Thursday, November 29, 2012

American River 50 Sign-Up / Training Thoughts

     This season has been up and down for me.  I battled a stress fracture that made me over 90 seconds per mile faster (odd I know), hip locking issues (my chiropractor called me a "patch job"), yoga (multiple attempts, ouch), law school and even hints of Churchill's black dog.  Taking a breather and getting a long run in tends to make me feel at ease.  So naturally after a run I decide to go back to my roots, the American River 50 (Race Report).  The race takes place in April and has been the scene of my highest high and lowest lows.  

     Below is my race plan for my first attempt at this race; right off the bat I can tell you that is way too much water and looking back I am not shocked that I over hydrated and DNF'd at Beal's Point, roughly 27 miles.  

     If you have followed my blog or check out my race reports you will notice that my planning is significantly more detailed than it was back then.  I now bust out excel spreadsheets like a statistician and pick gear as if I am on a Mars Rover mission.
     A big reason for the detail is reading other blogs.  I have gleaned so much knowledge from other runners experiences, both good and bad, that I feel compelled to share my success and failure in hopes that others will have positive experiences.
     Below are images of me at the same aid station a year apart (Negro Bar Aid station 22 ish miles).  The second time I ran AR50 I knew what I was getting into.  The only thing that was on my mind was "get to Beal's Point."  I ran smart and took advantage of my course knowledge both forwards and backwards having run the reverse route at the Rock'n River 50.  I also was fortunate to get into a solid conga line for the single track section.  The group pushed in silence, each motivating one another with effort rather that words with a few grunts and "on your left" thrown in there.  

Negro Bar - 2011
Negro Bar - 2012
          Funny I did not realize my number in 2011 was 476 and in 2012 it was 497...the difference being roughly the distance I failed to complete the first attempt at AR.  April 2013 will be my third time running this course. I am excited and scared at the same time. 
     I do not have the DNF chip on my shoulder which was a huge motivating factor for me.  I do have a little more experience and my perspective on ultras is a little different.  I run to be happy and my race plan will revolve around keeping a healthy sustainable pace and if all goes to plan hope to be able to smile and enjoy a brew at the finish line.