Monday, March 8, 2010

A-OK 25/50K

A-OK 50K, Atoka, OK, March 7th
Above is the course layout for 25K...out-n-bak... a repeat for 50K. Coming into this race, my training has been pretty much non-existance. It's been around 10/15 miles per week. So I was just looking at this race as a 6-hr training run. 50K... a training run??? It's crazy. But really... I was doing this only to cover 30+ miles. I was in bad need of a long run.

This is the 3rd or 4th time I'm running this course. This is a great course if you're just out for a long, slow run, and not very technical. Most of it is jeep trails or logging roads...very few rocky sections.

This year the weather forecast was pretty good chance for rain. In previous years, it's been cold (mid-20s to 30 deg) at start. Sunday, start temp. was around mid-40s, and overcast. I was thinking... it's going to be hot today. I do prefer cold temps though. And sure enough, temps probably hit mid-50s.

My plan was to start out slow, do the first loop (25K), and then see if I feel up for another 25K. I was estimating my time to be around 6 or 6.5 hrs... worst case, a 7 hr finish would be OK too... but that would mean my body is really needing some serious workout.

At 8am, RD Mary Ann yells out... "GO!"...and we're off. This race has been a very low key race, with 50 entry limit. But this year, there were 70+ runners all together. I think word is getting out about this little race in the woods.

First 2.25 miles is steady climb...darn me...I went out little faster than I wanted too. I should've just walk it. This will come back to haunt me in a big way. After reaching top, it's easy going on some nice dirt roads to the turn-a-round. I slowed it down just to save some for the second half. I got back to start/finish line in 2:43.

Coming back on the last mile or so, I was beginning to feel some leg muscle titching... not a good sign. I kept drinking more and more water, and taking in some Endurolytes. At half-way, I took a break, took in some salty food. The body was telling me to call it a day...but my mind was telling me to go back out again. I thought... that's weird. It's usually the mind that screams... stop. So, I thought, let's see how far I can go on the second loop... anything is just bonus.

The 2.25 miles back out was definitely hard... I struggled to reach the top... 18 min/mile. I had to stop a few times to massage my legs... it was cramping bad. I almost quit at that point. I seriously thought about just crawling back...but the next AS was a mile away... I'll stop there and get a ride back. I managed to get back into a slow shuffle, made it to the AS, took a short break, drank some broth... a big thanks to Dora Bray for being out there all day at the AS. She practically saved the day for me. I kept on going. I finally made it to the finish in 6 hrs, 16 min. I had hit my estimated time, but I didn't think I would have problems with my legs cramping.

Overall this was a great outing. I really needed to cover 31 miles. Now I hope to add more and more in the coming weeks.

Thanks to Mary Ann Miller, Dora Bray, and all the nice people for putting on a great race. Great chili too.

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