Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Deception Pass 50K Race Report

A mile on the road to start out, and then everyone converges onto single track trail. The weather is a typical Whidbey day of overcast clouds, but I've seen this enough to know it's not going to rain. I run into my friend Ian, and after catching up, address the fact we are both recovering from injuries. Our shared desire to simply complete the run manifests itself in our decision to stay together near the back of the pack, at least at the start.

The first seven miles of the the run consists of a crossing of Deception Pass Bridge, three 'lollipops' around various peninsulas, and two passes through the same aid station along the beach. The views are incredible. The 'lollipops' allow for myself and others to offer words of encouragement, and receive them as we pass each other. My spirits are high, and I've completely forgot about any issues with my knee.

I loop around 'Pass Lake' and begin to pick up my pace, and pass those starting to tire after being out here for ten miles. After recently dropping Ian, I get in with another runner as we cross the bridge and head up to Goose Rock.  The sun is actually making an appearance as I run along single track trail with clear views of Cornet Bay.

The power hike up Goose Rock results in my hands on my knees, as part of group of three. We crest the top and get to a fork in the trail. Numerous runners are standing around, not knowing which trail to take, as there are pink markers on both trails. Confusion sets in, but we are quickly led down the correct part of the trail by another runner I'll refer to as 'Puff the Magic Dragon' (use your imagination, it's Washington state, and we just passed a pretty newsworthy law in the past month). At the base of Goose Rock, I follow the signs to Hoypus Point, prepared for the next 16 miles.

My Dad thinks his Blackberry takes 'fine' photos.

The remaining part of the course is two loops around Hoypus Point. The mud is thick and unavoidable in many sections, but I know what to expect after my training runs here. I push it through the first loop, and pass another couple of runners, and then start to get tired around the 26 mile marker. I throw down only my third serving of Shot Blocks on the day, and let that carry me to the finish, as I literally begin to cramp as I cross the finish line in 5:10:52, good for 18th out of the 88 that finished.

Follow to Glenn Tachiyama's Photos 

In regards to this run, I am grateful for being able to participate, and finish.

In regards to this sport, I enjoy the pure simplicity and the happiness it gives me.

Beer and Pie and Soup and Happy.

Pre-Race Food: Dinner out with Dad. Broccoli chicken with brown rice.
Pre-Race Music & Book: Stubborn Love, by The Lumineers and Unbroken
Post-Race Food: Pie. Soup. Bread. Beer. 

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Deception Pass 50K Pre-Race Thoughts

It's like a homecoming of sorts. After years of Whidbey Island being my 'on again/off again' home, I always cherish going back here. I ran the 25K here last year, and the first thought I had upon my finish was, 'too short'.

I've been averaging 45 miles a week, so this race will end up being my lowest weekly mile output, from a training perspective. My legs were fresh until Thursday of last week. Then my left knee started giving me some slight discomfort, so I backed off a bit with training, and eliminated road training (not that fun anyways) altogether.

I've been going back and forth on what shoes to use, and I've moving forward with the Saucony Peregrine 2's. I've been doing the majority of my miles in them, and they feel the most comfortable. They don't have the greatest grip when wet, but I do feel much more agile with them (I'll need the added agility for this course).

Other variables I'm intrigued to evaluate:
  • Fueling: Almost another subject in itself, but how does a high-fat diet work out on race day?
  • Shoes: Does the shoe choice impact speed or comfort? 
  • Knee: Does it factor into the race?
  • Course Knowledge: Does knowing, and having run the course in races and training, benefit me?
  • Training: Does the lesser amount of training miles affect me?

Finally, pics from where I've been training the most: Dash Point State Park, Deception Pass State Park, and Mt. Si.

Dash Point State Park

Deception Pass State Park

Deception Pass State Park

Mt Si.

Deception Pass State Park

Goose Rock, Deception Pass State Park