Categories
life running

Day288 weekend joy

[old post] originally written on 2019 Veteran’s weekend

It was a wild weekend and I was still running high on adrenaline just thinking about it. I spent 12 hours in the car to do an eight hour marathon. I spent eight hours running before, and even 10. What tired me was not the race, but everything surround it, either before or immediately after. I overpacked my weekend, as always.

If it was the usual running, I wouldn’t have been so exhausted. It was too three other camping trips or outdoors events in one weekend, plus the cold weather, that really got to me.

Thursday, I came home past midnight and was franctically packing for the trip. Why I always leave things to the last minute? I don’t know. I had many things to pack.

I intended to do a bike ride on the race course on Friday, which mean I had to hit the road at dawn to get myself down to the course around noon. Fortunately, I didn’t wake uo in time on Friday and didn’t leave my house until 11. I brought my bike any way. It took up all the backseat section of my truck. Luckily, I did not try biking because it was way too dangerous. I am not a pro to do downhill biking with such steepness they have there at Kairos resort.

Then I had to pack for Friday night cold camping. I brought the usual stuffs, tents, sleeping bags (two of them), fleece blanket, pillow, toiletry kit, food, cooking kit, fire kit, safety/med/first aid/injury kit, water and filter, flashlight and batteries, camp shoes, and hiking boots, and lot of thick hiking socks. Cold weather gear – wind breaker, wool layer, a base layer, long johns, spandex underwears, head cover, gloves (two kinds, inserts), and more socks (for sleeping). Then duffle bags. You got to waterproof them even if no rain was forecasted. I got together four or five bags. Yes it was overkilled. Oh, let not forget my stuff animal. I love my cat! It served as a good pillow.

Then of course the big event, the race itself. You got of think of clothing for pre-race, race, and post race. Pre-race was a fleece jacket over a long sleaves and a short sleeves. I had tights on. I ran with my camp boots with two layers socks. I had two buffs on, one over my head and one around my neck. I had my racing glasses and a heavy trucker cap. For hydration pack, instead of being minimalist, I had a 20L hiking daypack. It held my phone (which I forgot in the tent), my thick wallet, my Sawyer water filter but forgot the sawyer water bag. My set of keys. I carried a wool long sleeves, and a clean shirt to wear at the end of the race. Two bottles one with half filled with Gatorade, the other empty to be filled at water station because this race was cupless. I also carried an empty hydration pack (2L). Keeping all the things needed for the race was not fun.

During the race I stripped down to only one layer and the rest of stuffs went into my day pack. After the race, I pulled out a clean set from my pack and bundled up. I know I could have left everything at the starting line (because starting and finish line was at the same place) or use the dropbag and left them at an aid station. Silly me to carry everything on me. I don’t think though that was a reason it took me an hour longer to run the 50k.

Ah, I placed in my truck also four pairs of running shoes. In the end I did not wear any of them. The hiking boots did it all. They are now very muddy. Surprised to me some finished with very clean shoes. I am just sloppy I guess.

Don’t forget the food. I brought lot of them, both for pre-race dinner and breakfast. I did my shopping on the way. Unfortunately, I did not pack the food to eat during the race. I brought a lot of food too for after the race meal. You have to eat a lot to add back the calories lost during the race. I did not eat that much though and brought all the food back home. I did not have an appetite after the race!

Saturday night camping was an optional challenge. I could have driven six hours home that night. I would have arrived around midnight or a little after. However, I had a habit of sleeping immediately after a long workout, so driving the long distance home would have been a very bad idea. Or I could have stayed at a motel/hotel along the way. Spending money for such luxury and I did not want to when there was the ‘free’ /low cost camping available. My campsite was only $15 with race discount (about a price for my meal).

The other option was to go camping at a place nearby. Jefferson Forest is just down the street (still about 30-45 mins away) and Salem, which is where I wanted to do my hiking (the Triple Crown). I thought about going there and hiking about 10 miles into camp. So, I packed a separate bag for all the light weight gear for this second trip. Fortunately, the plan didn’t pan out. I stayed the second night at the race course venue. It was all by myself then since everyone else had left and I got to unwind on a dark and cold night (moon was up). Still being by myself, the night felt darker.

I had the Saturday night camping as an option was because my friend and I were supposed to go to do the Triple Crown, which is really close to where I was racing. I would have gone there if I knew for certain that my friend was going to be there and that she would be happy to see me.

However, she said her plan has changed since I was going to do the race and she did not feel like driving six hours to hike by herself. For me too doing it by myself was no fun, knowing she probably was not there. Also even if she were there, we kind of still left on a sour note the Friday morning, so I did not want to run into her not knowing how she would reacted if she saw me. It was a no-no to be out in the middle of no where with someone who doesn’t want to be with you. However, I had all the gear with me and was ready for that trip after my race. I just was not able to will myself to do it. Physically, I know I can do it, but mentally, I was not.

I had no regret because there was nothing better than to be able to unwind after the long race. I did. I built a fire, both for cooking as well as I had nothing better to do and there were a lot of fallen branches. I sat all night by the fire by myself tending it. This was a big thing, because I was not good at making a fire.

Then on Sunday morning, I had to leave at the crack of dawn to drive back and to have everything pack up ready to roll out. However, I overslept again! I would have a long drive of about 5-6 hours back home, except I was not going home. So it was not a leisure packing up, but a rushed packing. Just I threw everything into the back of the truck and drove. The morning was beautiful!

One of my friends wanted to do a day hike in West Virginia at Harper Ferry. It was his birthday and it has been a tradition we started last year to get together. So, I was beating the traffic to get back by 11ish to meet up with him and his other friend.

I packed a separate bag for this day hike too. I would be simple since at most we would be doing only 5-6 miles. It is a cake walk for me. However, a hike is a hike. I carried the daypack that I ran with on Saturday. The day was warmer, but I had my fleece jacket on. I had hiking pants and boots. My pack was light. I had a fresh shirts and pair of socks.

The birthday event took whole day, but there was still one more event left — church. I didn’t mind the slow pace stroll. We had a lot of fun catching up. It though caused me to be late for evening church. However, I ended up of not going. I had packed a fresh set of clothes for that event. I had also intended to shower first before going to church. I did not want to smell like I had ran an ultra and spent two days camping and a day hike before arriving at church. In the end I missed the evening church.

I closed my day with stopping by my mom’s place. This was not planned. However, they don’t care how bad I smell. I found out then everyone there was sick, from the oldest to the youngest. Even the family dog was sick. I stayed a long time, talking and listening to my mom talked.

This post ended up longer than I wanted to. It was because, man I had an awesome weekend both with the race and time by myself, and with friends and family. I did not end up being with the one I wanted to be with, but it was definitely a worthy trade-off. Sometimes, you can’t have everything.

[race] https://antin.blog/2019/11/11/epilogue/

Categories
running

day287 50K around Centreville

[old post] I wrote this up to recap last weekend run. Boy don’t they come fast. Happy Memorial Day!

I did a 100k the week before, so it was no surprised I tried a 50K the following weekend. I started to be more familiar with the roads around my neighborhood and a few nearby neighborhoods as well. I am always searching for a new place to run.

I did a virtual marathon couple months earlier when we first started the shelter in place Centreville [Marathon]. Originally, I had no name for this 50K, but Centreville 50K seems appropriate, though the race went through Chantilly and Fairfax as well. It was not a virtual race, I didn’t attempt any virtual race when I started out. I have started to run high mileage, and so hearing 50k doesn’t daunt me as they used to be. A 50k was just another run.

I started to enjoy the longer runs more because I am not dying during a long run. There is this point they call it the wall when your body is out of energy (glycogen) and it has to either convert your muscle cells to energy, which is typically the case or to convert fat cells (as I read it somewhere) to energy. It hurts and you can’t run fast and if you are dehydrated, you can’t think well either. You feel really mess up. So most people hate hitting the wall.

But now, not every long run will cause me to experience hitting the wall. Maybe I am better at constantly fueling the body with high sugary drink and food. That is a great feeling when you could run indefinitely and not feel tired. Quite a contrast from before. If you read my first couple virtual marathons, they were a struggle to finish. Now, it is like running a 5k or 10k for me. Well almost.

It was a low key 50K run. I knew it would be a long run 20+ miles but I didn’t know how long it was going to be. My weekend plan like any other weekend was to run until I drop.

The mind is a funny business. If I feel a hard run is coming up, I would avoid doing it. I woke up pretty early. Thinking back, there is no need to fear a long run. However, I was putting the run off the whole weekend. I was going to go out at 7-7:30 and have it done but it took me the next five hours to get myself out. First I told myself, I had to have breakfast. Then I did various stuff including uploading my blog. I delayed further by browsing on the facebook page. There are so many people showing various places of where they were running and I could not separate myself from it. Then I started to feel hungry again, so I said I need to eat again, since it would be a long run, you need a lot of food for energy. Ended up, I didn’t step outside until 12 pm.

Luckily I had all my runner pack and snacks all ready the day before because I wanted to do the long run originally on a Saturday, but my body didn’t feel ready. The 12 miles on that Saturday was a struggle. How I hated that run. This run though was a breeze.

Sunday run was totally different even though I started late. I knew it the moment I started running. Usually I need 2-3 miles to warm up to pace. There was no struggle at all, I was in my rhythm and on pace right at the beginning. It is a long run so my pace was slow but it was not dragging slow like on Saturday. You can tell. My breathing was better. I was not struggling for air. My legs were fine. They were not heavy. There was no pain or discomfortable anywhere.

The idea was distance. I need lot of them. This one was to rack up ton of mileage (I am in a 1000k virtual race and need a lot of mileage during the weekend to keep my standing). With the late start, destination run was out of the equation. I wouldn’t have the time to finish the run if I were to head for Reston or to Springfield unless I am willing to come home the next morning and the next day is a work day, so it was out of the question. My boss wouldn’t be pleased if I had showed up half dead. Destination runs would take more than a day. I decided to just run a boring loop. In the end it was a hybrid. I combined the routes of the last three weekend runs together. It was a mini destination run to my old neighborhood. The idea hit me while I was in the run itself.

I ran down on Stone road as I usually do. It was quite familiar to me, having done so many times in the past two months. Stone road became West Fields and then became Walney until I reached Lee Jackson Memorial. While from time to time I would make some loops into the neighborhood, which I also quite familiar now, to rack up the mileage. I was able to turn what normally a 4 mile run into a 12 mile run, that takes skill! That was my first leg. That was quick impressive to make a run three times as long in a relatively short stretch of the road. Apparently a coworker of mine saw me on the road, and she later emailed me about it. At the time, I was totally focused on my run.

As usual I made a pit stop at my mom’s place. She was home and I was able to top off on food and water and I stayed maybe 20-30 mins.

By then I already had in mind where I wanted to go. The time was after 3 pm. It was late but not too much. I was not pressed for time because now the sun doesn’t set until 8:30 and doesn’t get dark until after 9 pm. I have plenty of daylight. I wanted to head to my old place where I lived during my high school years. It is about 4-5 miles away and I planned to do loops there (at least once) at the ‘government center’, that is what that area is called. It started as the Fairfax county government center but now it has been redeveloped as a commercial and hip residential place. I feel our county is rich enough to rival our state government, that it even has it own district, very similar to our nation government district (in DC). I grew up running loops in this place (of course back then it only had only one road and now it is a whole maze).

That was my aim. I knew I could get 15-20 miles from going this place easily.

I took a new way there by using the county parkway. Instead of strictly following it like the previous week when I ran to Springfield, I took some turns. At first I ended up in an unfamiliar neighborhood since they had redeveloped the place. The street name was familiar though. I ran down Monument drive. After couple miles I came out to the area I recognized.

I drank too much water before the run and I needed to make a pit stop. Only store I could think of was to go into the grocery store. At the same time I could refresh myself with drinks and snacks.

I ordered a cold chocolate mocca, but because I had my face cover on, the lady gave me a hot one instead due to the confusion of the word ‘ice’ and ‘white’. Beat me how that two words get mix up. The outside temperature was pretty warm and I was dripping with sweat. Oh well let not give her a hard time. She did repeat my order couple times, it was like do you really want this drink and I thought I’ve heard her but in the end she still got it wrong. Maybe because people don’t drink coffee that late in the day. Hot and cold though was in a different catagory.

There marked the end of my second leg. I was hoping a quick in and out to use the bathroom and then top off with some liquid and calories and be on my way. Now I had a big cup of hot liquid in my hand. I couldn’t run unless I drink some of it and it was too hot to just gulp it down. I went out. They had a park nearby with benches. I sat on one of them and watched the traffic and enjoyed my hot brew. It was most relaxing part of the run to say the least.

Once my coffee was done, I hit the road again. Spinned around the government center. I used the old 5K race (PR birthday bash/Run Your Hear Out) route there. I finished in the shopping center and there were a few employees from a restaurant on break and they clapped for me as I went by to the invisible ‘finish line’.

By then it started to get late and I headed back home following almost the same way as I came. No stop for a 2nd cup of coffee. My mom was no longer there to answer my call either when I passed by her place. I was a bit disappointed. I carried enough water on me though. I zigzagged the remaining miles to get 31 miles out of the run.

At the last couple miles, I passed by a thai restaurant. It has been my habit to eat at a Thai place on my run. So I went in and ordered the usual Tom Yum Soup and Thai icetea. I really need to learn how to make these. I saw you can order the powder on Amazon. Any way I told the guy, I am going to run home and come back with my car. So I finished my last couple miles in my fastest time and it was the most motivated mile ever! I wanted to take a shower too when I got home, but I didn’t want my food to get cold.

I mentioned in another post the down side of having the long run on Sunday was there no time to wind down afterward. I got my food around 8:30. I went and did grocery shopping and I think I didn’t get to eat until 9-9:30. Then with stretching and showering and cleaning up, it was midnight by the time I went to bed.

The worse thing was that late afternoon coffee kept me up until 2 AM. I don’t know when I felt asleep, but I felt I was awake the whole night. Luckily I was fine the next day. I was a bit tired in the morning but it was a satisfying run.

Watch data with map. 7:47 hrs and 31.5 miles

[Marathon] https://antin.blog/2020/03/29/day254-virtual-run2/

Categories
life running

Let get the show on

Day 237 / weekend

It is almost a typical weekend, all peaceful and calm before the storm.

COVID19 is getting everyone on their nerve in the US. As a runner, I am kind of nervous since I signed up many races months beforehand and would not like any of them to be canceled.

While watching the status of my much smaller local races (the Reston X Miler (10 Miler) and the Seneca Creek Greenway run), since the State of Maryland has declared a state of emergency, I couldn’t help but drawn into the discussion about the LA Marathon. California too has declared a state of emergency. Personally, if the governor declared an emergency all should treat it as one. But many people do not. Many runners joked about 6 feet of separation the health officials advocated to runners and fans of the LA Marathon. We laughed about it since both races will be on this weekend. Mine is on a much smaller scale of several hundred people, but still the risk is there with any gathering of people of possible contagion.

As a runner, I wouldn’t want my race to be canceled. My race director sent out couple emails confirming our local race is still on in spite of everything.

And so, I got myself to bed early and hauled myself up before the crack of dawn. Here I am toeing at the start line.

This would be my 2nd big race of the year. Yes, there will be many more to come. This is like a testing run, a first trail marathon (50K) for the year.

I will write more when I finish the race.

Categories
running

epilogue

Day 192 Old Glory Ultra

pet peeve. I just found out I mis-numbered my blog posts and so I went back to the last 20+ entries and corrected them. I screwed that up big time. It is my pet peeve if the number is not in sequence after discovery.

I just did the old glory (OGU) trail run (on Saturday) and it was just a long long weekend. I won’t able tell all about it. It was a 50K ish run. The actual miles were about 29. Still, I won’t complain about the missing two miles. It was intentional. The race director said it is a trail run and give or take couple miles is a norm. It was a tough course with 7,000 ft elevation change. However I enjoyed it tremendously.

It was almost a race I had to skip out. About twenty people did not show up. Only three of them wrote to the race director about it and requested deferral. The rest were no shows. About 30 of us finished. We and at least I was, had a lot of fun. It was my best racing experience I had. Trail running is a total different beast than road running.

My best friend who also my normal camping buddy, had a slight misunderstanding days leading up to the trip. I was going to go camping and then it was canceled and then I found it was still on. Luckily it was resolved peacefully early Thursday morning. My friend thought I dumped her for the race (well I kind of did), but she was mad at me for not telling her about the race. Whereas I was on the otherhand, thought she dumped me for going camping solo and that the stars had aligned perfectly for my race weekend. A chance in a million! We now found out it was one big misunderstanding. Still I have to make a peace offering once I get back.

Now about the race itself, I camped the night before and night after at the race site. The race took place at Kairos Resort in Glen Lyn, Virginia. It is about 6 hours south and west of DC. It was not any type of resorts that usually comes to to mind. There is no skiing. I don’t think it is a hunting ground. Sure there are bears and wild turkey. They do not have and probably won’t be building lodges. It is just a campground with many miles of dirt trails for bikes and ATVs. It is a remote place and normally runners don’t go there for running, but it was perfect for us for our race. The closest ‘real city’ is an hour away. I have heard some people got Airbnb from Princeton, WV, which is much closer. But I camped on site.

Why it is called a resort is we have a camp store (Ed’s place) and a Bathhouse. Those were two places that were heated, but because the temperature was so cold Friday night, the water pipe froze and there was no water to flush the toilet on the race morning or water to shower at the end of the race. It was kind of to be expected. They had couple of pottajohns. For guys going to the bathroom was not a problem, since we can just go behind a tree. I think the ladies too.

The temperature was below freezing. I went to bed early. My water jug was partially turned to ice. However the temperature went up on Saturday on the race day midway. We had a perfect running temperature. Oh, I had to make a real fire to cook because my gas canister for the jetboil was too cold to work.

This was the second year of the race. The race director think it will gain popularity. I like the aspect of camping out the night before the race. However, it was too cold for most friends and families and even runners. Most runners are not campers like me.

The trail was challenging. It was my first real technical trail race. There are rocks, stream crossings and mud. The race director warned us not to zone out. I did couple times and the first time, I rolled my ankle and the second time, I missed a turn. We were miles away from any easily accessible roads. They would to use ATV and 4×4 off road vehicle to even get to our aid stations. Man, I thought the race was done for me at the half way point and I was about to walk out to the nearest aid station. Pain went down and I continued to run the course.

I finished in 8 hours but the first guy finished in 4 and half. The last person finished at about 9 hours. We all finished before dark. The race director said the course is tough but it is not the toughest out there. I think it was very enjoyable. I viewed it as 30 miles of hiking (and I ran in hiking boots). I wish to do again either next year or the year after if schedule allows.

Oh, why I love ultras, all you get for the race was a bowl of chili and a trucker cap. I love my trucker hat. I ran with mine on. The finisher patch did not arrive on time and the Race Director apologized for that, we said, that was not why we run. We got a high five from the RD at the finish line.

Love the trucker cap. Me coming in strong for my chili bowl. I was the probably the only one wearing hiking boots because I don’t like muddy running shoes and wet feet. I know, got to work on that if I like running ultras.

Categories
running

Old Glory Ultra prep

Day 190

I don’t like counting my chickens before they hatch. But I am overjoyed that this weekend I will be running another ultra: Old Glory. It would be my fourth lifetime ultra. It really came at the last minute so I am scrambling to get my mind into running shape and line up my logistical support. Physically, meh, I haven’t trained as I should. But Ultra now starts to get easier. I am not as fearful about them as with my first and second one.

It was not a last minute sign up. I signed up for this race back in the summer after doing the Eastern Divide and before I got sick. It was part of the three race series: the Eastern Divide, the High Bridge and the Old Glory.

High Bridge race was last month but I couldn’t make it (I went to Wild Oak). Luckily, the race director allowed me to defer it until next year. I thought I would also have to defer for the Old Glory too due to overbooking with my hiking events.

It is not really overbooking – because I have a policy of first-come-first serve. I will do what ever first on my calendar. If it has been on the calendar longer, it must be important and anything that comes after it usually are less important. Do older things first! But then sometimes that isn’t the case, that is when hell breaks loose like this time. Then I have to evaluate what thing I value more.

For me it is hard to choose between running and hiking, which was what happened. If it is purely on the activity, I will always pick running first because that is my joy and passion. Nothing get between me and a race. How often do I go out to the woods by myself just to hike? Almost never. Unfortunately, this year, I gave up three races already (two of them were deferred) and Old Glory would have been my fourth. One of it though was really worth giving up on a race (Roan Mnt backpacking). When you add spending time with a friend to the equation, things get murky and that was what happened.

My hiking buddy also planned this weekend hiking/backpacking trip (we changed venues and dates couple times) for months and it landed on my race date. Actually, that was how I missed the High Bridge race too. I race every weekend almost so I told her not to worry about checking my race calendar. I will suck it up when that happens.

So I have been holding my breath with a hope maybe I still get to run the Old Glory. Finally, I got a message yesterday that the hiking/backpacking trip would be canceled and she won’t take me along. Well it was kind of my fault to suggest that the trip is too cold to do. I camped in colder weather before though.

With the hiking trip canceled, now all my race machinery starts humming again. I am wishing for warm weather. I checked the race director emails, got the last minute race instructions, got the race location and start time, cut off time and now I am studying the course. Basically I need to get my brain into racing mode. Yup, weather will be nice for running. Low 50s. Perfect.

This race would be the last long run before my dreaded 50 miler (JFK50) coming up in two weeks. I am still in denial about that.

Categories
running

MCM no. 44

Day 186 race report

I woke up the morning of the race at around 3 AM, having slept maybe 5 hours. Originally I set my alarm for 5 AM, but I felt I needed more time to prepare. The night before, I was too tired to pack my things after coming back from a hiking trip. It was the first time I woke up this early for a race. I know, with Ultras, there might be a day I will be at the course by 1 or 2AM in the morning.

I had my early breakfast. Cold breakfast because I was too lazy to cook. I had to have some food in me. Packed. We had to pack a second breakfast because by the time the race starts, I would be hungry again. I was out of the house by 5. I took the metro (light rail) to the starting line. Metro opens at 6 just for this event. I drove to a far away station in Springfield instead of taking a closer one, Vienna. The reason being, is to avoid making a transfer. I did this race back in 2017, and by the time waiting for transfer, I could barely made it to the race start, given that time, I missed the first train and had to wait for a second one that was like 15 minutes later. That 15 minutes was a big different. This time, no transferring and I made sure I was at the station 15 minutes prior the first train in order not to miss it. I barely made it on time for that due to not familiar with the station and the parking. The train moved out the station exactly on the dot. I got on my train. There were lot of runners like me. My race started at 7:30. I got to the race around 6:30. But there were a lot of people when I arrived, 30,000+ of them. It took us some time to leave the station and to get to the starting line. This time I came a little bit earlier and avoid the crowd like I did back in 2017. But there were still a lot of people. From the metro, we had to walk about a mile to the runners village. By the time I got to the village, and gone through security check, the starting time was near (only 30 minutes left). I walked up to the starting line and that was a long walk too (maybe quarter mile long). 50K has only 1700 runners and we felt many has dropped out due to the rain.

We had a tropical storm blowing from Texas. It hit us around 7-10 am. I have been watching this storm system since the beginning of the week. We were hoping it would skip us. There were a lot of water coming down from the sky. Bucketful of water. The race started on time. Luckily the storm did not last too long (maybe for couple hours). It came down early and then went out of the area, fast moving storm. We had sunshine for the rest of the race.

Having run the course before, this time I was well prepared. I did not go out too strong. Last time I tired myself out by mile 13. This time I am doing the Ultra 50k, which added about 4.8 miles more. The course still remained much the same. We did the extra 4.8 miles at mile 4.5, when we left the normal marathon race course and run a 2.4 miles out and back before rejoining the marathon course.

By mile 4, the elite runners already caught up with us. We ran about half a mile with them. Note we had a 25 minutes head start. We left the regular course at mile 4.5, and came back in. By the time we came back in the course many runners already ran passed. It was raining heavily at the time. Many runners were already walking. I assumed they were doing 16-18 mins per mile. We the 6:00 finishers were still going at 11:33 mins per mile. This was one of the greatest concern for the ultra runners. We would come in from behind and it would be a challenge to move pass the slower runners. While there were a lot of people, I was able to still pass them. Based on simulation, we would be passing 6000 people the first few miles. We passed a lot of people, but it was very hard to keep count. I was running between 10:30 a mile and 12:30 min a mile pace depending on the crowd. Experience definitely helped at this point. In the previous Marine Corps Marathon, I was expending too much energy weaving in and out of the crowds that by mile 13, I was completely exhausted. This time I was basically going with the flow and passing when I could. I know I would pass them, but I did not get frustrated if the person in front was a bit slow. I know they would a bit slow until the very end. Since they closed both sides of the street, I could run on the opposite side. Not many people did (they fear of being DQ I think for going off the course). I ran mostly on the opposite side (or on the median) to pass people. And it was great. I did not have to weave in and out the crowd too much.

Most people were respectful, they used hand signal to let people know they are stopping. There were not too many people running in big group this time. I could get by most of the time. There were just a lot of people. The course did not really spread out until their mile 13 as expected, our mile 18.

The rest of the race was mostly uneventful. Being an ultra runner, I brought my own water and food. I had more experience than the rest of the crowd. I did not slow down at many of the aid stations unless I ran out water. I got some oranges and gels from the aid stations later in the race, when I did not see that many people crowding there. I felt I was one of the few around me who could keep the energy up. I ate early in the race, before even the first official food station. I had real food (peanut butter sandwiches). I did not “hit-the-wall” until final two miles. Even then, the last minute gel got me through. One word about those gels, it almost turned my stomach inside out. I thought I was about to double over and throw up. Maybe I was drinking too much water by that time.

About pacing, I was with the 6:00 hour group. I was mostly in front of them. They were going maybe 30 seconds faster than the supposed pace in the beginning. We were running at 11 min pace until mile 5. Then the pacer decided to make a time correction by walking couple minutes. I had my 5:00 (hour) marathon pace band (I felt as long as I get to the 26.2 mile, I could finish the rest of the way). I arrived at the 26.2 mark exactly at 5:00 on the race clock. The last 4.8 miles took me an hour to get through.

I walked much more in the final few miles. I stopped for beer (from the crowd) and a picture. Bummer too the rain ruined my camera phone. A fellow marathon maniac ran up to me and we took a picture together with her phone at the final few miles. The final hill was hard. Having ran it before, I knew the hill was not long, so I pushed on. It was hard. Many other people flew by me. I crossed the finish line at 5:58:something on race clock time. I did not run a perfect even pace, but it was the first time, I arrived exactly at the time I wanted to arrive.

I think picking a 6:00 arrival time was arbitrary. I felt it was a bit too fast for me. I could have picked 6:15 or 6:20, then I would not have felt so rush. I did not want to push too hard, since I have one more race (a 50 miler) in three weeks, and that one I have been training on/off for over a year. I hope this race did not ruin my body for that one. I was not supposed to go all out on this race. I felt I was nearly there.

Categories
running

Race report

Seashore 50k Natural Trail Marathon / December 15, 2018