Saturday, April 18, 2009

Ouachita 50

This was my second running of the Ouachita 50. I missed the 50 mile cut-off at mile 37 last year. I wanted redemption, but redemption was not to be found this time. Threatening thunderstorms and a slower pace helped my decision to drop to the 50k race. I contemplated continuing the 50 miler for hours. The decision had to be made before the Northshore AS (16 miles) and since I was running about 10 minutes slower than last year, I thought it best not to be chasing the cut-offs so close.

The first four miles consisted of about 2.5 miles of road, followed by a steep stair-step descent onto the Ouachita Trail. The trail opened up and was fairly smooth for a bit, deceiving the runner into thinking the race would be a cake walk.

Within the first five miles, we have to almost rock climb up Pinnacle Mountain. As fun as it may sound to climb about 1000 feet within a quarter mile on boulder size rocks and then descend the same about a half mile on loose rocks the size of a water was!

After Pinnacle Mnt, we ran around the base back to the first AS and then out to run around Lake Maumelle. Rocks were every-fucking-where. By the time I could get up to a decent running pace, I had to slow down to jump over/around rocks that littered the trails. This became very annoying after the first five minutes.

The turn-around for the 50k was at mile 17. Then we ran back the way we came, skipping the Pinnacle Mnt rock climb...thank God. We only had a few rain sprinkles throughout the day, but when I hit the last 5k, the heavens opened up with a downpour and thunder/lightening. I was so damn glad I dropped to the 50k and felt pity for those still on the trails!
My energy level dipped a few times, but I never hit any big walls. I stuck with H2O and Liquid Shot (EFS), with some AS treats for flavor. After a short lull around the marathon point, I kept a good pace until the finish (which was very surprising!). Robert Kyle and I crossed the finish line together in 8:21, tied for 52nd place (out of 80 finishers). I was happy with my run and more happy to be done. I felt that I had enough energy left to run another 20 miles, but I was damn glad that I didn't have to.
I am confused about 50 people finishing before me. When runners started passing me as they were headed to the finish, I started counting them. There is no way that I could miss anyone, as we were running an out and back course. I recall counting 20, before loosing interest in keeping track. I know positively that another 30 runners did not pass by. No friggin' way. I passed five on my return journey to the finish. So, even if I give room for error and say that 35 runners passed me and then I passed 5...where the fuck were the other 20 runners?!?! The final results and splits are not published yet, so I cannot check the mystery remains. I am NOT saying anyone cut the course short on purpose...I am just trying to figure it out.
Anyway...I'm sorry that my report kinda sucks, but I have lost interest in writing a more detailed one.
One last thing...I finally met Jeff Genova. He's a great guy and a helluva ultra runner (5th in the 50k)!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Next Race

I registered for Ouachita 50 tonight with some hesitation. After Sunday's crappy run (15m), I wondered if I was ready for Ouachita (which is a lot tougher than the MS50 last month). Ahhh..fuck it. I missed last year's cut-off by a mere 15 minutes, so I am feeling somewhat comfortable for this year. The race is just a week and a half away, so this week(end) will be my last long run(s)...but, with it being Easter weekend, I am not sure exactly how far a long run will actually be.

March recap (202 miles):
3/30/2009 — 4/5/2009: 60.0 Miles (pushing towards Ouachita)
3/23/2009 — 3/29/2009: 25.7 Miles (maybe too much on previous week!)
3/16/2009 — 3/22/2009: 50.6 Miles (best week in a while)
3/9/2009 — 3/15/2009: 17.4 Miles (recovery week)
3/2/2009 — 3/8/2009: 61.5 Miles (includes taper and MS50)

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