Some adventures in road and trail running.
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Monday, July 27, 2009

PCT 50 miler: Great day for a 50k. Oh no! 20 miles to go!

On Saturday July 25th, 2009 I ran the PCT 50 miler.
Short version:
I had hoped to really nail this race and run around 8:20. Didn't happen. Still figuring out why. Good hard day out on the trail running with new and old friends alike.
50 miles in 9 hours and 19 minutes
Averaged 11:10 per mile
Awesome crew support from Trisha and the kids!!

Long Version:
Start to Little Crater Lake : 6 miles in 52:28 minutes
The first six miles are rolling and a great way to get out the early race anxiety but one must be careful not to go to fast and dip into the reserves that will be needed on the return trip. Right from the start I had urgent calls to hit the trees. Nerves, wrong food before the race, wrong food the night before...have to figure it out before the Where's Waldo 100 km.

Little Crater Lake to FS58 3.2 miles in 33:48 minutes
Once out of first aid station at Little Crater lake, you have some more rolling and then the start of the first real climb. I loved it. Except for the pit stops.

FS 58 to Frog Lake (Hwy 26) 5.2 miles in 47:46 minutes
This is where you start to do more climbing and experience the first real views of Mt Hood. It really is too bad we no longer will get to do the race up to Timberline...a loss all around in my books. Couple more pits stops.

Frog Lake to FS 58 5.2 miles in 43:20
Stomach started to settle down a bit and actually started to really enjoy the race. Scenery continues to be amazing.

FS 35 to Little Crater Lake 3.2 miles in 31:00 minutes
I was able to finally push a bit here and had likely the most fun of the day besides the step over the finish line :-)

Little Crater Lake back to the Start 6 miles in 1 hour 11 minutes
The dreaded dusty flatlands. This was a preview of the last 20 miles of the race. Just no gas on the ups or the flats. Running downhill worked well. My guesses are I fell behind on fueling in the early stages from the touchy tummy, residual fatigue from Hardrock pacing, lack of sleep in the previous 2 days (Clackamas campground was NOT quite this year)...I think more likely lack of fuel since I could "pound" the downhills when the opportunity arouse. This is where the title of this post comes from. Finishing here would have been GREAT: nice time for a 50km with some decent running. Call it a day. Oh no! Still 20 miles to go :-(

Start to Red Wolf Pass 4.5 miles in 1 hour and 9 minutes
Hot, dusty road running. Seemed to be all uphill for 4.5 miles. Really, really slow. Lots of attempted power hiking to keep moving. Grumpy. Discouraged. The Grandma Wolf aid station really helped and my family loved the recounting of the aid station signs sayings (all Little Red Riding Hood based). I learned to love those little white signs. The ice at this aid station was awesome!!

(Note: I forgot to take a split here and only have the total running time of 2:39:50 for Red Wolf back to Red Wolf)
Red Wolf Pass to Warm Springs Meadows 5.5 miles in 1 hour and 20 minutes
After Red Wolf you get some downhill and then likely the steepest sections of the course. Oh, MAN...those are going to hurt coming back! Then you cross the Warm Springs river and you get the privilege of more climbing. Not so much fun this far into a race. Sealed it for me that the new course is tougher than the old.
I was feeling sorry for myself when I hit Warm Springs. Trisha really helped me by simply saying to "Enjoy the day for what it is". Yep, time for an attitude adjustment. Not the day you had hoped for but still an amazing day out on the trail..smarten up! :-)

Warm Springs Meadows to Red Wolf Pass 5.5 miles in 1 hour and 20 minutes
Back we go. Down, down to the river. Good running, passing some people. Then the flat and then oh, no...the dreaded up. Climb, climb, walk, walk. Even the Lanny and Ruben (first and second the whole way I think) walked some of this section and these guys are TOUGH!
Getting close to the Red Wolf aid station I started seeing little white signs everywhere. And power lines. Where is that aid station. Phew...there it is.

Red Wolf Pass to Finish 4.5 miles in 51:30
The first 2-2.5 miles of this is sweet downhill where I almost got back to really enjoying the race :-) Then I hit the gravel road again. Hmmm...I remember this all being uphill. How come it now all seems like uphill again? I really, really should have had a better split on this section heading out. Next time! Finally see the campground and know I am a half mile out. Spit out onto the road and there is Trisha to pace me in for the final third of a mile.

(Note: I am not sure about the distances. Anyone who can correct me, it would be greatly appreciated. I can't make it work out to 50 miles with the web info and what I remember from the aid station signs on race day??)

I think I did a good job of staying hydrated and salted (win) but was riding the wrong curve on staying up on calories with just the base amount of gels and then PB & J in the aid stations. Maybe should have forced the issue and stuck to the plan? Possibly a good puke would have rebooted the system?

Thank you to Olga, Monika and Mike (race directors). I think you did a fine job of adapting and hosting this race with late breaking course changes. Thank you to all the volunteers. The aid stations were really well hosted with lots of volunteers eager to help.

Now back to planning to be ready for Waldo.


Lori said...

Darin, I think between Red Wolf Pass and Warm Springs the mileage is 6.8.

Thanks for your shout outs along the course. ;)

Trisha had it right--"Enjoy the day for what it is."

Rooster said...

Low on calories...I don't think I ever thought I would hear you say that. I think you should add ultragen to your food plan. :)

Bret said...

I ended up with 49.5 miles on my GPS watch. I agree tougher course than previous years but was fun to have a change.