Sunday, May 5, 2013

Run for Kids Challenge 50K

On Tuesday last week I was wondering if I was going to complete a ultra a month for the year. I was having trouble finding a race for May. Well; while I was on I found a race over at Oak Mountain State Park in Pelham AL for that weekend; the Run for kids challenge.I did really enjoy my time at Oak last year so  I signed up.
The weather forecast was rain most of Sunday. But all I wanted was an ultra and did not care for time.
I had a plan of running about the first 20 miles and then going to the normal run walk for the rest of the race.
The course:
The route the race took was on a different trail then the race I ran last year. It stayed on a 3.34 mile loop of rolling hills with no big climbs. With one aid station at the start finish; refueling would be easy.
After getting the race site around 0615. I picked up my packet and started to put my shoes on. And out of the blue Molly comes in. We started talking and I found out that she was in the 12 hour run. If I would have known that I knew someone else that was going to be out that I might have signed up for the 12 hour.
Lap 1:
The first lap was a little long to help thin the group thin out with about 1 mile of road running. It did not seems to thin anyone out but it did make me go out faster then I would have liked. Being the first look I have not seen the course at this point so I did not know what was going to be in store for the loop. I was surprised because with all the rain that was fell in the last day; that the course was draining water really well. Only a few spots were holding water. Come up with about 1/2 mile to go on the loop I rolled my ankle bad. One of those rolls that you feel up your whole leg. (At this point I told my self that I was glad I did not switch to the 12 hour.) So I started walking to see if the pain would go away and just run walk the rest of the race. But to my surprise yet again. After about 1 minute of walking I could start to put pressure on the ankle again. The ankle still hurt but I could run on it at least.
Lap 2:
With my new goal of just trying to finish the race I went out on lap 2. I stayed with some people leaving the aid station but quickly felt good enough that I wanted to run by myself. So I left the group I was with and set off down the trail. I felt good enough on the loop that there was no walking. But I looked down at my watch to see what pace I was running and I saw the watch in off mode. I knew I started the watch at the start and had GPS. But oh well I start the watch back up and finished the lap.
Lap 3:
Before I started the third loop I wanted to refill my bottle. I was not drinking that much on the first 2 laps so I dumped the water out of my bottle and filled it with HEED. I really dont like to drink HEED but I know that it has the electrolytes I need for the race. So I went out for loop number 3. I am still running so all is good.
Lap 4:
I went out on Lap 4 and the weather was starting to let up. With that also came a little warmer temperature. About half way around the look I looked at my watch again and saw black lines. The type of lines telling me my watch has given up the ghost. I think this was a little blessing. I was no longer running off of the watch I was running off of how my body was feeling and it want to run. 
Lap 5 and 6: 
These two laps are a little fuzzy  I know I look my shirt, hat and watch off and handed them to a volunteer to put near my bag. I was also still running and passing people. Passing people always makes me feel like running faster and when I pass a person I would see someone else up heard so I went into chase mode. It was lots of fun because it was no longer loops it was go to the next person. So I just spent those laps chasing down people.
Lap 7:
When I got to the aid table I asked how may laps I had because I just could not keep track any more. I found out that I was starting number 7 of a total of 9. So three to go. I want to say at this point my time was around 3 hours and 30 minutes. But thanks to the watch I am not sure until the splits get published later. I feels like I was slowing down but I could see the end was getting closer.
Lap 8:
Before I started lap 8 the guy that was counting laps told me that I was in third. I told him thanks and filled my bottle and ate some cookies and went off. About half way around the loop a guy came out behind me and we starting talking.  I asked him what race he was in and his lap. He told me he was in the 50K and he was on lap 8. I told him he was in forth and about how far up everyone was. He laughed when I told him third was 6 ft ahead of him. But it was nice to run with someone. With about 1/2 mile to the end of the loop I picked a rock in my shoe. I could not believe it I ran the better part of 28 miles and did not pick up a single rock in my shoe and with 3.3 miles to go. I picked up one.
Lap 9:
I did not want to push the last lap with a rock in my shoe so I stopped at the aid station to dump the rock out and filled my bottle up. I went out as hard as I could because I knew I was playing catch up to third place. I am not even sure he filled his bottle up for the last lap. I tried hard to catch him but with 1 mile to go I saw he was about 1/4 mile ahead and it was not going to happen but I still knew this was going to be a big day for me. 
I crossed the line in 5:05:58. When I knew I was going to have a big day I did not know it was going to be this big. That was a 25 minute PR for the 50K. Not bad for a guy who had to walk in every marathon he has ever entered. I ran the whole 50K miss the few steps after I rolled my ankle. 
Looking back I guess the few things I learn at this 50K. Inorder to run a fast 50K you need to run the whole 50K. HEED works but still taste like something awful and Molly makes great rice krispie treats.

Till the next time.


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