Monday, August 6, 2012

Week of July 22nd - Speedgoat report

Sunday - Didn't do squat.  We were still in Illinois and just didn't feel like going out and running.  Nothing like a little vacation.

Monday - Managed to get in a few miles in Rock Cut State Park with a friend.  Extremely humid and warm.  Had plans to do around 10 or so and quite when we hit 5.  Miles - 4.9

Tuesday - Another day of nothing.  Instead we spent the day traveling back to Utah.

Wednesday - Well, vacation's over and back to work.  Went out for a lunchtime run down the bike path.  Then headed out from 22nd street south for a run.  All in all not a bad day's work.  Miles - 14.0

Thursday - Went long at lunch today.  The boss is on vacation and I took advantage of that.  Kind of a boring flat run on the bike path, but it's running.  Didn't have time to go out after work but did manage to make it to Pilates class.  Miles - 7.1

Friday - Went out for another lunchtime run.  Kind of wanted to take it a little easy since Speedgoat is tomorrow.  Kind of looking towwards that with fear and trepidation.  Miles - 5.8

Saturday - Speedgoat 50K.  Probably the most difficult 50K trail race in the country if not the world.  This one sucks big time.  So how did I do?  Well, here goes. 
I signed up for this race again because my experience here last year was not good.  I ran it in 2011 after running two 100's in the previous six weeks and two weeks after the second one.  I was tired.  In retrospect, it was not a good idea at all, but I thought I could get some altitude training for Leadville two weeks later.  Yeah, right.  So anyway, last year was not good (10:12 for the time), time to try again this year.
Karl changed the course this year to make it tougher yet.  This is something he does every year.
Pre-race meeting with Shawn paying attention
Karen and I decided to spend the weekend at Snowbird as kind of a getaway, even though it's only an hour from home.  There were plenty of Happy Utah Mountain Runners running it too, so it made for a fun weekend with friends.
Still smiling, the race hasn't started yet
Emily and Breein still smiling.  It's early in the race still.
The gun went off at 6:30am and we all started up the long grind to the top of Hidden Peak, 4000' of climb to 11,000' in about 8.5 miles.  The morning was pleasantly cool, but that just meant that the day would be a warm one.  After about a mile, I teamed up with Breein and we spent a good protion of the race running together.  We hit the top of Hidden Peak at around 2:45 into the race.  Saw my lovely wife and a few other friends up there and headed down the service road into Mineral Basin.  We got to run thru an amazing field of wildflowers in this section.  Simply stunning.  Anyway, down we went until we reached the aid station at Larry's Hole.  I have no idea why it's called that. 

Gorgeous flowers
After Larry's Hole, we make the "short" climb up to a saddle above Mary Ellen Gulch.  This is a super rocky 4x4/streambed that can be hard to navigate with any sort of speed.  For some reason, Breein and I flew through here.  We had the best time just bounding down the rocks passing all sorts of people.  Eventually, we got to the turn around at Pacific Mine.  During the short out-and-back section here, we saw some of the other Happy Utah Mountain Runners that we were sharing the trails with.  We were still feeling pretty good, so after a short stop to fill bottles, grab something to eat and get a couple of popsicles for the road, we were out.  On the way back out, we saw Alicia making her wway into the aid station. It was nice to see her in good spirits and feeling good.  Now began the long climb up Miller's Hill.  I had forgotten just how long this climb was, something like 2500' over about  three miles.  Ugh!  The only nice part of this was the rusty water pipe in the middle of the trail.  Cold, clear water was coming out of it.  Good stuff.  The last part of this climb is a steep bushwack that took us back to the saddle above Mary Ellen Gulch.  Now it was back downhill to Larry's Hole again.  Only this year, we instead of taking a direct route, we had to go meander around Mineral Basin for awhile.  During all of this, we could see the aid station just a couple hundred yards away.  We knew the probably the hardest climb lay just ahead, but we didn't know just how hard.  Well, after about a mile of climbing up the Baldy Road we met a guy just sitting in a chair with a boombox playing Britany Spears (he said Karl told him to play it).  He just pointed up the side of the mountain and said "go that way".  Straight up, no trail, just flags.  Karl is one sick bastard.  We started up.  This climb was so steep that it was difficult at times to keep your footing.  Falling down meant you may roll down the hill.  At one point I barely kicked a good sized rock, and it broke loose and went flying down the hill.  Thank goodness the trail below veered away while the rock went straight.  That could have very well ruined someone's day.  Good Lord that was a steep climb.  I later looked at my GPS and it told the sad tale of a 52 minute pace for this section while we went up 700'+ in .5 miles, all at above 10,000'.  Finally, Breein and I made the top of Baldy and began the decent down the ridge.  At the bottom we met Britta and a couple of her friends cheering us on.  They also had popsicles.  I think I ate three here.  They were awesome (both Britta and the popsicles).   A short little run (yep, we ran this section), brought us to the Peruvian Tunnel aid station.  They had beer here (Michelob Ultra of all things).  I had about half a cup while Breein and Curtis drank the rest.  Good stuff.  I knew that we had one last climb and that it wasn't going to be fun at all.  Once we went through the tunnel we began a descent on the service road that eventually took us to the ridge trail.  Last year I ended up walking down this road.  This year I managed to run it.  Things go much better when you can do that.  Finally, we began the trudge up the Cirque Ridge.  This ridge is a spine that takes you back up to the top of Hidden Peak.  It's about a mile and it really, really sucks....bad.  Breein and I would go about 100 feet and have to stop for a few seconds.  My lungs were doing ok, but the legs were weak.  Breein kept talking about how she wanted to just kick someone for doing this to her.  Eventually we made it to to top and the final aid station.  Just below that we were being cheered on by Cody, Hope and their kids.  This was a surprise, and a nice one.  It's always nice to see your friends cheer you on when you're not in a happy place.  At Hidden Peak, Joel, Curtis, and Ryan were all waitng for Breein and I.  We all decided to make the downhill run to the finish together.  Britta met us there too and decided that she was going to come along for the fun.  Down we all went, just chatting and having a good time knowing that four short downhill miles were all that was left.  We wound down through the rocks, along the single track, and came out on the service road with about three iles to go.  When we hit the road, I discovered I still had some downhill legs left and I took off.  I fully expected to have a couple of the others join me for a fast downhill run, but no one bothered.  I knew what this last section was like and how fast I could run it.  Through here I managed to catch a few runners that had passed my on that last climb up the Cirque.  That felt pretty good.  As I ran the last stretch of trail above the finish, I came across Breein's kids cheering everyone on.  They were having a good time and it was fun to see them.  I passed one last runner on the last switchback turn and started down the last 1/4 mile.  As I was about to round the final turn for the finish I heard footsteps behind me.  It was the woman that I had passed just a couple minutes earlier.  needless to say, I sprinted across the finish line and managed to beat her by four seconds.  Karen was at the finish cheering me on as were a bunch of the other Happy Utah Mountain Runners that had come in earlier.  I was done, and glad to be.  I've run 50 mile races faster than this 50K, that's how difficult it is. 
So, will I do it again?  Hmmm, not sure at this point.  If I don't I'll definitely volunteer. 
All in all, it was a fun weekend with Karen and a bunch of friends.  We all stayed at the resort, ate together and generally had a blast.  Thanks to everyone for being there.
Stats -
Miles - 31.87  (30.62 last year)
Vertical - 11,985  (11,055' last year)
 Time - 9:55 (10:12 last year)

Weekly mileage - 63.7

Joel and Ryan finishing

Curtis and Breein finishing

Forrest getting his finisher's medal from Pam

Alicia looking happy now that she's done and Shane is there

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