This past week, I was stalking some of my friends on Strava and noticed that Amy Burton said she had labeled a few runs as "tapering" runs. So I thought I would be nosey and ask what she was tapering for, it was the Whiskeytown 50k. So after seeing what we were doing this weekend, just Julia's soccer game (in which she scored her 3rd game goal ever :) ), Melanie let me go to the race.
The race is put on by SWEAT (Shasta Wonderland Elite Athletic Team), and as is the case with every trail race I have done so far, the volunteers were great and race was well organized. http://www.sweatrc.com
I signed up on Thursday night about 20 minutes before the online deadline. I knew it was going to be a rough race as I didn't really train for it, but this was ultimately my fitness goal - I want to be able to train for a few longer races (50m / 100m) a year but be able to go out and run a 50k on a weekend without much training. I think if I ever want to hit a "podium" I will have to train specifically for one, but if I see a pretty one that isn't just a loop course, I want to be able to just go out and do it. This fit the bill really well, far from a looped course this had at least on the map a lot of single track and by all descriptions it had a great deal of varied terrain and climb.
I got up at 2am in the morning to start my drive - a bit too early but I am nervous about being on time and it worked out well - I got to the start at about 6:30am and was able to check in and get my bib. There was quite a turnout from the Quicksilver Running Club, 5 women and 3 men.
At 8am we started, I decided last minute to just use a hand bottle as I haven't been feeling comfortable with my pack from Ultraspire (the Kinetic), on two separate runs I had a bottle fall out when running the downhills. I think I just need to work on the fit a bit (at least I hope). I felt like I started pretty strong, it was all up for the first 4 miles and I was going pretty strong. though about mile 9 when I tripped and hit my knee. That is where I started making up issues ("my knee hurt, my achilles hurt, whine whine whine"), a bit early for me to do this :). Luckily there was some downhill (next 5 miles) that I was able to enjoy before the next set of uphill (that is sort of the problem with downhill there is always an uphill component to it :) ).
I used Tailwind, and in retrospect with an email conversation with John (who along with his wife have been great helping me with training and stupid questions), it seems I might not have been taking in the calories I should have been. I was looking at taking in about 200 to 250 an hour, he was saying I should push more toward the 300 to 400 calories an hour. Hard to say I am still trying to feel out my calorie intake options, but I believe him obviously he has a ton more experience than I have. (mark that one down a lesson learned for the next 50k I find)
I felt ok (besides my whining as I have mentioned above) until about mile 19 or 20 where my hip flexors started to hurt and I was having a problem pushing myself. I started to go uphill and even though some of it was pretty runnable, I slowed down to a faster hike. Even the downhills where I thought I was going pretty speedy, turned out to just be 10 to 13 minute miles :)
It was also this time when we hit the creek crossings. This is some pretty scenery where you navigated about 10 or so times across a creek, the first few I was able to stay dry but after that I just ended up getting wet. I am happy with my new Nike Kiger's they drained well and didn't have any issues with blisters. I used the Injinji socks as well so can't complain for sure if getting wet and a good distance with no blisters. Good combo. I wish I had my camera for some of the areas in the back, it was very pretty as I mentioned and sometimes unrunnable as I had to weave through a tree branch and gingerly cross a creek. Couldn't have asked for much more out of a trail ultra (single track varied terrain is what I enjoy). Unfortunately I spent most of this alone, which I don't mind but still talking to folks makes the hours running go by pretty quick. I did connect with another Jeff for about an hour and we chatted before he left me in the dust (at that mile 14 or so).
Not much else to say on, I was a bit disappointed in my time, as I think I could / should have done better the last 12 miles or so I need to work on core strength so I don't hit that wall at mile 19/20. My calorie intake needs to improve. All in all I had a great time glad I did it for sure. I finished in 6:31:32 which beat my first 50k by 17 minutes, which I am happy about because there was about 1500 feet more elevation climb on this even though it was at a lower elevation. I finished 23rd of 49.
My next "ultra" will be the North Face Endurance Challenge 50mile in December, so I hope to have those things a bit more "dialed in" so I can do well. Even with the news it isn't a Western States 100m qualifier now, I still would like to do well.
My quicksilver teammates did very well as you can see -http://www.sweatrc.com/Results/Ultra/50K/2013.txt
One picture that I liked