Saturday, March 14, 2009

Way Too Cool - Quick Report

Well a rough day out here in California for me, or more accurately, a rough 4 miles at the end. Usually I'm done in by my own stupidity, but today I was done in by cramps (of course, stupidity played a part!).

The race started super quick; I wanted to start smart and conservative, knowing 31 hilly miles is a long way, but I didn't want to give up too much time right off the bat. Julie had marked the first 2 miles since we were on the road for that part, and I went through 1 mile in 5:55 and 2 miles in 12:05. I was in 13th place at 2 miles and the leaders were way up the road. I was already sweating a lot and felt like I didn't want to work any harder than that. After turning onto the dirt, I felt better and began what would be a very gradual progression up in place. I have to admit there were a ton of unfamiliar faces out there today; lots of good young runners coming to the sport, but I'll mention the ones I do know. The first person I passed once on the dirt was Mark Godale from Ohio. 12th place. I passed somebody else at around 6 miles and came through the first aid station (Highway 49) in 11th place. Over the next few miles I passed another runner, and then passed Phil Kochik, CO around mile 10. A few more runners were passed just before the ALT aid station, which I reached in 1:45 (15.4 miles). Roughly half way, but that was the easy half.

The loop that goes from ALT back to ALT is one of my favorite parts of the course, and I felt the best I ever felt going up the big hill before the aid station around mile 20 (Ball Bearing hill I think). I passed Eric Grossman on this one and actually was able to run a good part of it. I was now in 4th place, which was great but not where I wanted to end up. At the aid station, the said 3rd was 1 minute up. I started seeing 3rd on some of the winding section heading towards Goat hill and was right on his tail by the top of that hill (about 26 miles). My calves, quads, and forearms were cramping quite bad by now and I was out of electrolyte tabs. I had packed 12 thinking surely that was plenty by was out. At the aid station, I looked everywhere for some and luckily a spectator had a few which I took. The damage was done however and I was just hoping I could hold together. I decided to do a surge and try to get solidly into 3rd place and hope that would finish off the the unknown runner. I pushed hard for about a half mile and didn't want to look back, but on a switchback I caught a glance and he was hanging tough about 50 yards back and I knew it was over. On the next steep uphill he passed me and I said goodbye to the WS100! I hate giving up but have to admit that I did today. I sort of walked/jogged it in, trying to give some congratulations to the runners passing me. Grossman was very cool when he passed me and stopped to try to get me to take some of his salt pills but I just told him to keep trucking. I was wallowing in my own misery at that point! I was really psyched to see Scott Jaime pass me with about a half mile to go. He picked of another runner and got 6th. I did manage to sneak under 4:00 (had to hurry) for 11th and 2nd masters. The winner was Leor Pantilat and Olmstead was 2nd I believe. I didn't catch the 3rd place runner's name but whoever he was, he ran a tough race because I know he was hurting too when I caught him.

Lessons learned:

1. Salt pills are very light; take way more than you think you will need!

2. I spent a lot of time preparing for the uphills and felt really strong on them, but neglected the rocky downhills which I think really contributed to the leg cramping.

3. Running a bit slower at the start is a good idea! I felt way better than I ever have at 20 miles and it is always nice to be the hunter instead of the hunted.

3/15 EDIT - Saw the results posted so here you go for all the names I didn't know:

WTC Results


Reese said...

Great job. Beat yourself up today, but after that you'll see all the areas you'll improve on next run.

Anonymous said...

Still a good race for the majority of it and you took away some new lessons, which with your long list of accomplishments is a good and rare thing. 12 mins through mile 2? sheez.

Go after it at AM50.

Hoyawolf said...

Great report! Hope you don't mind if I link to it on my blog? Love your title by the way. Run hard - Brad

Manners said...

Way to go Paul! Still a solid run.
Keep it up...

Jean Pommier said...

Didn't realize you were going for the WS slot. I'm amazed how you made it back from 11th to 3rd. The extra 1.5 mile this year didn't help...
See you at AR then for another try. At least the downhills won't bother you there, not many of them, so keep your uphill strength, that's what's needed for the finish.

Farther Faster

Scott Dunlap said...

Good to see you, Paul (well, the back of your head at least). There's still AR50!!!


Paul DeWitt said...

Hi everyone - thanks for the kind words; I'll bounce back and hopefully give it another shot at AR50.

Scott D - wow what a great report on your site! Do you take all those photos while racing? I can barely run and fumble with my water bottle and gels without tripping so I'm very impressed!
- pauld

Anonymous said...

Paul, I'm curious what kind of salt pills do you take? S-caps?

Did you eat anything on run? gel?


Paul DeWitt said...

Anon/Scott - good question and I don't have a good answer! Let me explain, I was taking either S caps, E caps, or both. I have used both over the years and they look the same. After numerous runs where I put them in little baggies or loose in my fannypack, they all get mixed in together. I probably should stick to the S caps because I think they have more salt in them. For food, I stick to gels except/until I fall apart, at which time I'll eat anything since I'm just trudging along. AT the last aid station at WTC I grabbed some Oreo cookies for hte hike up the last hill but other than that ate gels. I used the new GU Rotane gels (mine) till I ran out then used whatever gels they had at the aid stations which I believe were the normal GU packets.