20160730

Speedgoat 50k 2016


Done in 7:47 which is amazing. My watch says 7:46 but we’ll just take the ultrasingup.com 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 than last year 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. 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. This section is pretty steep and about 10,000 ft elevation. 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 lot 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 still 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.


Notes:

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

Did go to the bathroom 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. An acceptable way to end the race.

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

Sponge bathed myself at the finish - 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.