Last week was not the best week for me running wise. After having a crappy run last Sunday I did rebound with a great Monday night run out at Hyland park. After that the rest of the week was a loss. I ran everyday on some trails at either Hyland or French Park. I never felt good any of those days the rest of the week. Coming into Afton today that was a bit of a concern for me to say the least. As we got closer to the end of the week and the race came closer I just kept telling myself to run smart easy and get a good workout out of it as Leadville 100 in August is the big prize to think about.
As race morning came I woke up felling pretty happy as excited to be going to the race. Not bad I figured since it was 3:45am when I got up !! Paul picked me up then we got Erik and we where off to the race. We made great time getting there, I guess there is not much traffic at this time of day ? It was great to see the park as it had been like 2 years since I had gone for a run from there. All the normal pre-race stuff of talking to people was in full effect. I was ready to race.
John the race director gave the pre run talk and then we where off and running. Let me say I could not believe how many guys took off like it was a 10k race. I just settled in to a very comfy pace with Paul and Erik. We all race together for like 8 miles or so then Paul fell back a bit and Erik and I kept going. As we got a few more miles into the run we passed like 5 or 6 guys. I was feeling great. I felt like I was very within myself. As we got to the start of the 2nd loop I click my lap on my watch. Just looking at my watch now it looks like we got back out after 2:16. Not a bad split I thought. As we started the second loop you could feel the heat cranking up. Erik and I continued to run together till the second aid station. At this point he pulled ahead and I was on my own. I could tell also at this point I needed to get some more food into me asap. I spent the next 15 min's pounding the food as I made my way down the trail. As I got into the next aid station I was SUPER happy to see Sonya and Evan there !!! I got two kisses and I was off. That was a BIG pick me up let me tell you. For the rest of the race I felt pretty good. I felt strong on the hills and smooth on the rest. I think I passed like 1 or 2 more 50k runners on the way into the finish. I split 2:18 the second loop for a solid time of 4:34. I will say this was a good thing for me as I get into the last weeks of training for Leadville.
I know I still have much more work to do but I felt like I am making progress even when I maybe have thought to myself I was not. I just need more weeks of hills and long long runs.
I have to thanks John and all the crew that put on this great race !! It is funny to think after all these years I had never done that race before. I will say I plan to never miss it from now on if possible.
** On a side note one thing I have never tried, that I did before Afton 50k was using the Hammer Liquid Endurance drink. It is supposed to help with heat tolerance. You drink 3 bottles per day the 3 days before you run. I do believe it seemed to work !! Not that it did not feel hot to me out there. But I felt like I did pretty good never feeling totally crappy in the heat of the day. Now I am sure taking my E-caps, Nuun drink, and Hammer gel alot during the run had alot to do with this as well. Also can't leave out my Montrail Streak shoes !!!