Sunday, April 5, 2009

American River 50 Mile

First off I had a blast at this race, one of the better events I have done in a long time. I think Julie Fingar did a great job.

I wanted to “train through” the race for my ongoing prep for the big show in June. Consistent 65ish miles weeks since before Way to Cool with two thirty milers was starting to drag on me. The snap was gone from the legs and mind since last weekend.

I read through my training bible for guidance. I read over some of the articles which state some times you have to just listen to your body. So this week I did one 10 miler on Tuesday to shake the cobwebs out, followed by 2 miles on Friday. I find no running at all the day before a race leaves me feeling funky on race morning. 2-3 miles easy with stride outs really seems to help me. All other days were off with just stretching and my strength routine.
Race morning

Everything went well, bathroom break, food etc. I had slept a lot the past week and it helped.
I hooked up after the gun and ran with some friends from the area which was a great way to let the race unfold slowly. We were all looking to run approximately the same time so we helped each other to stay true to the pace this early in the race.

I hit all my predicted checkpoint times for a 7:30ish finish except for Rattlesnake Bar.

Planned time:

Nimbus: 2:35ish
Beals Point: 3:45
Rattlesnake: 5:45

Race Time:
Nimbus: 2:31
Beals Point: 3:34
Ratttlesnake: 6:00

The biggest problem of the day was a sloshy tummy which came on at Twin Rocks. It made me go off drinking for approximately an hour or more. This was my 1st experience with this phenomenon; I have to say I don’t like it. Once I began to process again I got back into gear. But I was now down big time on my water as well as salt and food. I felt a little twitch at Horseshoe Bar which told me to watch myself.

I picked a few people off here and there from Horseshoe Bar to just past Rattlesnake Bar. I ran with my mantra of “run your own race” going on in my head to keep me from going crazy near the end. I caught Scott Dunlap of trail running blog fame just before Rattlesnake Bar. He had taken a tumble and was hurting a bit, which was worrisome to me. I spoke to him after the race and he said he was feeling better.

The rest of the race went as I wanted except for a little walking after Last Gasp. After training on the hill these past months I decided I wanted to run from Last Gasp on in the race. The leg twitches had me walking a few times, but I ran 90% of the hill.

The finish was a blast hanging out at the Fleet Feet Fair Oaks/Roseville tents. I was able to see some faces I hadn’t seen in a while and hang out in the beautiful weather.

Congrats to all that raced.

Things Learned:

I ate more than ever at a race and it helped. I think I mistakenly ate too much PBJ which kind of backed up in my tummy for a while. I think I ate 3+ whole sandwiches by Beals, in addition to the gels I was taking in. I think I know to eat more in races now, just not so much that I pay for it.

I drank straight water and one bottle of Amino Vital. This worked better than the sport drinks I usually carry which seem too sweet to me in races. The Amino Vital worked well and I will continue to use it, it is much less sweet than other drinks I have used.

Now that I’m done with AR50 its time to concentrate on taking the training up a notch until Bishop High Sierra 50 mile. Bishop will be the big test of fitness going into June. The plan until then is consistent training with a healthy dose of uphills/downhills and quality running. I’m looking forward to visiting the WS course soon.



  1. Hey Anthony, I checked out your AR results this morning and I was really impressed. It looks like your training is going well. I have found that consistent fueling during races helps me too. I am excited to see how you will do at States. Something tells me that you are going to do well there. Take care.

  2. Hey Kelly, Thanks, I'm finally starting to learn this ultra thing.

    I was tracking you adventure down south at the Coastal Challenge, WOW! You are amazing.


  3. Wow, you really did great Anthony! Even with a sloshy stomach you finished strong. I would say your training is going great. And I have found that regular eating has helped me a lot, too. I started using Vespa earlier this year, and it took me a while to figure that I still need to take in a good number of calories. The big difference being that my energy levels seem to remain pretty even - no spikes or drops.

    Great run out there, and I look forward to reading more about your training, racing, and WS100. Keep up the great running!

  4. You looked great out there! Thanks so much for checking on me after I fell. It turned out to be a minor bump on the head, a banged up toe, and a few minor scrapes. The worst part was eating the cup of sand when I hit the trail. ;-)

    You're gonna ROCK States!