Monday, March 26, 2007

On the rise

Recent race results have surprised me this early in the year. Most of the time, I use the HAT Run 50k as a gauge to figure out how I'm doing so far. With training for MMT 100 this year, I'm still leery with how to approach races and training runs. I know nutrition, hydration, and pacing are key things to practice each weekend. I know I have to look at the big picture and realize that MMT is the race.. my 'A' race. I know I shouldn't try to set a PR at all these races I'm doing leading up to MMT.

But there's that competitive side in me.

I did the HAT Run this past weekend for the 5th time. It was my first ultra back in 2003, so I feel a need to come back every year. There's a bit of pride and a sense of accomplishment in completing HAT each year since this was the steppingstone race to my ultra life so far. I remember back to the end of 2002 when I had just completed Ironman Wisconsin in September, Baltimore marathon in October, and the Philly marathon in November. Despite running 3 marathons in 3 months, I was sick of running. I had no motivation. I would've rather had a root canal than go our running. It wasn't fun anymore. My (then) boss, an avid running and ultra runner, knew this, and put the entry form for HAT on my chair. I pinned it to the wall of my cube, so it was staring at me every day until I finally took it down and mailed in my entry fee.

In race conditions similar to those of this past weekend, I finished in 6:47.

This year, I finished in 5:59:03

There are many similarities in both races, mainly what I did wrong. I did a lot wrong that first year not having run trails before or anything over a marathon. Saturday, I did a lot wrong having run trails before, specifically this race 4 times. I figure I know what I'm doing and get lax on specifics - nutrition, hydration, and pacing, which were the 3 things I should've been focusing on.

Nutrition was better and continues to get better. I went with the 2 bottle waist pack again and carried super concentrated Carbo Pro in one bottle and water in the other. The CP had (I had hoped) enough calories (244 cals per serving) to get me through the first 15 miles in addition to a GU (100 cals) every hour. I had only a couple potato quarters dipped in salt at miles 10, 15, 20, and 25. At the halfway (15) point, I grabbed another of CP in my drop bag and had to suck on a bottle of GPush 1 (yes, it was discontinued 3 yrs ago) and took in about 8 oz. So here's the breakdown..

First loop
244 x 3 servings = 732 cals
Gu (100) x 3 = 300
Total - 1,032
*add in some potatoes, maybe 8 oz of Gatorade as I had to top off my bottle at mile 10.

Second loop - same totals.

*include 100 more calories for misc items - gatorade, G1, Coke, and potatoes. Probably a little generous.

Overall - 2,164 calories

I'm trying to ingest a max of 350 cals/hr, so I should've had 2100 calories for the day. Not bad. I still felt a little under as I was craving the G1 at the turn. I think not having enough calories/carbs stored up did me in there.

I carried 1 bottle of water in addition to the bottle of CP. First loop, I made the mistake of drinking only that 1 bottle in 15 miles. Yes. Bad me. I knew this was bad and made sure to finish the bottle and refill at each aid station. Felt better. Need to work on sodium intake as I only took out 8 Succeed tabs with me and ended up bumming an Enduralyte from a pal out on the course. Should consider increasing the dosage to 1 tab every 30-35 min instead of 1/hr.

Horrible. I got out fast like I wanted to, and entered the trail in a good spot - ahead of the big chatters and walkers. I should've slowed down a bit at this point and run my race instead of that of the person in front of me. I knew then, and kept telling myself, that I was going to crash and burn on the 2nd loop. It was close. The last 5 miles were run on dead legs, guts, fumes, and sheer will power to finish. I got to the midway point in 2:55 and figured I could finish close to 6 hrs, so I pushed the pace.. and myself. I raced instead of run/paced the course. It was no longer a training race, but a chance to PR by a big margin. I was thinking about the 'now' instead of MMT in the future. Dumb.

Timewise, I am very happy with finally breaking the 6 hour mark - barely. There were a few changes in the course that added more flat roads to run on, which probably helped with my overall time.

Takeaways from this weekend include improvement on the follow:

-Nutrition: Homey here needs to lay off the Pop-Tarts. I have 3 singles in my pocket and grabbed 4 quarters before leaving this morning. I was tempted. I did a 'fly by' of the devil machine.. yknow, just to check. *sigh* My precious was there, but I just gave a nod as if to say "'sup", did an about face and walked away.

-Stretching: I am so friggin tight. Core took a beating on the muddy/slippery course and I am paying for it with sore everything from mid back down to hammies. I'm also feeling twinges in my left ITB. Not good with lots coming up in the next few weeks.

All in all, lots of positives to build on. It has been a good year so far and continues to improve.


At 5:03 PM, Blogger The Mule said...

JJ - I'm going to pimp slap you if you don't stop it with the trying to run every race like it counts mentality. Seriously girl, the only person who gives a shit if you set a PR at HAT is you. The last time I checked that wasn't your goal. BAD JEN!!!! If I see you anywhere near me at Chocolate Bunny I will choke you.

-El Burro

P.S. Nice police cruiser. It's very you.


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