Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Ironmasters' Trailmasters Challenge 50K - 4/28/13

A few months back I ran a 50K.  Big whoop, right?  My previous longest race was exactly one year prior.  On 4/28/12 I ran my first trail marathon with some amazing runner friends.  One of them was a big player for refocusing my lifestyle towards defining myself as an athlete again, that's Kelly Agnew, ultra runner extraordinaire.  Another was my girlfriend Kristen.  She ran her first half that day, too.  Our enjoyment and pride in finishing that race led HER to find this 50K, not me.  She gets more credit for this torturous trek through central PA.

We had signed up for this race about 7 months before the actual date.  As 2 fit adults, we have no business running any more if we can't be prepared in that time frame.  We'd trained, we'd fueled and the race could not have been a more amazing day.  I'd bought a gopro camera for, among other things, this race.  I thought it would be a great way to document our races and other adventures and I'd wear it for 31+ miles.  Why not?

We'd both had race plans.  Kristen's was under 9 hours.  Mine was 7.  7's the magic number.
Well, this was my first raceplan.  Having hiked the first half, and hardest parts, of this course, I knew what to expect.  I made some assumptions, a few guesses and I thought it was solid.
Ironmasters Challenge 50k Raceplan4/28/20137:30:00
SectionMilesPaceGoal timeTODCutoffAid StationMile
17.70:16:002:03:129:33:12CP1: Michener Cabin7.7
25.20:12:001:02:2410:35:3612:00:00CP2: Woodrow Road12.9
33.10:12:000:37:1211:12:48Water Station 1: PA 23316
43.40:12:000:40:4811:53:3614:30:00CP3: Brickyard Pavillion19.4
540:14:000:56:0012:49:36Water Station 2: Old Forge Road23.4
650:14:001:10:0013:59:3617:45:00CP4: Cold Spring28.4
72.830:12:000:33:5714:33:33FINISH LINE31.23

CP1 follows 2 serious climbs.  That was really the hardest part of the race and I made some pretty good guesses at my raceplan.  I hit CP2 dead on to my plan.  Then, the wheels fell the hell off.  I wouldn't say I spiraled out or completely failed but I was dogging.  Section 3 should have been a nice, flat jog at an easy pace.  I was 15 minutes off after that 3.1-mile leg.  The subsequent legs all followed suit and I rolled in at about 8:33:08.  

I hadn't thought of it all day but until I was done, I recognized my downfall was fueling during the race.  Too long of a gap of refueling between the start and in the early stages left me high and dry right right where I crashed at Water Station 1.  I had carried with me a Nathan quickdraw handheld and a fuel belt with 2 more water bottles.  I kept water in my handheld and Hammer fizz in the 2 belt bottles.  I carried some Gu, energy blocks and some other random electrolytes and carbs I picked up at REI.  In addition to that, I relied on the checkpoints and the bananas, trail mix, candy, Gatorade, etc. there.  

Ironmaster's Challenge won that battle but I'll be back in 2014 for sure.  

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