American River 50 mile was held yesterday..As I wrote in my blog previous its a training run on the road to WS. It is still a race though with some goals to hit and things to test.
This years addition was held under perfect conditions with steady cool temps all day, cloudy skies, dry trail when we got to it...I begin my day getting up at 2:00am to have a fast breakfast, pack the car and travel to the finish area at the Overlook. As I approached the Overlook just before 3:30 I recalled how many times I have run from this area..its my home base. We got to the start with about a half hour to kill..it was down out nice temps so no shivering as I said hi to a lot of folks I know...The first 19 miles are bike path and flat..you need to manage this section well and not go out too fast or too slow or your toast on the single track.
I started the race in a consistant and easy pace wearing road shoes for the race..I had said I was gonna run 10minute average but breathing and legs said take it faster so I was dropping down under 9minutes after the first 6miles...I kept a 8:40pace knowing if I bank a bit of time I would be good getting to mile 27 at beals and the single track. I hit Nimbus 18.1 and some single track about 2:50. I had been popping two roctane and a S-Cap every 45minutes prior and no real need to stop at Aid stations. There were a few folks that I was grouped with as we set off for the slower section to Beals....Getting to beals slowed things down a bit but that was anticipated. The marathon time about 4:12 and hitting the mat in 4:20 versus 4:30(original goal)...Well Nature called and that slowed things down 10minutes so I was really not out of Beals till 4:30..oh well.
Here things got rough with running on the pavement..As I hit the single track my right IT flaked out (which never happens!) It really started to slow things down on the downhills and was down and out hurting. I lost time from 27-38 going through Buzzards and the rocky narrow sections. I settled in with a group in this stretch with Allyson Thomas and 5 other runners..I was in the back and just dragged the leg..it was so slow I was thinking the pace was easy..I had all this energy but could not move fast...about that time Barb Ash and Kathy Welch said coming by and took off in front of me..it sucked I could not go out with them.
However as we got to mile 38 after buzzards the IT freed up and I was a bit behind schedule now..but I could run! I had some energy saved up and took off making a bee line for Rattlesnake..mile 41ish..I wanted to be there by 7:30 but was there at 8:09..I was mad when I got there..but I wanted to see if I could push it hard and get in under 10hours..I took off flying out of Rattle..I was back to 9;30miles and feeling good. I hit the last aid station before the river with a ton of folks as I got there I had my plan get to the river with 50minutes to spare to climb and finish under 10..it was doable..but some work..I shouted to a group of folks that we could get under 10..just a little work..they shouted back..and said you GO..make yourself happy...they had quit! I blew by that without looking back ran into another group and said we can get there and they started to work with me on the final mile to the river..We hit the mark with 3 extra minutes to spare..now the hard part..climb to Last Gasp! I power walked with determination I felt good as I hit the steep section..at the top of the climb I started running no time for a break and got to Last gasp and final 2.4 with 39minutes to spare..It looked pretty good about getting under 10! I ran walked with energy and finished in 3:51 a solid run from Rattlenake after the IT released. So I was happy going through the injury and running well at the finish..it really could have been a lot faster but that was what the day brought...Today..legs sore, IT a bit tight..going to the gym and spin and hit the sauna...Not a bad effort but lots to do still before June....