Monday, April 25, 2016

Crystal Springs 50k

January 2016.

This was a storm race.  I like to have one good bay area winter storm race each year.  But you can't really plan them, especially since I need to reserve the personal time at home a little early.  This one lined up well.

Mud.  Rain.  Hail.  Climbing over downed redwoods.  More mud.  More rain.  More downed trees.  A park crew cutting up the downed tree on the way back. In the rain.

This was a very different ultra, both physically and mentally.  I got physically tired, but never had any muscle pain.  All the hard training leading up to TNF50 helped here, as well as getting back into hard training during the holidays.  I probably took the first climb too fast.  But I had some stuff in my head to burn out.

On the mental side, I never really tuned out.  I had a lot on my mind going into this, and it's the first time I haven't managed to clear it all out during an ultra.

I finished in 6:30ish, whatever it was.  That's not why I ran this one.  I also had a lower standing than expected for this kind of time (my fastest on a course of this difficulty), but there were a lot of distance drop-downs to avoid the far loop (and probably a fair number of no shows) given the weather.

Three things up:

* Incline trainer time really helped with hip climbing endurance.
* Training through a race worked well here, sitting at a consistent ~40 miles a week at the time.
* I ran with compression shorts for the first time on a long race--this worked much better than anything else I've tried.  Not for any compression benefit to anything performance related but to manage skin irritation.

Three things down:
* I let my heart rate run higher than usual for a while.  Probably not the best thing overall.
* I could have probably drank more water, but I didn't really see a bad affect from it.
* I dunno.  It was a pretty great race for what I wanted out of it.  I guess maybe the fact that I hadn't run a local 50k in 10 months; they're fun.  And I might not again for quite a while--I've been trying to balance among athletic goals a bit more since Spring 2015, which means I'm no longer compulsively running local 50k's.