Sunday, October 23, 2011

Stone Steps 27K Oct 23, 2011

Well, I survived my first trail race. If my knees hold up, this may be a regular thing. The temp at start was about 40F, and the atmosphere was laid back. The race director introduced some of the runners (50K) and it was impressive. I have been reading Dave Riddle's blog (Riddle Runs) and there he was looking relaxed and hanging out. He set a course record last year and as it turns out, broke that record today. More about Mr. Riddle later.

The 50K people started at 8:00 and my 27K group at 8:30. They would "do the 5+ loop 4x and the 3+ loop 3x. I would do each twice. I started near the back and really enjoyed the first long leg. Lots of rocks/roots, narrow trails, and really steep climbs including the stone steps climb that is steep and high. Everybody walks these. I entered the transition (or whatever it's called in trail races) and Sue has a fresh bottle and gu(s). I used Gu Brew and it worked great.

The short loop was easier and I actually felt like I was running. It was on this loop where Dave Riddle passed me. He was flying down a hill with rocks at a 6 min pace. It was really cool. Back to transition and Sue had the first bottle filled and stocked with gu. The second long loop was interesting. My limit was not heart rate or breathing but leg muscles at their limits. I did not cramp the race but I would back off when they warned me they would. My only fall of the day was on this leg. I got lazy, did not pick up my feet enough and kicked a root. No damage, just some mud. I wore my biking gloves per recommendations I read and they worked great to absorb the landing.  There is another hill called gummy bear hill and there is a box of gummy bears at the top. So I stopped this time and popped a few lime bears. The 2nd one was not good as I choked on it. This loop was a bit slower than the first but I still felt good.

Yes I'm running. Actually looking for the direction to the next loop.

The last short loop was painful. My knee was hurting, especially going downhill. I actually forgot the course at one point and waited 5 minutes for a runner to come by. The trail was very well marked, but the easy field portion confused my rattled brain. Every landing on my right knee was very painful. But I finished and so all was good.

Dave Riddle had already finished, so I got to see him get his award. Sue had talked with him before I finished and told him I was a fan of his blog. So I met him and that was cool. He is a down to earth guy and you would have no idea he was not just a middle of the pack runner by his demeanor. Quite the contrary.

No question Mr. Riddle is running.

Ok, subtract 30 as the clock started at 8 for the 50K.
I checked my Garmin and it showed an ave heart rate of 155 and a max of 175. I rarely get over 160 so I'm not sure it is right. My ave cadence was 80. (edit: garmin/hr was new, turns out my tempo's are 155-165, and max is 175)
Apparently I hit 7 min miles a few times, but pace is not a good indicator.

I read somewhere the total climb was over 5000 ft and that sounds about right. (the 50K is 10,700 ft)

My goal was 3:30 and I think I was 3:45 or so.

The winner gets a few hundred for winning and setting a course record.