Wednesday, July 30, 2008

2008 White River 50 Mile Race Report

9:38:39, 11:34/mile.
68th overall out of 238 starters, 202 finishers.
54th M.
13th in M 40-49.

40:12 improvement over last year.

I didn't have a game plan going into the race. This is very unusual for me but I've been preoccupied with other more important issues in my life. I expected to do a lot better than last year because my weekly mileage since April is about 25 miles per week more than last year. I did scratch down some splits so I could hold myself back in the beginning and keep on track at the end.

I figured if I got to Corral Pass a few minutes ahead of last year I'd be in good shape for the rest of the race. I was right, I got there 10 minutes ahead of last year. But I had already made 2 mistakes. The weather was warmer than I had planned. I made the mistake of wearing too much and I was sweating heavily all the way up to the A/S even though I wasn't working hard.

I quickly shed my extra clothing and chugged my trusty mocha and I was gone. I felt good and moved fast on the few climbs to the next A/S. I got there after passing 3-4 runners and filled 1/2 my bottle (they said they were low on water and that's all I needed) 15 minutes ahead of last year.

I cruised down to Buck Creek passing 4-5 runners. This section felt better than the two times I ran it a couple weekends ago. I didn't push too hard because that usually makes my bonk at the Airstrip. I didn't have a drop bag here so I was in and out fast 21 minutes ahead of last year.

Taking it easy down to buck creek seemed to payoff because I felt good on the flat section after the A/S catching 3 runners that had left the A/S before I even got there. I climbed strong up to Fawn Ridge running most of it. When I got there I asked for iced GU2O but didn't get any ice. He probably didn't here me and I didn't check until I was leaving and figured it wouldn't matter. I down my "trusty" mocha (mistake) and was outta there 29 minutes ahead of last year.

About 1/2 mile out of the A/S I started to feel slightly nauseous so I slowed way down (mistake) in an attempt to calm my stomach. It worked for a few minutes but then I rapidly got worse. Up came all the contents of my stomach. From the sheer volume I'd say it must have stopped working 1/2 way to Fawn Ridge. I've puked before and normally I bounce right back but I didn't this time. I started to sip on my water knowing I was now way behind on fuel and fluids. I just couldn't stomach that much at one time. I soon fell into a huge bonk. I shuffled along best I could trying to nurse myself back to life while being passed by a dozen or so runners. The cool wind at the false summit helped a little as did the downhill to the Sun Top road crossing but as soon as I started going uphill again I still had no strength in my legs. I staggered past Glenn and into the A/S. It took me a long time to get there but I made it and still 20 minutes ahead of last year.
I was quickly revived at the A/S. I had some cold water and coke and a cold sponge bath. I started down the road at a slow pace but quickly got into a grove, I even passed 4 runners. Even after the road flatten out I was able to hold a good pace. I was in and out of the last A/S quickly but not before a volunteer told me that Tony and Heather came through 1/2 hour earlier looking strong. With just one section left I was 30 minutes ahead of last year and was sure to be under 10 hours which was my "I should quit running ultras if I can't make this time" goal.
I moved quickly through the "Flats" and passed 4 more runners but I got passed by two girl that made me look like I was going backwards.

I finally made it to the finish with a 40 minute PR but not before getting in my one fall of the day. Luckily I have some time to figure out how to fix things before CCC.


Jon said...

Good work on the PR and gutting (literally and figuratively) it out after you reached Sun Top.

Would you have really dropped if you couldn't make 10 hours?

King Arthur said...

Thanks Jon!
No, I wouldn't have dropped but I would've had to consider if Ultras are really for me or not. I've put a lot of miles and effort into training this year and although I didn't taper at all for this race I still expected to do well, like not getting sick at 32 miles.

Jon said...

Very cool! I have no doubt you'll rock CCC and Plain - AGAIN!

robtherunner said...

I heard through the grapevine you got sick near Suntop. Hopefully you can figure that out before CC100 and Plain.

I think I already sent you an e-mail about your question, but if not, I am training on the Plain course, but have not committed fully to Plain. I need the training first.

Anonymous said...

What a very respectable PR, despite some of the issues you faced that day! Fun to see some familiar faces blasting by us out there, as we mere mortals clung onto trees and stuff for dear life to let you speedsters pass.

By the way, it meant a lot that you came on over and personally congratulated me at the end of my race, l..o..n..g after you'd already finished, even though we don't really know each other - just recognize each other from some of the races (i.e. your great Lake Youngs Ultra).

No doubt you'll achieve your goals for CCC, too! A bunch of us will be out there at the Hyak Aid Station, volunteering and cheering you guys on.

Linda W.

shawn said...

I'm sorry you got sick. I am surprised you didn't rebound quickly as I've personally seen you puking your guts out and then start racing again as if it didn't happen. Remember - you still raced a 40 minute PR while getting sick.

by the sounds of it, you probably gained a lot of time on us through the airstrip and up to Fawn Ridge.

Hmm, that's weird that I didn't see Heather on the road? She must have been just ahead of me.

Now, get yourself ready for a whipping at CCC by an evil task master? Mwahahahaha! :) It's going to be another PR for you I'm sure.

*tc said...

Arthur, I think your race was fine and that your adjustment(s) were great! This, if nothing else, makes you a good ultra runner. There are those who don't know how to adjust and end up with a DNF (self included at times).

My experience and having run with you tells me that you may have made a mistake by not eating at Buck Creek. Your time savings was lost and more with your nausea and puking, which I believe would not have happened if you had kept your motabalism working through there. Just food for thought (pun intended).


Steve S said...

No taper trainging thru for CCC, blow bonk and receover, and a big PR. What a big adventure. I don't doubt you are an ultra runner, you just set high standards, which makes it a little harder to appreciate what you have acomplished.

Kevin Claus said...

We were probably trading places out there on the trail, as I finished in 9:21. Great race report, and congrats on hanging in there after blowing chunks. If you're interested -