Sunday, April 5, 2009

A tail of 3 races--American River 50Mile

A Little Tired after AR

Mark and Rena..Looking a heck of a lot better than I...

It really was a nice day to run along the river to Auburn yesterday. The day began way too early as I awoke at 2:45am and then catch the bus from the finish to the start at 6am in Sacramento. The course had a few changes with some additional trail and climbing..200 more runners on the course. The start was not so bad as I thought it would be and off we went. I saw Rena, Jenn Pheifer, Ernie and a cast of others as the sun began to rise.

In my prediction I wanted to keep things low and slow..that kinda happened for the first 19miles but it was a very uneven pace ranging from 8:50 to 10minute miles along the bike path. It felt easy and I was a bit concerned as I hit Nimbus 7minutes ahead of schedule. I had been taking 2 scaps per hour and one roctane every 45minutes...this seemed to work early on...As we hit the trai and the bluffs I took it down a bit and held that pace as I went through Negro Bar...I was a little bit uncomfortable as I hit Beals and here I started to take way too long at the Aid Station..nearly 7minutes as I filled my hip pack with more roctane etc.. At Beals I was right on the mark I predicted 4:50. But I was not feeling strong..This was the first third of my race..

As I left Beals to head to Granite Bay and Buzzards I started to have slower than expected times..the sun was full force and temps rising. I kind of lost focus past Granite Bay and wondered it a long way to Buzzards today...This was my low moment of the race. I was thinking I just want to stop running all the time..not run Western etc..Finally I was at Buzzards (20minutes behind schedule..) Yet as I stood at the Buzzards Aid Station and facing the toughest stretch of course things began to change...

This third portion of the race from Buzzards to the Finish was the bomb! My pace quickened, I started to really focus as I pushed through the rocky sections between buzzards and Rattle Snake..I was back! Running well. I was only passing people and not being passed. This sure was not the case last year and I was happy...Hitting Rattle I was ready to tackle the final section to the river and that was met with conistant steady focused running..I kept passing folks from 41 to the river..I recall a women that was on the trail running and not wanting me to pass her..she wanted to talk and all I could think of was get the heck out of my way...I was not polite but after being on the trail all day it was time to finish and get to the final 3.2 mile climb from the river...As I hit the river I was HUNGRY..or at least my stomach thought so..I had not had anything from Buzzards except water and a SCAP here I looked at my watch and thought I am behind my goal pace but well under my Qualifying time so might as well enjoy it a bit..I talked a little on the steep climb with someone then ran to last gasp and from there it was walk/run...As I approached the finish..I thought it was slower than last year but I ran a much stronger final 19miles than I have ever run..I was feeling good about that..I did spend too much time at Aid Stations past beals..The watch stopped at a turtle pace of 10:35. Western States Qualifier now complete..The real work begins now..

Mark and Rena stuck around the whole time..they hade finished 4 and 2 hours prior but it was nice to see them at the finish..This years finishers jacket is super sweet!
Post Race..I had tough time eating/or wanting to after the race...and did manage breakfast this morning. Legs did not let me sleep too well last night goes with the territory of ultras. Will take a slow recovery run on Tuesday and see what the weekend brings...


1 comment:

  1. Well done, Tony! Congratulations on making the qualifying time. I always think it's better to finish strong and slack a bit in the middle therefore. It probably also is a mental thing wanting to "go home"!!!!

    I hope your hunger has come back by now. You deserve a really nice meal:-)