Monday, July 6, 2009

Lake Mountain 50k

Race: Lake Mountain 50k (30.8 Miles) 05:39:00, Place overall: 2, Place in age division: 1
Slow miles Fast milesTotal Distance
26.80 4.0030.80

5:39:00 - Why do I love running? I love it because it is about me. I love running because I can push myself harder physically and mentally then I ever have before. I love running because I can run in a place I have never been before and farther than I have ever gone (by a lot). I love running because even though it wasn't a race and there was no crowd, no finisher medals or t-shirts, and even though I had to walk at times during the last 5 miles, I still finsihed running. I love running because even though I finished alone on a dusty road in the middle of nowhere I still threw my arms up in victory and pumped my fist with success. Today I won. I won. I didn't beat thousands of people on the roads of a major city, today I won against myself. I won against fatique and negative mental strain. I won becuase I refused to quit when every part of my body was telling me to stop. Today I beat pain, heat, dust, and exhaustion. I love running becuase I don't have to be #1 out of thousands to know that I can win. I love running because we all can win just by getting out there every day and putting one foot in front of the other.

Today I ran my first 50k and my first marathon. Prior to today the farthest I had run was 20 miles (and only twice).

I met Crockett at 4am in Saratoga Springs. We drove up through The Ranches and parked on the back side of Lake Mountain. We started by heading into a canyon in the dark that winds up through the foothills and over onto the west side of the mountain, just in time to watch the sun begin to lighten the sky. The lake and lights of the city were beautiful and the run was pleasant.

We weren't pushing the pace and enjoyed socializing for about the first 6 miles. After that we headed south and ran through casual rolling hills at the base of the mountain. I got a bit ahead of Davy and remained there until we got to the top of Enoch Pass, our highest point of the run.

After a quick potty break we blazed down the dirt road for another 4 miles or so until we met up with Redwood Rd on the south end of Lake Mountain. Here Davy had cached water and food for us to replenish. This was mile 16, the half way point.

After a rather long break (maybe just under 10 minutes) we ran down Redwood for almost a mile and then turned West to head around the south side of the mountain. This resulted in a long, steady climb up Soldier Pass. Near the top of the pass Davy made us detour down a less traveled road which turned into really cool single-track that ended with us on the east side of the mountain, at about mile 22. I was pleased with how much of the uphill to Soldier Pass I was able to run and was able to keep up with Davy on the way down. Man, he is fast and steady.

When we hit the dirt road we had 8 miles left. All flat, all straight. Holy cow! I was able to keep a steady 10:30 to 11:00 min/mile pace until about mile 25 and then things got really hard for me. The heat and hills had taken their toll and I was getting tired. I walked for about 3 minutes and then started into a process of running for 8 minutes at an 11 min/mile pace and then walking 3 to 5 minutes before starting up again. As we passed Eagle Mountain we got onto a paved road for about a quarter of a mile. It was here that my ITB really started to get inflamed and while I still could maintain my regiment, I was struggling a bit more. I even stopped at someone's house, knocked on the door, and asked if they could fill my water bottle, as I was dangerously low (even though I only had a mile left). I walked a little more and then when I got back on dirt started into my last run again. Davy had already finished and was walking back to make sure I was ok. I passed him as he was sending emails on his phone and was able to finish the last 200m by myself. I finished 10 minutes after him. It was a very special moment for me as I knew I had done something that has been a goal for a while now.

Thank you very much Mr. Crockett for hanging in there with me and for showing me such a cool route. I can't think of a better partner to have done my first Ultra with. Thank you. And thank you to everyone who showed a vote of confidence. This was an amazing experience. A few days rest for the ITB and then back to training. I've got other (maybe not bigger) fish to fry!

Here is the elevation chart for the run. I think we gained a total of about 2800 vertical feet.

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