Sunday, March 15, 2009

Way to Cool 50K Race Report

So my pre-race prediction for Way to Cool was 4:30 or faster. I thought 4:40 was a lock. Even though I just started to add quality/tempo workouts into my running I felt it was possible. My finish time was 4:52, here‘s how it went down.

The start was its typical this is a 10K not a 50K race start, I went a little fast (7:00 opening mile) but it could have been worse. I clocked a 54:30 at Hwy 49 feeling great. At this time I was in the company of Tim Twietmyer and Prudence L'Heureux. Knowing both are very capable trail racers I figured the smart play would be to hang of them if the body continued to hold up. I know the smart play with Cool is to hold something in reserve for the return trip. Lots of time can be made up between ALT2 and the start of Goat Hill if you can run it well.

Browns Bar to ALT1 I felt good and just stayed relaxed and didn’t look at the watch. I inched a few minutes ahead of Twietmyer and Prudence, but not by trying. At ALT1 I fueled up and started to walk up the climb eating and drinking. It was here I had a twitch in my quads that didn’t feel like a salt or water issue I was slamming both also. It was more like” you don’t have the training to bomb the trails like you are regardless of how you feel jack hole; your muscles aren’t trained for it”. (Really that what I heard in my head.)

So I relaxed and tried to chill somewhat. At the base of Ball Bearing I felt tight and soon after I got an inside quad cramp. Tweitmyer and Prudence came by soon after as we climbed Ball Bearing as did a few others. I stopped once to shake it out and stretch, which helped.
Undaunted I keep going, I kept reminding myself I was running this race better than ever before and besides a cramp I was feeling as if I was out on a hilly long run.

ALT2 to the base of Goat Hill I had on and off twitches. I stopped a few times to stop a lock-up, but otherwise I was running, my energy level was good. Stopping sucked but it stopped me from ever locking up.

The climb to Goat Hill aid station actually let my legs chill out. I ran the rest of the way from the Goat Hill aid station to the finish. It was weird, I knew before Goat Hill I was off pace for a 4:30-4:40 but I was ok with it. I was having a great run that would greatly help my training and teach me a few things, I was happy at that. So I just kept the pace even and ran it in.

Now the details:

Shoes: My Air Max Moto’s were great. They continue to be a great shoe for me, no issues at all.

Vespa: Yes I’ve been trying the wasp snot. I’ve always had issues with eating enough in races. I have tested it in training on one run it seemed to work well, I didn’t have to eat that much. On another it was crap, I had this horrible empty stomach feeling that wouldn‘t go away. I learned I still need a gel an hour to keep stomach issue away. It also seems like I go an hour or so before I need to start fueling. Otherwise I ran and finished Cool with the best energy I’ve had in a race since WS100.

I used 2 gels 10mins before the start (I always do that). During the race I used 5 gels, 2 20oz of Cytomax, and water. I would usually bonk with only this much food.

Review: So what did I learn from Way to Cool? The base has paid off, now it’s time for the fun stuff, hill repeats, canyons, tempo, etc. I also think I will be able (and need to) to continue to increase my weekly mileage. This week with Cool was 65 miles. I did five miles today without much discomfort after an hour bike ride with my daughter.

I might be one of those guys that needs a lot more salt than others. I took only four salt tabs in the race. If the cramps were a salt issue I need to take more even when it’s not that hot. I’m going to ask around and read more on this.

My recovery routine seems to be working still, it goes like this: Within the first 30mins, Cytosport recovery drink. Once home, ice bath and put on the compression socks. Water and sport drink as needed. Later or on the way home a Carl’s Jr Western Bacon Cheeseburger, with fries of course. Massage by the wife the next day, (she was the therapist working at the race).

Now I do all of the above after all my long runs, except the burger, that is only after races.

It felt great to race, I'm ready for more, next up AR50, prediction coming soon.


Thursday, March 12, 2009

Race Changes and my first race of the year

As I mentioned before I need to replace Miwok since I'm not doing it now. The replacement was either Silver State 50 or Bishop High Sierra 50 mile. Bishop 50 won out, here is why.

My goal for the year is Western States 100. What do I need my prep races to have to train myself to be ready, distance, hills, heat, altitude, (among other things).

Bishop has all of this, and I have DNF'd at the race so I'm more motivated for Bishop, over Silver States.

I know from talking to others that Silver State is hard, I'm not saying it's easier. But my personal opinion is Bishop is a little harder for me due to my history at the race.

I also know altitude can mess with my running. Bishop goes higher up and I'm pretty sure it has more gain, 11,000ft from what I read somewhere.

The second change is that instead of the Auburn 50K for my last long run/race I'm going to do the Diablo 50K. How I missed this race before I'll never know. I thought it was just in March and April. I know from running and hiking that pile of dirt that it's all good training at Diablo.

And finally, my first race of the year is here, the venerable Way to Cool 50K.

I'm keyed up and want to race. I haven't done much quality running yet so it will be interesting to see how I hold up. Normally people run WTC as as training as they prep for WS100. Been there done that in 2007. I'm not knocking the idea but I'm itching too much to go hurt a bit and test my fitness. So I'll throw myself out on a limb and post my goal for the race.

Regardless of the new accurate course distance I think I'm capable of and would like to run 4:30 or faster. We shall see....


Monday, March 9, 2009

New Title Photo

My new header photo is from my 2007 Western States 100. I like it a lot, I figured it would motivate me to be better with certain parts of my training, (**read, stop eating bad food**). If you have run States you know this spot.


Sunday, March 8, 2009

Body Testing

So I had my second of thee planned HR/Lactate tests on Friday from the good people at UC Davis Sports Medicine, UCD.

This time around I only did the lactate test, no VO2. I was very pleased with the improvement the test showed in my fitness. For only doing base aerobic running they liked the improvement I showed form December. I was not so happy with the body fat measurement, (I don’t want to talk about it). My weight was OK, but it’s been fluctuating, (184-188lbs). I‘m always hungry so I‘ve made some bad choices the past few weeks, that is changing.

Based on the test my HR values are as follows:

Recovery: 148
Long endurance: 140-159
Medium endurance 166-178
Threshold: 183-189
Lactic: above 189

I bleed like crazy when they prick my ear for the test, it’s weird.

My last test will be the first or second week of June, after the memorial training camp.

I am anxious to start the next cycle of training after this past week off as a recovery week. I’ve been doing 60mpw with no issues. Base phase is over; I will now start injecting regular quality workouts into my training. I can almost feel the Stagecoach trail repeats now.
My first big workout of the next training cycle will be the Way to Cool 50K. I plan to race smart, but I definitely want to improve over the past two times I have run this race.

Training Goals for the next cycle:

Continue to be injury free
Continue to improve body strength and flexibility
Bump up the long run distance
Continue to build weekly mileage

I had my first big change to training come up last week. I can’t do Miwok 100K now. Long story short I finally get to join a cabin co-op I’ve wanted to join for 10yrs. The cabin is at Echo Lakes off of Hwy 50. It will be a great base for adventures into the Sierra’s.

I’m looking at Silver State 50mile or Bishop High Sierra as a replacement. I have unfinished business at Bishop 50, and I love the area. Silver State is closer and I’ve never done it, I hear it‘s a killer. I plan to decide soon so I make sure to get my entry.

Sunday, March 1, 2009


I really enjoy photography as another hobby. I'm still learning, but it's fun. Here are some photos I took at my mother-in-laws recent wedding. More can be seen here,