I've lost a bit of motivation recently for long slow ultra training but decided to sign up for this 50K for my last long run for Burning River 100 miler in 2 weeks. I was reading through my training and I had similar lack of motivation at the same time last year. The "problem" this time is I have a 100 miler coming up in 2 weeks rather than 3 months so not time to recover from lack of motivation. The training plan has ceased for the past 6 weeks since I ran Kettle Morraine 100K. I cut back mileage from what I had planned and started lifting weights. I look more like I am training for a marathon than a 100 miler but have been feeling better the past couple weeks. Normally, I would stress out a bit which I did at first and considered not doing the 100 miler. I am now totally at peace with running the 100 miler and looking forward to getting it over with. I am kind of looking at it as closure and may not attempt to run another one ever again. I do have a chance to run that far at the Back Yard Ultra in October, but there is no pressure to do so. I am looking forward changing things and doing less running.
Hugh rode with me to Kansas City the morning of the race, leaving at 4:55 am and arriving around 7 am. I picked up my packet which included a shirt, glass, and a 50K Trail Nerds sticker. I brought a small cooler for my bottles and had filled them with Succeed and ice. I also packed 2 Powerade Zeros in case I wanted one after the first and second loop for extra hydration. I had 3 gels and a packet of almond butter and peanut butter plus 6 Succeed caps. The aid stations were serving Succeed Ultra and also had Succeed caps. I started off with the Ultra and topped off with more Succeed at the manned aid stations or diluted with water at the unmanned stations when I got the chance. After each loop I started with fresh bottle of Succeed Clip2 instead of the Ultra.
The race started at 8 am. I started out at a slower pace than last year. Hugh took a short video where I appear at 19 seconds crossing the bridge at the start. I didn't feel great but not bad either. I felt like I needed a few miles to warm up. The temperature was about 70F and didn't feel too bad for awhile. I went shirtless and sweating and cooling mechanisms were working very well. I don't think there was much humidity since we started so late and it has been extremely dry. The 20 milers started off at the same time with us and the 10 milers would start an hour later. Eventually, I caught up to where I had to pass quite a few people to continue running the pace I felt I needed to run. I took a Succeed cap early at 40 minutes and kept taking one about every 40 minutes. I stopped at most of the aid stations to refill my bottle even though it wasn't always quite empty. I ate a few boiled potatoes with salt at some of them and had a piece of watermelon at one. I pretty much followed the same food routine each loop. My pace was around 10-something per mile. The hills always start to feel a little brutal during the last 3 miles of the loop but I walked up them at a pretty quick pace and this year they were completely dry. I finished the first loop in 1:49:02, 10th place overall and the distance measured around 10.7 mi per my GPS which came out to 0.3 mi longer than last year and the course was changed a bit.
I picked up a new bottle after the first loop and totally forgot about drinking the Powerade. I did eat an almond butter. I started the 2nd loop feeling good and passed a few guys. There was 2 miles or so where I had a guy close behind me but he never said he wanted to pass. I almost wanted him to pass though since I felt like I might be slowing him down. I thought maybe he would pass after I stopped at the next aid station but he did not. I had my first gel at 3 hours where I used to have one an hour into the race. About mile 18 I was starting to feel much warmer. Going up the big hills near the end there were a couple guys sitting on one of the hills at various points not looking or sounding well. I finished the second loop in 1:54:19 (5:07 slower than 1st), and had moved up to 5th place. Hugh refilled my bottle with ice and Clip 2 and I drank a bottle of Powerade Zero. Also, had a packet of peanut butter and then I was off to complete the final loop.
The 3rd loop I barely saw anyone else on the trail and didn't see anyone for the first several miles other than at aid stations. Later, there was one guy sitting on the side of the trail not looking well. He was fairly close to an aid station though. Once I got to the next aid station I heard a fire truck pull in and there was a guy there lying on the picnic table and they started asking him a bunch of questions. I think it warmed up to 95F and the heat was starting to get to me as well by slowing my pace. Each time I stopped at an aid station or took short walk breaks, I felt better. The last 3 miles with the hills felt brutal. Heart rate felt high and breathing difficult just walking up these hills. The 2 previous loops I walked up the hills and felt okay, but this definitely was some exertion just walking.
I finished the 3rd loop in 2:10:43 (16:24 slower than the second) and placed 4th overall out of 82 runners. There were an additional 33 50Kers that dropped down to the 20 mile. Overall I finished 27 minutes faster than last year and the course was 0.9 mi longer at 32.2 miles. I was pleased my loops were more even than last year and ecstatic with the first 2 loops only being 5 min apart. Last year the first and second loop were 20 minutes apart and second and third were 25 minutes apart. Another difference with this race is I only used 1 gel and had 1 almond butter and 1 peanut butter packet which was a new thing to try. That really seemed to help with not feeling as nauseous. I still felt a little nauseous at the end but not as bad as usual. I drank a Powerade Zero and eventually was hungry enough to eat a few almonds.
Hugh had been out running on the road while I was running the race and the only food in the car was almonds so he was getting hungry. We left around 3 pm and made a stop at Trader Joes in KC and decided on Cheesecake Factory for dinner. Around 5:10 we at the Cheesecake Factory and actually got seated by 5:30. Nothing on the menu really sounded good to me even though I was hungry. I ended up getting the Shepherd's Pie which was probably good since it was so salty. I had the Caramel Turtle Cheesecake for dessert. Even after as much as I thought I was drinking, I was still a bit dehydrated but not nearly as bad as last year. Drinking to thirst on such a hot day would definitely not have been enough. I ran 5 miles the day after the race so don't feel too bad.