Thursday, March 25, 2010

2010 Rucky Chucky 50k March 20 Foresthill, CA

I finished 4th overall at the Rucky Chucky 50k in Foresthill, CA. My time was 5 hrs 1 min. This is a pretty tough race. It started off not so good for me. I was up near the front and after about a mile or so my right shoe started to come untied, even though I had double knotted it, and my heart rate monitor strap was a little loose slipping down. I stopped, tightened my monitor strap, and double knotted my shoe again. I took off and about half a mile later my shoe came untied again! This time I did a triple knot and tucked the lace underneath the lower part of the laces. My laces still felt a little crusty and inflexible from Way Too Cool 50k the Saturday before. At this point many people had already passed me and the leaders were a good 3-4 minutes in front of me so I knew I would have to make up some ground.

I took off again and it seemed like I was still feeling the effects of the race (WTC 50k) the weekend before as I felt a little drained of energy. I felt like that for the first 8 miles, but then after that I kicked into another gear and started to feel a lot better. At this point I started catching more people and moving back up in ranks. When we got down to the turn around at the river I was in 6th place. The climb out of the canyon was pretty tough. I caught the fifth place guy with about 8 miles left and passed him. With three miles left I turned a corner to walk up a very steep hill and I saw the 4th place guy. By this point we were both hurting and the usual thought of "why the heck am I doing this" was running through my mind. I laugh cause when we saw each other we both knew it was going to be a race to the end, but I felt like we were moving as slow as snails trying to climb out the rest of the canyon. My plan was to just keep him in sight so I could out kick him the last 3/4 mile once we got back to the pavement in town. I kept him in sight all the way to the last mile until I turned a corner and he wasn't there anymore. I was very confused. Either he took a wrong turn somewhere or he really picked up the pace. I finished strong and did not see him at the finish. Five minutes passed and he finally finished. He took a wrong turn. This race is stayed basic again for my nutrition needs. I ran with two Camelbak handheld water bottles, and ate my Clif Shot Bloks and Shot Gels, and an occasional salt tab.

I am happy with my 4th overall finish and 1st age group (if they would have had a 20-29 division). It was a warm day, and a great training run with some very good hills. The next couple of weeks I will fit in at least 30 miles on the Saturday mornings to get ready for the American River 50 Mile run on April 10, 2010!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

2010 Way Too Cool 50k Cool, CA

My 2010 racing season is off to a great start! I ran the Way Too Cool 50k this past Saturday (13 Mar 2010.) In normal standards of training, I was off to a late start revving up my training for this ultra season. As a public financial statement auditor and most CPA's and accountants in general, this is the prime busy season mainly running from January to April. During busy season it is not uncommon to work about 65hr weeks (usually Monday thru Friday). This makes it a little hard to get some quality training runs in during the week, but I have been able to at least get out and run at least twice during the week. During the week I am usually able to be seen running under the street lights of Rocklin around 11pm to 12am. During busy season I highly depend on the early morning Saturday long runs to get my body into ultra running shape. Anyways, now you know about the late training start for the ultra season I face each year with work. It is time to get back to the Way Too Cool 50k.

Erik Skaden and Mark Lantz both invited me to train with them this season, so I started tagging along with them on their Saturday runs in late January. As work had kept me really busy and I ate way too much candy and other artery clogging food during the holidays, I was feeling very sluggish and struggling just to keep the two of them in my sight. Each week though, it seemed the training runs were getting a little easier and I could go a little further. By the time Way Too Cool came, I was feeling a lot better and feeling stronger on the hills. My ultimate goal for this race was to just beat my 2009 time of 4 hrs 45 mins.

My race strategy for the day was not to go out too fast in the beginning, but hang back and feel comfortable so I did not let myself get caught up in all of the excitement in the front pack and go out too fast. I also knew it would be very muddy so I would have to be a little more careful about my foot placement. Last year I let myself get caught up in all of the excitement and I went out with the lead pack quickly finding myself doing the first 3 miles in about a 6 min mile pace. Definitely not realistic in a 50k! Needless to say half way through the race last year my legs were shot and I struggled mentally and physically to make it to the finish.

This year it was a muddy mess with many stream crossings as this area received a lot of rain the night before. The mud and the streams made for a little bit slower times overall, but it was still a great day. At one stream crossing the water was about waist deep, and on a 6'4'' guy, that is pretty deep. I lost my footing a little and soon found myself about neck deep in the quick moving water. I quickly regained my footing and hopped out the other side, but then I realized my iPod went under too! The music continued for about 3 three seconds then faded (fortunately after a week of having the iPod in a Ziploc bag of rice, it works again, but the buttons don't work right.) For nutrition I kept it pretty basic. I used my two Camelbak handheld water bottles, and used my Clif Shot Bloks and Gels. Thanks Camelbak and Clif Bar for keeping me well hydrated and energized!

I ended up placing 34th overall out of 575, and 4th in my age 20-29 in the time of 4 hrs. and 35 mins! That is about 10 minutes faster than my time last year and I also dropped about 40 overall finish places from my last year's finish. I am very happy with the results given the conditions and the fact that this was my first race of this season coming out of busy season for work not being able to train as much as I would like. Next race next Saturday, the Rucky Chucky 50k. Yes, two 50k races back to back. It is a great way to race myself back into shape.