Sunday, April 22, 2007

Mt. Si

After a hard 12 summits last weekend, I took it real easy this week. I figured I'd need my strength to run strong for 50 miles.

Short version: 8:31, PR by 57 minutes, missed goal by 11 minutes.
Long Version:
I slept in Again. Turns out my Alarm clock is set 1 day a head so it thought Sunday was Monday and didn't go off until 5:45. I heard about that when I got home! So I get to the start with 10 minutes to get ready and with about 30 seconds to spare I get to the crowd near the starting line. And off we went. My plan for the day was to run no faster than a 9 m/m unless I was free falling some short hill, and to run no slower than a 10 m/m even on the hills.

With no time for mental preparation I start running like a madman at 10k pace. It took nearly a mile, but I finally reigned myself in to much smarter pace. 1st mile, 8:34 oops, 2ND mile 9:19. That's closer but I really should 9:45 at the fastest.
Right at about 2 miles I passed about 12 people that were all walking up a short but fairly steep hill. I guess they went out too fast and are tired already? Just kidding. I ran fairly even mile splits down to the 10 mile turn around (the lowest point of the course, Time:1:33, 7 min. head) and back to the 14 mile A/S. Time: 2:14, 6 min. ahead I spent an extra minute or so here filling my bottle with the toxic drink they had. (I tested everything from there on, before it went into my bottle) I had to pour it out after 2 miles and went the rest of the way to the 20 mile A/S with no water. Time: 3:10, 10 min. ahead.

This is where I picked up my pacer Shawn "gimpy" Lawson. She would be my pacer by bike. There's no way I could spend 5+ hours sitting on a bike seat. Hat's off to a great pacer with buns of steel. She gave me the low down on how the front runners were doing and how far a head the runners that she thought I should pass were. It took a while to get into a rhythm and at the 29 mile A/S we had pretty much figured it out. I still would like to spend less time just standing around trying to figure out what looks good, but it was a lot faster than if I'd been by myself. Time @ 50k 5:10, buffer gone.

Somewhere between 30 and 34 miles I started to doubt my strategy. I was still running strong and about at the 10 m/m pace I wanted, but running at the same pace for 50 miles doesn't really match the course elevation profile. I should have tried to run slightly slow from 10 to 34 miles which is slightly up hill the whole way. Oops! This is the plan I made and I'm sticking to it. There was a bit of a surprise at 34 miles. The A/S was moved so we had to run down a very steep hill for about 100 yards and then turn around and right back up it. I flew down the hill and had to use the closed steal gate to stop myself. Time: 5:48, 3 min. behind. I took the opportunity to get a little extra food in while walking back up. Maybe too much food! I got to the top and figured I could make up some time on the down hill.
Right at 36 miles I was sucking on a Gel and that gave me a slight gag reflex, which has happened 100's of times before, no biggie. Well this time I got a tiny bit of bile and that triggered an instantaneous explosion of 2 1/2 bottles of drink 3 gels and a half a bottle of espresso drink, and some chips. Wow I never knew my stomach was that big! Thinking back I was the slightest bit queasy from trying to push to pace for the last 2 miles to the 34 mile turn around. Live and learn. Good news was I felt so good after getting sick I was running faster, and much lighter on my feet. It felt like I was making up time all the way to the 40 mile A/S. Time:6:45, 5 min. behind.

The last 10 miles were run until I felt like walking and then I'd walk for under a minute. At the end I was running out of energy and all systems were failing fast. It was probably all in my head because I knew I couldn't meet my 8:20 goal.

Overall I had a great day. I might have been able to run the 8:20 if I had run a little smarter but I'm still happy with my performance. And now I know I can get sick, toss my lunch and come back strong.

It was great to see so many 1st time 50k and 50 mile runners out giving it their all.
Since I didn't have my camera with me and I haven't "borrowed" anybody pictures yet here is some interesting information.

The red is the elevation for 12 Summits the Green is Mt. Si 50 miler.

Mileage: 54 for the week/510 for the year


Shawn said...

Great job yesterday Arthur. I would say "next time" I will be a better pacer, but hopefully there is no next time! :) Even those last 5-7 miles, you looked like you were running strong even though the words coming out of your mouth said differently. It was actually quite a study in human physiology (right word?) to watch your mental decline - aaah, but you pulled through it there at the end! Another 1 hr PR for the King!

King Arthur said...

Shawn, I know you could have run just as fast if your knee was better. Then of course sprinted at the end to beat me by 20 seconds.

maniac hippo said...

Wow Arthur! The elevation gain thing is an eye-opener for me. I would have expected even more distance than what it shows.

It was great to run with you, if only for a mile or so and listen to your considerable wisdom. I'm always taking notes. I hadn't even realized that Shawn was there: she is someone that my tiny hippo brain always misplaces when I see her in a different setting -- totally unfair to shawn and always makes me guilty.

Somehow I expected even more of a gap between us at the end: you always look so strong in these things; maybe the gastric problems took even more out of you than you think?

See you soon Arthur!

GotLegs! said...

Great job out there Arthur! You're getting more and more consistent and self-aware from a running point of view. You remind me somewhat of Charlie Chrisman ... who runs a 50 miler at his marathon pace. What's up with that!

And yes Hippo, Shawn looks different when not in her running attire ... with her hair down ;-)

See you at the 12 hour ... to watch you defend your title ;-) *tc

Wife and Kids said...

We just wanted to say how proud we are of you!

Journey to a Centum said...

Arthur - I'm sticking with the alien theory with you and tc. You had to be feeling the 12 summits run from the previous weekend in your legs. Great job!

Cool elevation profile. I like the way you were able to compare the two runs on the same graph.

Glad you were able to wrangle up some pictures of yourself at the event. Sorry mine didn't end up on the camera memory.

I don't know what Thom Riley is smoking by saying I can finish the 50 mile in 9 hours. Guess I'll just go with 9-11 hours to cover the spread.

I'm sure we will see each other some time during the day at Capitol Peak.