Thursday, July 11, 2013

North Face Endurance Challenge 50 mile race

On June 1st I took on my first 50 mile race.  It was...AWESOME!!!  The whole weekend was incredible.  Here's a recap, as quick as I can make it.

1. The race was on a Saturday, so on Friday I left right from work with Kristina to get to DC to pick up my race packet at the North Face store in Georgetown.  Got my packet, bought a sweet pair of North Face flip flops and then they had a question and answer with none other than one of my heroes Dean Karnazes!  It was incredible, I sat in the front row and he answered questions and gave advice.  It was great to be 4 feet from someone like him that I admire.

2. Kristina and I went out to a pub for dinner in Georgetown, below is my pre-race dinner of homemade soft pretzels, burger, fries and tasty beverage:

3. The race started Saturday morning at 5am so needless to say we were up early.  Kristina was planning on running with me later in the race, so she dropped me off, and then went back to the hotel to get some sleep.  It was cool being there so early in the morning, in the dark, everyone walking around with their headlamps on.  I didn't take any pictures because it was dark and nothing really would have come out.  I wish I had taken some video but I was nervous and excited for the race to start, and I only got there about 20 minutes before the race start.

4. I wasn't sure what to expect from the race.  I hadn't really trained for a 50 miler.  I had been marathon training, and doing a lot of double training runs (one in the morning before work and one in the afternoon after work) but my mileage was still low (35-45 per week).  But throughout the race I took it pretty easy and just let my body dictate how fast to run.  My conservative goal was under 12 hours, and then I read that to qualify for a legit ultra like Western States you need to be under 11 hours, so that was my "feeling good" goal.

5. Here I am on the course:

6. Kristina met up with me at mile 28 and ran about 7.5 miles with me which was great.  It was great to run with my wife and for her to not only be there but to participate on some level with me.  And it was great motivation as something to look forward to while running the beginning of the race. 

 7.  The course was a beast!  It was all hills and rough footing, some so rough we were climbing over huge boulders on the side of a cliff, as you can see from the below video.

8.  I really felt great throughout the race...until mile 45!  At mile 45 I felt like I could not go on.  The aid stations were great, but they ran out of ice from mile 30-47 and the temperature that day was over 90 degrees!  I was dying, and at mile 45 I got to an aid station hoping they had ice and there wasn't any and I struggled to keep going.  After yelling at myself (probably out loud without knowing it!) I kicked it up and made it to the last aid station at mile 47.5.  They had ice!  And Mountain Dew!  Yes, Mountain Dew the soda, with tons of caffeine and sugar, and it was GLORIOUS!!!!!   

9. I finished in 10 hours and 29 minutes, which I was very happy with.  Here are a few videos of the finish and post race.

10.  After the race, Dean was signing posters for the participants and I had a chance to spend a couple minutes talking to him while he signed a poster for me.  AWESOME!

11.  And a post-race ice bath.  Brrrrrrrr

Even with the ice bath, my legs were pretty beat up after that race!  Next up, the Back on My Feet 24 hour race on July 20th and 21st!

It is a fundraiser for a great organization, so if anyone reading agrees and wants to donate, here is a link to my page.  All donations need to be in by this weekend, before the 15th.

Monday, July 1, 2013

2013: Now what?

This is my first runningschultz post of 2013.  I wasn't sure what I was going to do with my running blog.  I wanted to keep it up following the 12in12in12 last year, for a couple reasons, but after Craig and my events of 2012, I thought it would be, well, lame.  Ooooh, I ran a ten mile run.  Ooooh, I did a 5k.  Like, what's the point, right?  Additionally, when I ask questions like the previous sentence, who am I really talking to, since I am the only one who reads the blog.  I guess I am talking to myself.  It is like a weird and sad circle.  I think it. I type it. Then I read it later, to myself, who already thought it and typed it.  Freaky.  Oh yeah, and sad.

That being said, I'm going to do it anyway.  Today is July 1st.  I am halfway through the year and I have run some great races already this year.  My first race of the year was the Ocean Drive marathon, which was one of the marathons we did in 2012. I felt like I needed to run a marathon in a more respectable time after the 12in12in12.  We ran those marathons so easy that I wanted to push myself a little more and I did, finishing in 3:44.  It is a far cry from my marathon best of 3:22, but it was good to break 4 hours.  That was the end of March.

In April I didn't run any races, but I trained for the Broad Street Run 10-miler which I do every year.  I was running a lot in April.  I ran in the morning on the treadmill doing speedwork, then ran again during the week after school with a group of teachers.  So I would run approximately 3-4 miles in the morning hard, and then run a moderately paced 5-7 miles in the afternoon.  All the training worked well, because I ran my best Broad Street finishing the 10 miles in 1:06:16.

That was the first weekend of May, the following weekend, Craig was running the Delaware marathon again, with his cousin's husband, Tony.  Tony is a soldier, and a great, great guy.  It was his first marathon and he did an amazing job.  Craig wanted to break 4 hours, and we did, finishing around 3:58.  Here we are at the finish line with Tony.  He's the one in the middle, not the one on the phone.

That's enough for now.  In June, I ran my first 50-mile race which was awesome.  The North Face Endurance Challenge outside of DC.  I'll recap next chance I get for all my followers, um, me (and my wife if she is really bored).