Wednesday, April 13, 2011

2011 Bull Run Run 50 Race Report

Alright another race in the books for the 2011 season.  I am still learning the ropes when it comes to ultra running and so far I have found out there is a huge difference between a 50 mile race and a 50k or marathon,  I still find the marathon to be more difficult then a 50k but I digress.  After a disappointing JFK last year I came into the BRR 50 this year with no time expectations/aspirations, I only promised myself to run as good as I felt.  As many of you know sometimes during a race you can feel euphoric and other times you can feel as if you are running zombie (sometimes when I feel as if I am going to bonk, my mind feels lucid and it almost feels as if I am dreaming).  A 50 mile race seems to suit me better then a marathon or 50k, maybe it because I am still lacking speed, but what I lack in speed I am hoping to make up with mental toughness.  Tenacity is what I am looking for, I know I am not going to beat many people out there but the only person I am racing against is myself.  I am racing against my preconceived notion of what I can do and how fast I can do it, if I beat others great, if not that is OK too.   For this race I wanted to have a relentless attitude where my objective was to run the majority of the race and run/walk the steep hills.  Overall I felt as if I accomplished my goal and I was rewarded with a time of 10:41:53 (still managed to set a PR for a 50 mile beating my 2009 JFK time by 3 minutes).

Eager Runners lookin' to get it done L to R (Kevin, Ron, Nica, Mary, and Dave)
The weather on Saturday was overcast and temps eventually got up to about 60 degrees, but rain the night before made the course muddy.  Before the race I took my usual Vespa pack and started to pack my bag with some nutrition goodies, next thing I know it's time to get it on.  The race started promptly at 6:30 and we did a small loop around the start/finish area before we headed north on the trail.  As soon as we got on the trail it was a little congested with other runners, but soon everyone spaced out nicely by the 3 mile mark.  I was warned that if it had rained that the northern section on the race would be muddy/slick and wow were they right (enjoy this one Dad, you were right).         
Course Map
I was cruising along and came into the Centerville Road (the first time, 7.2 miles) aid station feeling great, but due to the mud I was a bit slower then I would have like to run (maybe this was a good thing). 
Beautiful Blue Bells
Emily was there to hand me some extra GUs, I didn't need too much as I would see her again when I reached the turn around and came back to the Centerville Road aid station for a second time (11.6). 
Just a little hopping from stone to stone to get across the water
 When I came back to Centerville aid station for the second time Emily gave me a few GUs and sent me on way.  I was just enjoying the day and trying to stay relaxed, but most of all I just wanted to listen to my body.  I wasn't even paying attention to my splits or mileage until I came back to the start/finish aid station (16.6 miles).  Once I got to the aid station I took a meal replacement shake and grabbed some more GUs and Vespa and I took off.  My nutrition strategy was to take a GU every 30 minutes and a Vespa every 3 hours.  I was taking S!Caps every 45 minutes, but I started to crapped up during the latter stages of the race (seemed weird to me as it wasn't very hot outside).  The course started to dry out as I made my way south of the start/finish aid station.  This is where I started to feel strong and started to really push myself.  I was started to feel the effort at mile 27 and when I came into the Fountainhead aid station (28.1) Emily could see the effects of my pace.  I started to bonk, so I ate some boiled potatoes and bananas.  I was still struggling after I ate and then I entered the infamous Do-Loop.
Nice whip
I continued to struggle and felt crappy for the next few miles, it wasn't until after I got a B12 energy shot and a meal replacement shake at the outbound Fountainhead aid station (37.9).  Almost immediately I felt the tide start to change and I was not hanging on anymore I was passing people and again I was running with determination.  When Emily saw me at Bull Run Marina she even saw how drastically I had changed and I was trying to close the race strong and if I ran really well I could sneak in under 10:30.  I was pushing it as hard as I could till then end and finished in 10:41:45.

I am very happy with my results and will take the lessons I learned out there and put them to use in my next race coming up at the Promise Land 50k.

Congrats to my Ultra-holics teammates (that right we started a team) and everyone finished and ran well.   We finished in 8th place in the Men's division, not too shabby.  We will seek our revenge next year.

Happy finisher Kevin, nice job
Dave looks like he still could run some more miles
Also congrats to Nica and Mary for posting some nice times (11:44:29 & 10:53:31) as well and they both placed in their respected age groups.  Nice job ladies!!!!  I am going to start an Ultra-holics group to help people cope with their ultra running obsession.  The inaugural class will be Mary, Dave, Nica, Ron, and Kevin.  I have some good shirt ideas, so I will keep everyone posted when they come out.

My Gear:
Shoes: Montrail Badrock
Socks: DryMax
Hydration: Nathan 1.5 Liter Backpack
Nutrition: GU, Nutrilite Endurance Cubes, XS energy shot, Nutrilite Replacement Shakes, S!Caps
Shorts:  2XU compressions shorts
Shirt:  UA long sleeve Heat Gear with tech shirt over top

Here are some of my stats from the race (distance was wrong, so the splits will be wrong as well)

Here is to another week of resting before my race next weekend at the Promise Land 50K.  I am really excited about this race because it has 8k feet of accent and 8k feet decent, which means there will be plenty of hills for me.  The only thing I am not looking forward to is eating more GUs, I ate 18 of them on Saturday.

See ya on the trails,


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