate pbnj, a ziplock bag of chips, banana a few gummy bears about 30 mins before the race.

Did poop before it started - always a good sign.

Felt like I drank a lot. I tried to finish off my water bottle before every aid station or finish it as I was coming in to the aid station. Tried to do the same with the electrolyte drink stuff they had as well.

Also felt like I didn’t eat as much as previous races.

Had some red bull at an aid station or two. No complaints.

Had some good pizza at the finish line with a sugar free red bull.

Had my camp chair at the finish and that was very nice to have available.

Sponge bathed myself - at least my arms, legs and feet. Then put on some clean dry clothes. Always worth it.

Didn’t hang at aid stations at all. Always left with my water bottles filled. One with water the other with the sports drink stuff.

Ate more fruit on this course than I remember ever eating before.

Fruit is really great for eating right after eating chips or something like it. It “washes” out the crumbs. I really liked it. I hadn’t done this before. And I need to remember to do it again.

There were no gels at the aid stations? Just a big bottle that they would transfer to another container that you would have (if you did). Not a preference of mine to have it this way but I understand the desire to avoid trash and cut down on waste.

I only had maybe 2 gels outside of aid stations for the whole course. I think that last year I was trying to eat some religiously and that was probably 6.

Walk 10 steps and run 10 steps works (this is counting one as every other left footfall). It worked for me as long as I was at the right elevation which is about 8-9,000 feet. About 9500 feet it gets harder depending on how steep the trail is, of course.

I think my foot got caught up on a rock or two but no problems at all - just a very minor stumble.

I fell on my butt twice. Once while going down on the snow. No problems. Another time just going down some loose dirt and small rocks. My hands went back and luckily didn’t hit anything sharp. Very minor problems.

My Hokas (Challenger ATR) are, um, okay, I guess. They are light shoes and light doesn’t really go super well with durable. So while they have been okay shoes I’m worried that the soles are going - they look very torn and chewed up. Will they last me through the next race? I'm not confident. 

Conclusion: Knowing what to expect help me a lot and that alone probably got me plenty of time over last year. Drinking a lot helped, too. Of course training played a big part and I did have more trail miles and vert then I did last year. I'm not committed to returning next year but I'd say chances are better that I might. 

Mt. Ogden - 25 June 2016

I have not been getting enough vertical in my training for Speedgoat. So, I had to make an effort to get at least some elevation gain this week. Hey, I live it a city that is flat and the nearest mountains are not so close that I can get to them, run 5 miles and get back in under 2 hours. Anyway, enough with the excuses.

Mt. Ogden became my desired run. One other thing I need to do is to get more familiar with the trails in my area. There are a lot. And I have not done a lot of them.

Mt. Ogden because I thought it was going to be pretty runnable and it could help me get up to the elevations that I need to be at for Speedgoat (although just barely).

Got up and made it to the trail head with no issues. But there is more than one trail that intersect at the beginning so I was guessing a little at first. I made one bad turn that was about a 20 second mistake. Not quite as bad as Jim Wamsley at Western States this year at least.

Well, the route was runnable except for the overgrowth. The canyon that the trail starts in was very lush and green and the trail was overgrown by many plants. So this made it difficult to see my feet and where they were falling. Sometimes there would be large rocks and roots that would not be seen. Luckily I didn't have any major slips, trips or falls. However, I was slowed down a little bit by it all.

Eventually the trail leaves the canyon and for maybe 2 miles the trail is clear and some time can be made up. After this though, the trail just goes back to being overgrown and rocky - but this time with more stiff bushes and branches that scratch. It's really not that big of a deal, just more of an annoyance.

After a steady and consistent climb the trees and the bushes dissipate and it turns in to just a rocky trail on the side of the mountain. For me at this point I was just glad to be moving forward. I had really forgotten about my average pace and just wanted to get to the top.

The best part came up about here when the trail was not too steep and I was able to just put my head down and move up the trail at a nice consistent pace without obstacles like large plants and rocks. The trail even goes down a little bit and that was great to get a few feet to make up on my time.

Finally the trail comes to the ridge and the top is about 1/4 mile away. But it is also probably at 9300 feet or so in elevation and much more steep than the last mile on the trail. I was hoping to be able to run the rest of it but it was not to be. I had to just power hike and keep going as I could.

Luckily I did make it it good time. About 1hr 45mins to the top from the Beus parking lot.

At the top I enjoyed some great views and a cold breeze. My hands got cold and I had to get home to do stuff. So snapped a few pics and got out. My hands hurt until I got lower and the air warmed.

Just over 11 miles and 4500 feet of gain. Aside from the overgrown trail, no other complaints for this guy.


Hooray, More Races!

Well, I finally got the courage to sign up for a few more races. Not sure yet how I'm going to tackle them but I'll figure that out later.

First I've wanted to do more 50 mile or more races because I feel that I've had enough 50k races for now and I need to get ready for the 100 miler in 2017.

So, I've signed up for the Kat'cina Mosa 100k (ultrasingup.com link). It looks like it will be plenty challenging and lots of fun at the same time.

Also, I've decided to go for the Huntsville Marathon. It's two weeks before the St George Marathon so I'm either going to take it a few different ways. I could use it as a training run and just get out there and not worry about time and save my strength and energy for STG. Or I could, if I feel alright, just go for it and try to PR at Huntsville. If I do PR Huntsville then I can either try to go for an even better time at STG or just use STG as a sort of victory lap and just slow down and make some friends. That latter part doesn't really sound like me.

I have a feeling it's going to be hard to go into any of these races without trying to PR them. At any race I'm very excited to have a few more races on my calendar.