Monday, April 9, 2012

American River 50 Miler, April 7, 2012

I had never run 50 miles in a single day before this past Saturday, and I wasn't completely sure what to expect at the American River 50.  Most importantly, I was not sure how my body would react.  In the event, however, it was all rather straightforward.  Many ultra marathoners have trouble with their stomachs, but I was able eat and drink what I needed.  Jack ran with me the whole way; Phil and Paul crewed us.  I got into a good rhythm around 15 miles or so, and felt very comfortable until the last two or three miles, when Jack pushed me a bit on the final climb into Auburn.  Even then, however, I was ok, just a bit tired.  I felt fine the following day, not as sore as after the Napa Marathon, and was able to run three easy miles without too much trouble.

The strangest thing about running that far is trying to control the pace for so long.  I'm used to running shorter distances, and when I get to 15 or 20 miles, I am almost always approaching the finish.  There is no need to control the pace at that point; it is ok to spend whatever energy I have left.  No so in a 50 mile race.  You have to hold back for 30 or more miles before it is safe to let that competitive feeling take over.

The bigger question for me is how I would do if I ran 50 miles more competitively.  Up until now, I have not run over a marathon as a true race; the few times I've exceeded 26 miles I've focused on finishing and staying within myself.   After American River, however, I'm starting to consider racing at 50k or even 50 miles.  I still haven't decided, but it is starting to seem more reasonable.     

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for update and how it felt. Great to see your progression.