Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Beacon Rock 50K Race Report

I'm going to write a slightly unconventional race report for this run, as much as a story would be great, it didn't seem to play out that way (at least in my head) for this run.

To summarize, the run was a loop course through Beacon Rock State Park. 25K runners do one loop, 50K runners do two.  An extremely fun course, that I would do again in a heartbeat.  It was a perfect mix of everything I love about trail running: gradual climbs, steep climbs, wide open double track, narrow single track, technical single track, 'runable' single track, rocks, roots, creeks, forests, views, plenty of extremely fun downhill, and then the smallest amount of road just to remind me why I find very minimal pleasure in running on pavement.
I ended up with a time of 5:44:24, good for 11th place.

Heading up the second climb, there is a runner about 50 yards in front of me.  They turn right to go down the trail at a T-intersection.  I get to the intersection and notice there is marker directing me to go left. I pause, and it sets in they have gone the wrong way.  

"Wrong way!"

No reply, and no movement down the trail from what I can see. I run down the trail - the wrong way (the way they went, about 100 yards).


No reply. I can't see the runner, and I'm bellowing at the top of my lungs. I look up the trail to notice a couple of runners have now passed me and headed up the trail the right way, and decide that I've done my due diligence.  I feel bad, but get back to running, as the runner will soon enough realize they have gone off course.

Heading up the second loop, after the 15 mile turnaround, I see said runner.  They are wearing headphones/earbuds.  

Conclusion: If you're going to wear earbuds on a trail race, it's my opinion to either keep one in and one out, or keep them at low volume. And don't, for any reason, wear noise cancelling earbuds. I don't wear earbuds, as I like to hear the sounds of the forest and things around me.  I think it's part of the experience, to listen to everything around me.

A majority of the first 15 miles is spent running close by a man and his husky (or other big breed of dog that strongly resembles a husky). The dog is extremely well behaved, and does its share of passing me at points, and then allowing me to pass it at points.  The man was slightly behind me at the 15 mile turnaround, and ending up leaving his dog at that point to do the next loop alone.  The dog obviously paced him well, as he passed me halfway up the 3rd climb, and I never caught up to him.  I heard him mention at one of the aid stations that she would drink from the streams and creeks during the run to stay hydrated.

Also, a girl finishing the 50K came in with her husky leashed to her backpack.  How cool is that?

Conclusion: This made me want to get a running dog.  Not a little yappy dog. Not some cute lap dog. Not a crazy dog. Rather, a dog that has no problem training up to do the occasional 50K with me.  

My fueling for this race went extremely well.  I consumed some sort of gels, blocks, or soda every 20-30 minutes.  I drank every 10-15 minutes.  I took in 3 S! Caps throughout the race as well.  I never got double vision, never had stomach issues, and felt entirely level-headed the entire race.

Conclusion: Discipline and education are essential in fueling. I'm learning more about hydration, nutrition, and overall endurance. With that, my body and training are adapting.  I've yet to encounter any major problems with food or stomach issues, and I completely attribute this to discipline with my diet, especially during a race.  It should be interesting to see how things go in my first 50 mile race.  My understanding is that when you get to the 50 and 100 mile events, proper fueling is something that is a much more vital aspect of the race.

Do Work
Poop happens. I've been carrying handi-wipes, and realizing if I gotta go, its alright to go bushwack into the woods for a couple of minutes to feel immensely better for the rest of the race.  That said, I didn't have to go during the race, and slight urge only came when I was pounding the final downhill.

Conclusion: While it could be the result of high fiber diet, or consuming too many calories during the race, I would rather have enough fuel and energy during a race, with the drawback being I may have to take a bathroom break here and there. 

I'm going to post further on this later in the week, but this was first run in my new Ultraspire Surge and not with my Amphipod Bottles.  Suffice to say, I liked using the vest much more than carrying bottles.  It felt much more comfortable to have my hands 'free'.  The pack was very light, and I really didn't notice a difference whether the H2O bladder was full or empty.  As well, it made it extremely convenient to carry my gels and other various things in my pack with me, and not have to carry anything around my waist.  Again, will post on this further in the week.

Conclusion: I really enjoyed running with a pack compared to water bottles.  I hardly even realized the pack was there, and I will certainly be using it in future races.

Pre-Race Food: PBJ and Apple
Pre-Race Music: Limited to a couple of Chevelle Songs. More reading, as I finished off Vince Flynn's Kill Shot
Post-Race Food: Apples, Cookies, Potatoes, Chocolate Milk, Bridgeport Hop Czar

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