Sunday, August 24, 2008
The inaugural Silver Lake 50k/50 mile/Relay was held yesterday on Potowatami Trail in the Pickney Recreation Area and was comprised of 12.5 mile loops for the 50 mile participants and a shorter 6 mile out and back for the 50K participants in addition to that 12.5 mile loops. With temps predicted near 90 and humid, I told myself that I needed to stick to a hydration plan and go out slower than expected if I was going to finish and told Dirrty Girl to expect around a 10 hour finish.
I didn't sleep at all the night before and was up and ready to go by 5 am. I thought I had done a good job packing my gear and cooler since with the loop option i could easy access every few hours but on the way and with it pitch black out i thought I might need a light and of course had forgotten that. A quick stop @ a gas station and $8 later i had a flashlight, but in the end I didn't need it and will just keep it in the drop box from now on.
Arriving @ the course around 6:15 am for a 7 am start, i had to wait until approximately 6:45 am for the race management to show up with race # and with a quick pre race mtg indicating to follow the yellow markers and aid stations are @ 4 mile/9 mile and the start/finish we were off @ 7:05 am.
Lap 1 2:11:36 10:32/M 12.50 - My mind playing tricks on me...
With an air horn start, 20 individuals and 2 relay teams started, and immediately a group scampered on ahead. Within the first 2 miles my shirt was soaked from the heat and already my mind started the proverbial chatter with my body on maybe we should only do the 50k, why are we doing this and it is gonna suck out here today, lets just walk. I maintained my run 9 min/walk 1 min pace throughout the first loop and passing the aid stations (sparsely stocked, like only having jelly and forgetting PB?,) took in what I think turned out to be my lifesaver in Endurolytes every hour. I also faced the reality that with so few participants that I would end up running approximately 99.5% of the race by myself.
Lap 2 2:22:54 11:26/M 25.00 - Cruisin
Starting lap two, I promised myself that when I returned back to the start/finish that I would reward myself with some Advil and a Mountain Dew. It always takes me a few hours to get going and lock myself in and I settled into a fairly good rhythm. Somewhere around this loop i started running 8 min and walking 2, but the important thing I felt was to keep moving forward, keep hydrating and keep popping the endurolytes. Even if I left an aid station with my stomach sloshing a bit, I knew I just had to keep taking in the fluids. The trail provided shade, but did little to stymie the heat, and at times looked like you were running towards a haze.
Lap 3 2:42:09 12:58/M 37.50 - Dirt off your shoulder
As I reached the halfway point, it was damm hot. I reached into the cooler and used a bandanna soaked in ice to try and cool off. Popped a few Advil, grabbed a 20 oz Dew from the cooler and took off knowing that if I stayed too long, I might think about cashing it in. An infusion of caffeine helped perk my energy and somewhere between the start/finish and the first aid station i completed DDMC #8 along with my typical trip and fall. I don't know what it is but at every ultra, i have been running along fine and then BAM, I am on the side of the trail on the ground. I liken it to a wake up call, not one that I really care for and a reminder to keep your eyes on the trail.
My pace really slowed, and I alternated between running 5 min and walking 5 min and if I felt good to running 8 min and walking 2 min, but made sure that every 10 minutes the beeper was going off and I was sipping from my bottle. I was never so happy to see an aid station at the 9 mile mark of the loop as in the 5 mile stretch I had drained my bottle in like 45 minutes. This lap I saw several 50k participants who really looked like they were struggling and were holding their own inner dialogue as to why they were out there. They thought I was nuts and just told them to keep putting one foot in front of the other and keep moving. I had to make it sound believable even if I was really having a go at keeping a good pace.
Lap 4 2:41:21 12:54/M 50.000 - Run it
I reached the 37.5 mile mark at like 7 hr and 13 min and still entertained thoughts of a sub 10 hour finish, although each lap had gotten progressively slower. Grabbed a coke, popped some more Advil and started walking with 50k finisher who was just heading up the trail a bit. Graciously, she took my empty can so that I didn't have to carry it for another 3 or so miles. Promised myself that when I got to the first aid station that I could listen to some music. I actually got to the first aid station a bit ahead of the last lap, donned the shuffle and started groovin. Had to stop and relieve myself a few times during the last couple of miles and even though it looked more like the Fat Tire Amber Ale I had the night before, I was certain this was a good sign that I had been taking in enough fluids throughout the race. It is a cool feeling to know that you are going to finish an ultra and if that had anything to do with me running a wee bit faster last lap than the third then it is what it is. Popped out of the trail with a few minutes to spare before 10 hrs and crossed in 9 hr 58 min/11:58 min average.
Crossing the line, I found out that I had finished 3rd overall and 1st in the mens 39 and under group. Woo Hoo! I actually won a free pair of shoes! Out of the 2o participants to start, 10 finished and talking with one guy who has done ultras all over the country it was hot and he wasn't going to risk it with a slew of fall races. If I didn't have another one scheduled for the year, I might have thought about cashing it in early, but there were some personal demons that during this race I felt I slayed. First, in prep for my first 50 miler last year, I had started a 30 mile training run in some heat only to hit the wall and cash it in. Yesterday, I stuck to my plan, started slow and kept hydrating and finished. Secondly, I DNF'ed my first 50 miler out on Potowatami during Dances With Dirt after getting so lost I was way behind on time and quit. There was no quit today.
A quick dip in the lake, and I drove home as Dirrty Feather awaited me to watch the Men's Olympic Marathon, as Dirrty Girl and Little Dirt Dawg were on their first "real" camp out @ a state park.
Friday, August 22, 2008
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Round Trip Commute Distance: 37 miles
Time: 2 hr 43 min
Got to thinking that even though it seems like I spent a lot of time riding to and from work, a closer inspection might reveal otherwise.
If I were to drive to and from work it is about 60 minutes conservatively, and that is if I do not stop for some java which can add 5 -10 minutes. Now, let's say I want to get a run in either before work or after or both and assume 8 miles total. That is at least 75 - 90 minutes depending on pace and doesnt include getting ready to run and so on. So at the very least with commuting by car and a run, I may use 2hr 20 min to 2 hr and 40 min of which only 50-70% is spent exercising.
If I could only figure out a way to commute more often.
Monday, August 18, 2008
My mind was working really hard, and then it came out, "Yeah." No, no no, i thought, aren't I more than that? What if I said I am a ultramarthoner too? Would she even know what that meant? How about I ran a 3 hr 24 min marathon earlier this year and maybe hope to qualify for Boston? Wait, I've got one "Dirt 3 hr 24 min marathoner Dawg, 50 mile participant this weekend? Instead, I handed over my debit card, got the pics and left.
However, as i started rolling towards my next destination, it got me thinking, "What do you call yourself?" When you meet people do you introduce yourself as a: runner,
5ker, 10ker, half marathoner, etc? How do you make that distinction? Is it based on what you are training for and hope to achieve or what you have just done? Today, I had said I was a marthoner, this weekend an ultrarunner, and in a few weeks a 5ker as I push dirrty feather. Some say the difference between a runner and a jogger is an entry blank or 10 min per mile and under.
Lately, I have been thinking it has more to do with a lifestyle. A rambling from Running into the Sun about a guy who ran like 5 miles and then the Boston marathon as a bandit had her all in a tither as she describes the training schedule she is deeply committed to that will produce a likelihood of great success for her come October. That is why I can with all good faith call myself and Running into the Sun, a runner. A concscious, purposeful decision to lead a lifestyle that will allow us to see the Earth as quickly or slowly over roads and trails with ease. What do you call yourself?
Saturday, August 16, 2008
Clif Bar is promoting the 2 mile challenge on the premise that 40% of urban travel in the US is less than 2 miles per trip. Why not hop on your bike for some (or all) of those short jaunts about town, and save the atmosphere the hassle of dealing with your carbon emissions -- there's already too much to go around. Furthermore, America owns close to the most bicycles per capita, but is close to the bottom of the list when it comes to using them.
Seems pretty simple and something doable, since we live close to downtown Royal Oak, and many of our trips this summer have been by foot or bike. This week however, we have made a much more conscious effort to use our bikes.
Places ridden this week:
1. To local track for dirrty girl to get in some 1/2 marathon prep. little dirt dawg and dirrty feather ran a little and played on the infield. Note: bring soccer ball next time
2. Grocery shopping..only 2 bags worth will fit in Doodlebug with kids
3. Beauty treatment: eyebrow and laser...not me
4. Presidential election volunteer gig....dirrty girl
5. Kickball tournament.... sadly Double Duece bowed out after a valiant effort
6. Obligatory green cruise during the Dream Cruise
When all is said and done for the week, approximately 38 miles covered bi-pedal and just over 3 hours not stuck in a car nor emitting harmful poisons into the air. May not be much, but it is a start.
Thursday, August 14, 2008
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Monday, August 11, 2008
Friday, August 08, 2008
Thursday, August 07, 2008
Departing from the condo, I made my way downtown for some java and a muffin before heading over to the visitor center to ride the hiker shuttle which departs promptly @ 6:30 am. The shuttle drops you of @ a park n ride and another shuttle had me to Bear Lake @ 7:15 am.
Heading from there, I scooted up to Alberta Falls (pictured above) and then down to Glacier Creek Trail to Storm Pass Trail and finally ending @ Lily Lake where Ranger Little Dirt Dawg and Dirrty Girl where waiting to give me a lift home.
Trip Distance: 12.45 miles
Time: 3 hr 15 min
Unfortunately, the real world calls.
Wednesday, August 06, 2008
Tuesday, August 05, 2008
Saturday, August 02, 2008
Distance: 3.4 miles roundtrip
Time: 1 hr 23 min
Start/End Elevation: 8,780 - 9,786 ft
Net Elevation: 1,006 ft
The trail was pretty uneventful for the first .7 miles before the final mile gave way to all of the elevation gain and the last 100 yards or so had you climbing rocks to reach the summit.
Back to the trailhead by 7:15 am. Buzzkill put it best when he said, " I am glad I did not sleep in this morning."
Friday, August 01, 2008
Distance: 7.2 miles
Time: 2 hr 8 min
Start/ End Elevation: 9,040 - 11,413 ft
Elevation Gain: 2,477 ft
Getting to the trailhead and started early is the key if you want to have a lot of time to yourself with minimal human contact. The reward for today was watching the sun rise up over the mountain. Sweet.