PSALM 92:14 NKJ
14 They shall still bear fruit in old age; They shall be fresh
That bible verse was in my daily devotion this morning. Ok, maybe I’m not that old, but I am definitely fresh and flourishing. My best days are yet to come.
Until today the only 50k I had ever run was Lovin’ The Hills in Louisville. Today I ran Another Dam 50k at Englewood Metropark in Englewood, Ohio. Comparing one trail run to another is a dubious exercise since each course is unique in length and elevation changes (hills). That being said, my only reference for how fast I could run a 50k was Lovin’ the Hills. My best time there was 6:30. It is a particularly difficult course because of the numerous long and sometimes steep hills. I knew the AD 50k would be a much flatter and easier course, but it would also be much warmer. I was expecting high temps in the upper 80’s so I thought I might try for 6 hours. The course consisted of a 7.7 mile loop repeated 4 times. The first loop had an additional .2 miles at the start to make the total distance exactly 31 miles, so said the race director Frank Fenton. I started out way too fast and ran the first loop in 1 hour 15 minutes, on pace for a 5 hour finish. I figured I didn’t have anything to lose, so I decided to try to maintain that pace. Lap 2 which was .2 miles shorter was again about 1:15. Lap 3 was about 1:19, slowed a little. The final lap 1:22. Total time 5 hours 11 minutes 23 seconds. Needless to say, I’m very happy with that time. Oh yeah, those high temps, never happened. A storm came through bringing with it rain, wind, thunder and lightning, and most importantly cooler temps.
I’d never run this race before, but the course had to be modified from previous years because of flooding. The race started in the west side of the park. The first leg ran to what is normally to only aid station. There was then a loop from and back to that aid station. Then a final section back to the start. The first two laps were relatively dry with just a couple mud patches. By the fourth lap all the rain produced mud on all the dirt trails. I’m guessing nearly half the course was pavement. There were only two hills that I walked on the first three laps. In the last lap I walked a couple of other smaller hills. I was hurting pretty good in the last lap, but was running with a couple of guys whose names I don’t even know, but the three of us kept each other going. I know if I had been running alone I would not have kept pushing. At the end though I felt pretty good and finished with a pretty good kick. Once again the Hammer Nutrition regimen is validated. I woke up at 4:30 and ate breakfast, English muffin with natural peanut butter and banana slices, about 300 to 400 calories. I left home at 5 and arrived at the race site around 7:30. The race started at 8am. During the race I drank 200 calories of Heed, ate 5 or 6 Hammer Gels and perhaps 200 calories of pretzels and potato chips. I also took in 6 Endurolyte capsules. That’s just less than 200 calories per hour. I never felt better at the end of a race. When I wasn’t drinking Heed I was drinking water.
After the race I ate a couple pieces of pizza, washed the mud off my legs, and headed for home. Of course I stopped at the Starbucks and got a venti mocha frappuccino to fuel me back to Indy. What an awesome day!