STRAVA Summary

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Vulture Bait

Yes, it’s been a while since my last posting, but there hasn’t been a lot to blog about. Generally the running has just been… well running. I had no real goals so I was just putting in the miles for the sake of general fitness, at the same time knowing that I would have to get the mileage up again at some point so I’d try and put in some decent mileage each week. I started running some early morning runs before work too, short 7k fartlek runs that would hopefully improve my speed. I was seeing some progress with these. With all the running though I still wasn’t feeling 100%, the nagging injuries haven’t gone away and I was struggling. So it was with trepidation that I signed up to run the Vulture Bait 50 k in London. What was I thinking? In hind site I think I wasn’t in the best shape I could be in, by far and I really didn’t train for the distance and maybe just took this race for granted. I think I had forgot that running 50k is not a piece of cake.
Regardless on Saturday (October 15th) morning we got up really early (5:00am), Joan had signed up to do the 25k too, her third one in a couple of months. We drove over to the car pool and picked up Chris Battaglia and off we went for the 2 and a half hour drive to Fanshaw Conservation area.
After a few pee breaks and stops at Tims etc., we arrived in a blustery, cool and slightly wet Fanshaw. Got our race kits and by the time we were dressed for the race it was time to start. We started down the hill from the chalet by the lake and while we were waiting for the start a pair bald eagles circled near by over the lake. It made my day and probably a few other’s day too. Awesome sight.
At 9 am the 300 25 and 50k runners were off. The course starts on grass for the first kilometer or so and then into some single track, a lot of runners trying to get sorted out into single track backed things up a bit, but we kept moving. The first aid station was just below the dam and I just passed through as I didn’t need anything. I was running with two hand helds for the first time in a race, one with perpetuem (another first) and the other just water. The perpetuem is only supposed to be sipped on every 15 to 20 minutes, so I was hoping that the one bottle would last the entire race. The plan was to sip on the perpetuem every 20 minutes, a gel at the top of each hour and an S-Cap at the bottom of each hour.
As the race progressed I was surprised by the amount of single track which made me very happy as I feel like I can run that for ever. There were a couple of roads here and there but a lot more trails. I tried to keep my pace to an easy run, but as usual I was probably faster than I need to. I was feeling very good and the course was very good. The rain started to become more of a constant rain and the trails were getting rather muddy, the high winds though were not really too much of a bother, as we were in the woods most of the time.
A couple of road sections in the second half were a bit of a pain, especially crossing the large bridge at about 19k. The wind was right in your face at this point. After the bridge it was back into the woods and a creek crossing, up over the ankles only so not too bad.
After I hit 20k though I felt the wheels coming off and I started to struggle. The last 5k back to the chalet, although it was nice rolling single track I was finding tough going. I started to question whether I had what it takes to get through the second loop. I was very tempted to call it a day when I came to the end of the loop. My time was a very respectable 2:15 for the first 25k and somehow I talked myself into continuing. I walked for a long stretch before starting to run again, from here on it was more of the same, run, walk, run. After a couple of k I seemed to get a second wind and was able to push myself for a bit before crossing the small walking bridge at the bottom of the course. The next stretch was more run, walk, run and I thought I was all by myself, but when I hit the road a the 17k (42k) mark about 3 runners passed me. I was walking all the paved roads at this point and when I crossed the large bridge I walked across it, despite the gale force winds blowing into my face and heavier rain. It was nice to get back in the shelter of the trails again, which were getting rather muddy at this point. That last 5k dragged on for ever. With about 1k to go I was coming down a slight hill when my right slipped inwards and I went down in a heap, no harm done and nobody saw me and the only evidence was the mud down my right side. I finally pulled my self across the finish line in 5:06:10, not quite the sub 5 hours I was hoping for and after the first loops thoughts of about a 4:30 finish, all thrown out the window.
In retrospect my lack of distance in training for my long runs was definitely a factor in my result and after thinking about the injuries I believe some strength training is required to get me back to where I should be.
Joan had a good run and pb’d by one minute in 2:42, despite some GI issues and Chris finished in 6:06. Chris also proceeded to do the Scotia waterfront marathon the next day finishing that in 4:40. He is the ultimate nut case in our group of runners.

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