13 May 2013

Ice Age Trail 50k Report

Well, my guess was spot on.  I managed to finish in 4:15.  The last 7 miles were very rough, and I was much more sore after the run than I usually am (to the point of just lying on the ground in the same spot for 15 minutes, trying to avoid cramps), but overall I'm satisfied with how I ran.
Before the run...wearing a pair of Edwin's gloves that I found in the car.
I managed to be at the start line to see the 50 milers come through when they were 9 miles in to the race.  To see the fast guys get in and out of the aid station, and run the pace they were running was pretty darn cool.  Then, an hour later, it was my turn.  I knew that the 2-time defending 50k champ was back (Scott Gall) along with another fast runner from Iowa (Randy Bill).  In addition, Bruce U. has been running very well recently and would likely finish under 4 hours.  Oh yeah, and Meghan Arbogast was running too.  She's very, very fast.  Other than that, I wasn't sure of the field.  I figured I'd take my 4:15 and see where it ended up.  I ended up 4th...but would have been 6th, if Scott and Randy didn't drop at Mile 22 because they weren't going to get the course record.  So, I'll take 4th!  Results Here.  Garmin Here.

At 8:15 we were on our way.  Scott G and Randy were long gone pretty quickly, along with someone in a purple shirt I didn't know (It was the eventual winner).  I settled in to a group with Brian, Bruce, and Todd--all Lapham Peak guys--and was moving pretty fast and enjoying how good I felt.  I had gotten up a bit earlier with the goal of having 600 calories in before the race.  I used Coconut Water and CarboPro, along with a granola bar, at breakfast, and I felt great.

After about a mile, Meghan came screaming past us, and I felt good about that, as I knew I shouldn't be anywhere near her!  Brian shared that we was aiming for 4:30, and Bruce said he wanted to be under 4.  I thought to myself, "Perfect.  I'll stay between these two and get 4:15."

I ended up running right behind Meghan for the first segment, which is on the IAT out to Horseriders Camp. At that aid station, Meghan asked if I was okay running behind her, or if I wanted to pass.  "Thou Shalt Not Pass a 100k World Champion," I told her.  She replied "Smart guy."

So, that's where I stayed all the way back to the Start/Finish area (Mile 13).  Meghan would stop at aid stations, and I would creep ahead, but she would catch up a bit and then I'd follow her again.  I was feeling great through the first loop, and eventually actually moved ahead of Meghan a bit (maybe a minute).  At the beginning of the second loop (9 miles left!), I was starting to feel worse.  My legs just didn't have the miles on them, and the constant ups and downs were wearing on me.

Not long into the second loop, Meghan came screaming past me.  It was unbelievable...and she ended up finishing 12 minutes faster than me...all in the last 8 miles!  But, I kept plugging away...running the flats and downs, and doing my best impression of a power hike on the hills.  Finally, through the woods, I could see the big white tent.  And then I heard the cowbells.  And then I heard my wife.  A firm handshake from the RD Jeff at the finish, and I was off to find a spot in the sun to sit...
 I haven't been that sore in a long time.  It felt like my BONES were sore...not just the muscles.  I also was very, very crampy.  But that's nothing a brat can't fix, and after getting some food in my stomach I started to feel better.  Soon enough, Ellie and I were on our way home to make it to a friend's birthday part, where I think I ate an entire pizza all on my own.

Final Bullet Point Thoughts:
  • I'll be back to Ice Age.  I really would like to break 4 hours.  I think good splits would be under 50 for each part of the out and back, then about 1:05 on the first loop.  That would leave 1:15 to get through the second loop and finish under 4.  
  • I think it's really important to run the course before the race.  I had forgotten what the Nordic Loop was like...and it HURT.  It would also have been helpful to get down there and run the IAT portion (first 13 miles) to get a feel for pace there.  Next year I'll try to get down there and run the first 22 miles of the course.  That would be a solid training run, for sure.
  • My nutrition was pretty good.  I topped off my glycogen before the race even started, then maintained with Gels.  I had more gels without getting the gag reflex than I ever have before.
  • After feeling as rough as I did post-race, I am once again amazed at the folks who hammer out 50 miles on those trails.
  • On to Manitowoc, for a fast marathon on June 23!
  • I'm guessing the Glacial Trail Races will start filling up now that Ice Age is in the rear view mirror.  I'm really leaning toward the 50k (especially after last weekend) but still have something inside--despite the above bullet point--that wants to try the 50 miler.

My newly added key chain.  The big boys (50 miler) get belt buckles.  The JV race gets a key chain.
Edwin showing off my Major Award :)

1 comment:

nikki said...

i'm planning on ice age being my first 50K and i love reading all the race reports about it! i met the race director last night at lapham and after talking with him i'm even more excited to run it! thanks for the report! awesome!