Bunchgrasser’s World

My unique filter on life

Archive for February, 2010

Hagg Lake 50k turns into 25k

Posted by bunchgrasser on February 22, 2010

Well, my quest to run a 50k ultra continues as I opted to drop after one lap (25k) around Hagg Lake on Saturday. As expected, my lingering chest cold robbed me of energy and made breathing difficult. After finishing the first lap I knew starting the second lap probably wouldn’t end well. I normally can run strong for at least 10-15 miles before starting to feel tired, but my chest felt tight and breathing was difficult pretty much from the start of the race.

Yes, I’m disappointed that I didn’t achieve my goal, but it was such an amazingly beautiful day for trail running that I honestly felt lucky to be there. It was a cold start (mid 30’s) but clear and sunny which was optimal for running. Once the sun hit the lake it not only warmed up quickly, but cast a gorgeous, scenic picture looking out across the lake. It was hard not to be distracted by the many lake views from the trail.

The legendary Hagg Lake mud lived up to the hype in my opinion. Although we had no rain for several days prior to race day, there were still many spots that were challenging to get through, particularly in the section near the last aid station and on to the Start/Finish line. My hat is off to the 25k and 50k winners for getting around the course in unbelievably fast times. Race results are here.

Thanks go out to the race organizers and volunteers for putting on a fabulous event. I thought they did a great job making this a very memorable race for me. The hot chicken soup tasted so good and I now have a spiffy new pair of running socks to show off. As a final bonus – I won a Montrail running hat in the random drawing.

I’m already looking for another 50k to sign up for so that I can eventually reach my goal. Wish me luck…

Cheers

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OMG, Hagg Lake 50k is……TOMORROW!!!

Posted by bunchgrasser on February 19, 2010

How do I feel right now? Scared to death actually. Tomorrow I shall attempt my first ever ultra, the Hagg Lake 50k.

Am I trained properly? No, my Achilles injury has hampered my training severely.

Am I Healthy? No, I’ve been (and still am) sick this past week with head & chest cold.

Am I mentally prepared? Actually, yes – but mostly because as an ultra-newbie I’m blissfully ignorant of the pain to come tomorrow morning. I’ve come to peace with the idea that I may drop after 25K (one loop around the lake) if things aren’t going well.

I have managed to complete a couple more long runs over the past few weeks though. I ran a 16 mile out and back on my normal (road) course a couple weekends ago. I also managed an 11 mile run on my dreadmill last weekend. Running 11 miles on a dreadmill is a new distance PR for me – with my previous treadmill record being 10 miles.

The weather has been cold and sunny the past few days, which should help dry out some of the muddy spots on the trail. The race day forecast is for partly sunny with a low of 31 and high of 52. Having no rain will be great – but the morning start will be a cold one. I’m still planning to wear my North Face Rucky Chucky GTX trail shoes in order to keep my feet dry.

Cheers

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14 mile trail run on Wildwood

Posted by bunchgrasser on February 11, 2010

Catching up on my posts here…I’ve been trying to ramp up my mileage some over the past few weeks in anticipation of the Feb 20th 50k ultra. Clearly I’m way behind due to the 2-3 months of lost time from my Achilles injury. At this point I’m not very confident that I’ll be able to finish the Hagg Lake 50k, but since the course is a double loop around Hagg Lake – I will be able to drop after the first lap if necessary.

I’ve been getting pretty decent mileage lately without any substantial pain in my left lower leg, which is very exciting. Running injuries are so depressing and I’m just happy to be out on the road/trail again. Hopefully I can stay injury free for awhile as I have many races planned for 2010. Most importantly being my first ultra.

I recently did a 14 mile out and back trail run on the Wildwood Trail in forest Park near my house. I’ve ran Wildwood many times, but what made this one different was the driving rain, mud and 40 degree temp. My intent was to closely simulate worst-case conditions for the upcoming 50k – and I think it more than qualified. I did opt for running tights and gloves that day, which I’m typically loathe to do. In retrospect, it was a very good decision. By the time I finished the 14 miles and arrived back at the trail head – I was close to hypothermic. I learned a good lesson that day – that you cannot count on running to keep your body heat at sufficient levels. Once you get soaking wet your body temp can drop no matter how hard/fast you run.

I also learned that I need more than 2 Nathan water bottles (filled with Nuun) and a Bonk Breaker bar for that distance.

Needless to say, the copious amounts of mud and the many ups/downs on the Wildwood trail helped me use some muscles that don’t get much action on flat ground. I was quite sore for the next few days.

Cheers

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