Monday, December 14, 2015

TNF 50 #2

Sunrise at the End of the Miwok Climb

50 Mile Run #3.  And my second running of the SF North Face Endurance Challenge 50 Mile.  Overall, a harder course this year, bringing in more technical trails through Muir Woods.  The first half went great.  About halfway through, at the Matt Davis descent, some upper leg muscles started to get tight and pulled uncomfortably on my knees, so I spent the rest of the race managing this.  And the second pass through Muir Beach I was hiking downhills instead of running them, but having much better climbs.  I had a few good conversations in the second half, since I wasn't pushing for time at that point.

The weather was perfect, it had rained, but not heavily, the prior two days, leaving the trails in good condition.  CM and DL were both also running.  I finished in 12:52:44, losing about two hours in the second half, but still a PR by over a half hour, because every 50 miler I've run has had something new go wrong in the second half.  It's kind of entertaining, since I expect it, but I never know what it will be.

Somewhere on an Uphill with Scenery

* Uphill training paid off well throughout the race, even taking some hills at my fastest times in the second half when I was moving overall slower.
* HR limiting worked really well, I never felt really tired, muscles tightness around my knees was the only real thing (besides some shoe issues that didn't affect my running much).
* The whole race was fun, even the parts that didn't go very well.  I never hit the really tired "when is this thing going to be over" moment that has previously come around miles 38-42.
* No water/nutrition problems at all.

* Whatever caused knee stability to go out on downhills via hamstring and hip adductor tightness. I'm still not sure what caused it, my best guess is the backloading of a lot of hill-specific workouts into the end of the year.  Maybe a longer taper was needed.  Maybe I needed to start this sooner.  Maybe both.  Food for thought for the next 50 mile.
* A couple annoying blisters in places I should have expected.  For future reference: pay attention to hotspots in the first couple runs while breaking in a new kind of shoe.  After they've long gone away in shorter runs, they can still crop up in an ultra.
* I had a lot of swelling two days after the race.  It went down after day 3.

Someone was excited, pulling last year's shirt out on her own.

Quarry Turkey 5k, Carrying a Toddler

I've been hiking hills while carrying MC a lot lately, in part to train for the late hills of the north face 50 mile, where everything tends to feels tired.  Carrying 25 lbs of toddler on a 20% grade feels about the same as the last couple hills in a 50 miler.  In doing so, we came up with an interesting idea: I'd carry her through a 5k, and PL, who only runs a few times a year, would try to beat us.

It was cold, but the turkey was out.  And it was a close contest--we were beat by about a 100 foot lead.  Maybe next year MC will do the kid's run.