Monday, September 17, 2007

Tulsa 50k

Missouri Boys before the race

Saturday after Corbin's football game John and I headed to Tulsa for the Turkey and Taturs 50k. I was looking forward to running again in Tulsa and seeing some people I haven't seen in a while. Rick Mayo was also heading down for the race and Carey Smith was staying in my room along with John. I had already got in 65 miles during the week and was just using this as a good training run for Traveller. Rick had tapered for the race and was planning on giving a good effort, John was not sure about his pending results since he had just completed his first 50 miler in Des Moines with me 2 weeks earlier.

Nerd Boxes

We had pretty good weather for the race it was about 68 when we arrived at the start. They started the race with an exploding potato and all 3 distances took off together. It was really tough the first few miles. I started way to far back and got stuck on single track behind a lot of people who seemed to slow to a walk whenever the trail was technical at all. After about 2 14 minute miles I was able to get away from most of the slow train of people and run a bit easier.
Carey and Rick were far ahead by now so I just settled into a comfortable pace and took it easy for the first 15.5 mile loop. I remember the course being rocky and very technical but it was even worse than I had remembered. I decided to try and get under 2:45 for the first loop and hopefully come close to the same time for the second loop also. It started warming up pretty quickly and I soon was dripping from head to toe. The course had a few really long and steep hills which were mostly out in the open but other than that it was mainly extremely rocky terrain with short ups and downs. I finished the first loop in 2:43 and grabbed my Ipod and fresh bottles at the turnaround.

Our second loop was in the opposite direction so I had a good idea how close the runners in front and back of me were. Carey and Rick were about 1 1/2 miles in front of me and John was about 1 mile behind me at the turnaround. There were several runner within 1/2 mile of me who I was pretty sure I could catch on the second loop.
I kept about the same pace for the second loop and passed a few people in the process. I fell behind on my S Caps but I didnt want to stop to dig them out so I just kept going. I cramped up pretty bad the last few miles but was still able to finish in 5:31, about 5 minutes faster than last year.

Rick ended up winning the race!! There were 2 runners who finished ahead of him but they both went off course so they were DQ'd. Rick may have a broken finger from a fall on the first loop but was still able to put down an awesome time. Kevin Dorsey took second and Carey Smith took 3rd place.
The first place female was also DQ'd, she had someone pacing her at the end. I guess she was really dehydrated and was falling down and her pacer was helping her stay on the trail. She was screaming with cramps at the start/finish and had to be taken away by ambulance. John finished in 6:11 and did very well only 2 weeks after his first 50 miler. After the race I hung out and talked to a lot of people who are heading to Traveller Oct 6th. Myself, Rick, Carey, Kevin Dorsey, Mike Samuelson and Tom Brennan, last years winner, are all heading down for the race.

I am really getting excited about Traveller since there are no other races left before it. I have trained extremely hard the last several months and put in a lot of miles before other races just to build up my endurance for my next 100. I am ready to run this race more than any other race I have done. I am looking forward to having so many other people I know running and hopefully I will have the opportunity to run with them for a while. I feel I am prepared physically and mentally for this next challenge.

Today I feel like absolute ass. All 3 kids have strep throat and I am afraid I do too. My throat is killing me and I have been sneezing and shivering all day. I am trying to stick it out at work and hopefully will feel a bit better tomorrow. I was able to get in some weights and 6 miles at lunch but really should have taken a nap instead. Have an awesome week and live it while you can.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Next stop.... Tulsa

Last week was pretty rough, I had to work a lot and was not able to get in many morning runs. I only got in 50 miles but I was also still in a slight recovery mode from the Northface 50. I am not leaving for Tulsa until Saturday afternoon after Corbin's football game. John and I are driving down and Carey Smith is crashing in our room also. I am not tapering at all for this race, just using it as another long run for Traveller. I would rather get in a lot of miles this week than do well in the race.
Last year we had a good time at Tulsa and I axpect Brian Hoover and the Taturs to put on another excellent event. It will be a short trip since we are planning on coming back right after the race. I haven't put much thought into Traveller 100 yet, I will need to get started on all of that soon, hopefully next week. Not much interesting this past week, be safe and run strong.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

North Face 50 mile

Last Friday I made the trip up to Des Moines, Iowa for the North Face 50 mile endurance challenge. Mark Stovall, myself and John King headed out from the Hotel friday to go see the course since we had not much idea of what we were getting into. Once we got to the Park entrance I could definitely tell this race had some money behind it. There were about 20 North Face tents, portable Ice coolers, Lighting systems, and banners and signs everywhere. We spent the next few hours following the course map, looking for markers to follow the next day. It was clear after we finished scouting the course that we were in for a lot of pavement running the following day, about 43 miles of the 50 was on pavement.
The race started at 5:00 which meant at 3:15 we were up and getting ready for the day. Kyle Amos, Josh Pool, John King, Mark Stovall and myself rode to the start finish together arriving about 30 minutes before the start. I met Brad Holzworth who started Running for recovery, a group which I recently became a member of. We chatted for a few minutes then before long it was time to get going.

My goal was to just run steady and finish under 9 hours. I wasn't planning on running too hard, just keep moving and get in some long miles towards Arkansas Traveller. The first few miles were mostly in grass about 8 inches long mowed along the edge of a field along side a gravel road. It was required to have a light for the start since the sun wouldn't be up for over 1 hour, so the long grass was foot soaking at the beginning.

The run was pretty uneventful for the most part. I just kept pounding away the miles. We did run over some pretty wooden bridges on a few of the paved trail portions and there was also a street bridge over 1 mile long we had to run over. The police were on site all day there to keep one of the 2 lanes closed for the race which made it a lot safer. I ended up finishing in 8:14 which I was okay with.

The best part was to see John and Mark both complete their first 50 miler successfully. John finished in 9:13 and Mark in 9:23. I think this was a great race for them to get their first 50 miler. The pavement sucked but there are not too many easier 50 milers around than this one to get started on.

Overall the race was excellent, the aid stations were no more than 4 miles apart and very well stocked. Most of the volunteers had no prior ultra experience but seemed to catch on quickly as to what worked well. There was tons of food and several booths set up at the finish, along with Ice bath tubs and free massages. Dean Karnazes ran the half marathon and was around hte finish for most of the afternoon. He gave a short speech and handed out the awards to the various winners.
He was very friendly and easy to talk to. I know everyone has varied opinions on him but he really impressed me. I asked him about the Tour De Mount Blanc last weekend he ran in and he really went into a lot of detail about the race and how much different the European races are. I was really amazed by the way he looked. I knew he was cut, but seeing him in person was different. It really inspired me to get my diet back to the way it was when I started running, which I have started doing since that day.

All of the participants got a North Face shirt, visor and water bottle along with some bottles of accelerade and misc stuff in the goody bags. After the race the RD said there was a bunch of water and accelerade that they had left if we wanted to take any. Somehow John and I ended up bringing home 9 cases of water in sports bottles. 12 boxes of granola bars, 25 cases of accelerade and 6 cases of accel-gel, so we should be well stocked for a while even after giving some of that to Rick. Luckily John's Father in Law had his truck at the race to bring it all back home.

My family spent the next few days in Des moines and relaxed. We stopped back by the store where packet pickup was to do some shopping. I ended up buying a pair of Vasque and Keens for myself, shoes for all the kids and several North Face and Patagonia kids items for really cheap since they were on clearance half off and we got a 20% of coupon from the race also.

I have been out on a few short runs the last 2 days trying to let myself fully recover while still getting in the miles too. Only 11 days until the Turkey and Taturs 50k, so I can't lay off too much. I am starting to get that excitement building knowing that there is a 100 miler coming up soon. Soon the excitement will change to nervousness but that is a few weeks away.