Sunday, April 26, 2009

Chippewa Moraine 50K Trail Run, take II

Yesterday was the 2nd running of the Chippewa Moraine 50KM Trail Race - "A Run For The Ages". Thank You to all involved... it was another great race! Here's my race report.

The normal pre-race activity was fun... milling around chatting with people, trying to figure out how much to wear (is it going to rain or not?), and generally just waiting to get going.

Talked to Kel who was there to do her first 50K! Which she did... Congrats!!!! Initially was trying to keep track of Kel and Mike.. ran with them for a bit at the beginning.

As things started clearing out I hooked up with a group and after awhile started looking around... "hmmm, that's Carl Gammon right up there... and Allan Holtz, Joe Lovett... I'm not supposed to be anywhere near this group!"

Turns out I would see Carl a couple times throughout the day... Carl was helping Janine run her first 50K... way to go, Carl - it doesn't get much better than that. And Congratulations, Janine!

So around 4 miles or so I decided to look at some of the data from my Garmin. Hmmmm, average pace about 12:30s. Ok, what do I have written down at home... 15:30s is 8 hours, 14:30s is 7.5 hours, 13:30s is 7 hours.... oh great, I'm on 6.5 hour pace. mr ego says "you rock!", mr logic says "you're dead meat!!"

I didn't feel like I was pushing... too much. Seemed like I was just kinda cruising along... "I think I can run this pace for quite awhile". mr logic: "your 'quite awhile' is usually way shorter than the actual race"

So I started throttling back... but that's hard to do. I let the group go and cruised along on my own. Focused on running easy... walking more of the uphills, etc. Took a bit of time and enjoyed every aid station, getting some pictures and visiting a bit. And eating of course.

Saw Karen Gall working at the first aid station... Kel and Brook and others cruised on by... I was able to get rid of my extra jacket (Mike's wife offered to take it - Thanks!).

Next aid station... talked to Mike's wife and daughter (sorry I don't remember your names) to see how he was doing... mentioned that I should probably be wherever he is right now.

Next aid station came real soon after the previous one... but I still had to grab a few things and visit a bit. Lisa was working at this one (though she stood out on the road and avoided the picture).

The last stretch to the turn-around is pretty long. Could see Kel and some others up ahead every so often. Eventually caught up to them just after the leaders started cruising by on their way back.

Gradually my average pace hit 13:00... and then at the turn-around I was at 13:30 pace/3.5 hours... so still a 7 hour finishing time if I could run even splits (mr logic: "yeah right").

It was great to see a bunch of friendly and familiar faces at the turn-around aid station... and get great support as usual. Always a mental boost!
I was talking to Londell before the race and he said he was going to be the cut-off enforcer at the turn-around. He told me I had 4.5 hours... so I joked that I was going to sit around for an hour to 'use up the rest of my allotted time' before heading back. Of course, mr ego said "you rock! Get going... 7 hours is a totally sweet time!". Even mr logic said "yeah, get going"

So, restocked with water and food and feeling pretty good... I was ready to head out for the 2nd half. (Thanks for the picture, Lynn Saari.)

The first part of the return trip was kinda nuts. A couple of us left about the same time, and as we all settled in another runner (#128) and I hooked up and ran together for the long stretch to the next aid station. (Thanks for the picture, Lisa.)

The crazy part is that we kept catching and passing people... something I'm not used to. At one point I commented that "I'm probably going to pay for this later, but isn't it fun to keep catching and passing people?" She seemed to agree.

I didn't see her again once we reached the aid station so I think she went on to finish well, and as predicted I eventually paid for the craziness. But mr ego said "you rock! it was worth it!" Because I was running with someone else and because we kept catching people, I think at this point I was still on pace to finish in 7 hours.

So with 9+ miles to go I could tell most of the fun was over and I would be trying to hang on as best I could over the last miles. Mr logic started saying "ok, you've banked quite a few good miles... try to salvage whatever you can... hopefully the average pace won't fall too far, too fast". And predicatably, mr ego was saying "you rock!".

The next miles were pretty normal for the end of a loooong run. The amount of walking increased as I just tried to run/jog/shuffle when I could... with the goal being to get to the next aid station, and eventually the finish.
I remember telling Karen at the last aid station that I was at 14:00s... so in the previous ~4 miles my average pace for the whole race dropped from 13:30s to 14:00s -- about a 7:15 50K if my math was still working. The big question was... how much farther would it drop? I felt 14:30s - a 7:30 50K was realistic, so that's what I was hoping to preserve. But the downward slide was definitely on!

About 3.5-4 miles out I hooked up with another guy... Ken Norwood, I think. We were both ready to be done and just trying to get to the finish. Again it helped to have someone else close to help me keep moving. And it felt very good to finally get to the end.

As you can see from the picture, my pace continued to drop but the finish line came just in time... I was able to get in under 7:30 for a new 50K PR of 7:26:24!!
And then it was time to join the post-race festivities!!

Thank you to Wynn and Matt and Adam... and all the great volunteers! All the hard work added up to another great race! See you next year...


Blogger wildknits said...

The streak lives on!!!

Nice report and godd job out there. Think you need to listen to Mr. Ego a little more than Mr. Logic - or balance the two ;->

7:21 AM  
Blogger SteveQ said...

Another race, another PR. Way to go!

10:16 AM  
Blogger Kel said...

Awesome job - and a new PR! Woo Hoo!

This slippery slope is really something, isn't it?

7:36 PM  
Blogger RunWesty said...

Great job, I would have listened to Mr. Ego as well, Mr. Logic is too limiting. Keep the PRs coming.

8:51 PM  
Blogger Londell said...

So I still say there is a streak! You looked like you were out for a casual stroll through the woods and made it look easy and fun! Congrats and now, you have set PR expectations... Bummer but you can do it!

I am down you way Saturday running a 10 miler with my girlfriend. Should be fun.

9:23 PM  
Blogger keith said...

Nice job on the PR! Congrats!

7:49 PM  
Blogger Karen G said...

Way to go!! Congrats on your PR.

12:41 PM  

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