Thursday, August 8, 2013

White River 2013 Race Report

See what I did there? Specified 2013 in the title. This experience was certainly not to be confused with 2012. What follows is a brief comparison of 2012 vs 2013.

2012 - Didn't really know too many people, and a fair amount of my training had been done solo.
2013 - Got to watch, and hang out with, a number of people I have met at races or trained with in the past months. Luke (9:39) and Rich (9:34) had great runs. Paul came in at 9:20. Matthew ditched 'back of the pack' status, by dropping an hour from last year and coming in at 10:26 . Greg apparently had a 'dark' day the last half of the race, but persevered to come in at 10:21. I met a number of other runners as well, as the ultra community continues to grow and grow.

With Paul and Luke at the finish

'GI Issues'
2012 - I took six (6) bathroom breaks over the last 14 miles of the course last year. Four of those occurred in the final six mile stretch.
2013 - One (1) bathroom break. Running Skookum flats at 11 minute miles. Legs are tired, but I've got a group of five guys right behind me. Three miles left and I trip and fall, catching myself with my hands. I look behind me and see the group of guys has stopped and I exclaim 'Go, go, go, don't wait'. They all stand their ground, don't move, and one of the runners says 'No way, we're following you, keep going'. Then one mile out, it happens, the urge can't be controlled. I run off trail, let the group go, and have to drop my pants to do work. A couple of runners from that group come up to me at the finish and thank me for pulling them all along the final stretch.

Enjoying the climb up to Sun Top. Clear views of Rainier all day. Photo Credit to Glenn Tachiyama

2012 - I took gels, Shot blocks, candy, soda, clif bars, along with PBJ's and some chips. I didn't eat much the last eight (8) miles due to not wanting to increase my GI issues and generally feeling bad.
2013 - Nature Valley Sweet and Salty granola bars, Trail Mix granola bars, Oatmeal squares, S!Caps, PBJ's and potatoes at some aid stations, and 2 pieces of watermelon. At least 300 calories per hour. No deviation from this, and I used my drop bags to store a re-supply of bars (and hold some extra contacts if needed, and wipes).

2012 - The plan was to save energy for the second half of the run, after Buck Creek. I didn't do this as well as I would have liked and hiked most of the second climb. I remember running the downhill after Sun Top fairly well, but I crashed and burned on Skookum Flats, walking that section along with multiple stops.
2013 - Started out in the top third, power hiked and slow run on the first climb. Ran 'comfortably' down to Buck Creek, but was able to really power hike/slow run the second climb fairly efficiently. I maintained an 8-8:30 mile consistently on the downhill from Sun Top, and then maintained a low 11 minute mile along Skookum Flats. Overall, never felt like I was 'pouring it on', but always felt like I was giving it all I had for a 50 mile race. I ended up feeling pretty spent at the finish line. I left everything I had on the course.

Skookum Flats. Photo Credit to Takao Suzuki

My time, of 9:10:07, was a 58 minute improvement from last year and good enough for 39th place. I learned a number of things.

  • I ran through a slight 'niggle' in my left IT band on the way up to Sun Top. I've learned that unless a bone is sticking out, you can pretty much just keep on moving, and things tend to go away.
  • I've learned that eating is important. I think it's more important taking the time to slow down and digest food, whatever it may be, rather then thinking I can just 'push through it'. Also, I've learned that Gels and Chews/Blocks are not for me. Soda isn't bad, but it needs to be in small quantities. My body favors 'real' food.
  • I've learned that running with friends is much more fun. This isn't the Hunger Games, we're just all out for a run. I got to spend some quality time with Mr. CCC100 Pacer Luke (read his report & blog here) in the early miles along with Greg and Matthew, run with a group of guys in the later miles, and enjoy some beers with a good group at the finish.
  • I've learned the importance of pacing oneself. It's really easy to let the adrenaline kick in during the early miles and go out with the leaders. It's really fun in the latter portions, to run past the vast majority of those people that went out faster than they can sustain in the early miles. I'm confident in my ability to manage my effort over the appropriate distance.

Thanks to Luke for letting me crash with him and his daughter following the race, Matthew for the beers, and all the organizers and volunteers for a consistently well run event.


  1. You rocked it man. But after admitting to reading and/or watching the Hunger Games, I will berate you during the CCC night...

    11s on Skookum is solid. I look back and am all 14-15s. Ouch. Way to keep it solid.

    Good that the fueling plan/GI management is coming together as well.

    Almost time to execute :)

  2. In regards to Hunger Games = Jennifer Lawrence. Enough said.