25 August 2015

Marquette Trail 50k

Not only is she CAMPING, she even set up the tent!
Look who made the front page of Friday's paper!
Hogback Selfie...in much rougher shape than last year's Hogback photo.
As good as I was going to look all day.
I love this race and course.  They actually improved the course this year by eliminating the only road section and adding more (and very technical and ROUGH) trail.
This race didn't go is good for me as last year, though. I think I kind of messed up my race the night and week before. It had been a bit more of a stressful week and my diet was off, and because of that I was feeling a little heavy both on race morning, and during the first hour or hour and a half of the run.  Full disclosure...what was I thinking ordering a whitefish fry dinner on Friday night?!
 My stomach just was not emptying as I would've liked it to. And because of that, the calories I was trying to take it didn't seem to be going anywhere. I could even hear them kind of clanking around in my belly, which is never a good sign. But as I mentioned it's just an incredibly beautiful course with incredible volunteers and it's challenging. I really think next year I will attempt the 50 miler. The part that held me back this year was the thought of going back over the four big peaks in the opposite direction.
The more I think about it, though, I kind of like the idea of seeing that 20 mile loop in the reverse direction. It would most likely seem like a new course and when you combine the heat that may be building through that morning and day, it becomes one heck of a challenge...the kind of challenge that I'm not sure I could accomplish. That's something that becomes really attractive to me.
Up next, I have the Lapham Peak Marathon, and then the Glacial Trail 50 miler. So, I've got a decent stretch here to train hard now that my legs have come back around from Marquette. I even  have a week in there after Lapham where my wife and kids are all going to Arizona. I unfortunately have to stay back due to work stuff, but I can hopefully get in some solid training sessions and really sharpen the knife for Glacial.


Brad said...

Huge congrats on your race, Nic, your pace at Marquette amazes me! I attempted my first ever 50 miler at the 2015 Marquette Trail 50 and DNFd at the 50K point. Missed the cutoff by 6 minutes. I was so worried about not having enough energy to make it through 50 miles, that I didn't run fast enough in the runnable sections to make up for my time loss on the big climbs. By the end of my climb of Hogsback, my legs were pretty wrecked; what do you do for training to be able to move so fast in terrain like this? I thought I trained hard, but I guess not hard enough for the climbs here at Marquette.

One other question: there were a few sections in the first 15 miles that were in the woods that were flat enough to run, but I felt the I had to hike them because the rocks and roots were so crazy. Do you run all of these segments? I imagine you have to in order to finish this fast. I am curious as to how you can run through these sections that I thought were "unrunnable". Thanks and big congrats!!

nwgdc said...

Thanks, Brad! I did a lot of hilly runs and aimed for 50 miles a week. Every week at least two of my runs would be 8-10 miles long with 1000 feet of elevation gain. Marquette is tough--as soon as you get a bit tired of a certain type of terrain, it changes! BUT, I think you really need to be able to RUN the runnable sections (like the section along the lake, and the non-technical sections between the big climbs.
As for that section in the first 10 miles that was ridiculously technical...NO, I didn't run the majority of that. I think I ran more of it last year, but last year I was with another runner, and this year as I mentioned, my belly didn't feel right so I didn't have enough 'hop' in my step. My goal when going up and down Sugarloaf, TopOfTheWorld, Bareback (to a certain amount--that mountain is pretty tame all the way up), and Hogsback, is just to pace myself, NOT KILL MYSELF, and keep breathing. I think when it comes to 50k's or 50 milers, the race (or the cutoffs, or however you want to look at it) is won/achieved in the flats and the downhills. It isn't won on the climbs. Just get yourself to the top without overcharging it or overworking yourself, and then leaving yourself in trouble on the flat sections. Does this help?
Nice work to get out there and push the limit! Marquette 50k finish is NOTHING to downplay!

Brad said...

Thanks a ton for the reply, Nic, I think that really helps. After I DNFd at Marquette (this was my first DNF), I was really down on myself and second guessing everything that I did in training and in racing. Where I live in Grand Rapids, Michigan, there is NO terrain that is as difficult hill climbing wise as Marquette; so I was trying to figure out how to better prepare in the future. I ran a lot of trails on weekends and tried to run as much hilly terrain on those trails as possible; but I guess whatever I did was not enough. I was wondering if maybe in the future, I should supplement hill running/hiking with some squats or some other weighted exercise that would build leg strength and endurance.

I am learning more and more each time I race an ultra (this was my 3rd) and I think Marquette taught me a lot of things. Like you said, you really have to run those flats and downhills. Thanks again for the reply and for all the good advice.