|GPS Analysis||Garmin Connect|
That did not go as planned.
The inaugural Quad Rock 50 was being held just outside Fort Collins at the Lory State Park and Horsetooth Mountain Park. My Fort Collins buddies run those trails and I knew they were worthy. I figured being that the race was in May, we would have some good heat and that would set me up for a nice hot training run for Western States (which is a notoriously hot course). Quick hour from home up there. Good deal.
The week before didn't go as planned. I tapered a bit. Didn't sleep well. Worked a lot. Then sometime about 9 PM on Friday night I sat down and figured out my drop bag and race gear. Not a second before that had I given it any thought. This is in contrast to the yarn grid from years go that took over our dining room table for months in preparation for the LT100. So it was casual. I packed in all I needed and went to bed. Woke up to light rain and 40 degrees. It had been 80 earlier in the week. I hadn't run in a shirt in 30-45 days. Now I was wondering where my gloves were. Mood was bitter.
Got to the start in no time and checked in and retreated back to the truck to stay warm. Joined up with JT and we sat together before there were just minutes to go. Said hi to a ton of people at the start. Everybody was out to run the Fort today! Nick sent us off into the dark. A couple miles of new singletrack through a meadow started the day. I felt fresh in the legs and took the chance to do the usual and get up front a bit in front of the crowd. About a mile in, IT STARTED. Bowel pain. I have to shit. I had gone nicely just before the race too. But there was more. Damn it. So at mile 4 exactly I made my first stop in the bushes on the day. A freight train of people came by as I sat for about 5 minutes. Damn it. Oh well.
From there we started the climb up to Towers and I felt pretty strong. I was hiking while people around me were running. My hiking might have improved. But that didn't last long. I have to go. Again! I pulled up again. Lost more time. Let's just get this out and done and then relax and move it up. Nada. It was a train wreck. Between mile 0 to mile 10's aid station, I racked up 5 stops. JT was plodding along after his 3 hour marathon last weekend in Jersey. I would pop out of the bushes as he was running by. I would dust him only to have to stop again in a few miles. Then come out again and there he was. So I just started running with him. Figured it would be a long day and its better to share it with a dear friend.
And so the day continued. The joke was on me. I crapped over 15 separate occasions through the race. I ruined that park up there. At one point, I shit out some corn. The funny thing is...I can't remember the last time I ate corn. I wasn't just pooping. I was cleansing. Out of my control.
Things did get better later in the day. I had some good stretches in the 30 mile range. I had lost JT. But I found myself kicking it up. Had people on my tail and was able to run hard and avoid the pass. Had fun in the moment. But I think that burnt up too much good fuel as I started getting just plain tired around mile 40. If I didn't have that DNF monkey on my back, I would have been looking for a ride home. As I came into the mile 40 aid station, JT was there downing a PBR. As he exited the aid station, I swung in and grabbed food and moved out. I caught up hiking up the hill and went to his pace. He was having trouble descending. I couldn't climb. What a pair! So we hiked and talked for the next few miles.
I had another stop around mile 43 and he gapped me. But we had a big downhill section, so I passed him and ran hard. Figured I had him cooked now...but honestly I knew better. JT came back and caught me at the bottom of the downhill. Then he just moved away from me on the slightly uphill miles back through the valley to the finish. I was under 12 hours no matter how I finished so I ran/walked it in. I didn't care. Survived.
All in all, it was a bad race performance for me. I asked JT what my issue was... Not enough taper? Not enough training? Or do I just suck? He went with the later. I had hope to build some confidence from the race going into Western but it didn't happen. Probably shoved me backwards. So I have some thinking to do around a few things:
+ Pre-race Food - Before Boston, I was like measuring my food so I ate right. Before this race, I didn't care at all. I was actually starving. The taper caused me to stock up food in my bowels and when I finally started moving again, it emptied. I cannot afford to 0 mile taper before a race.
+ During-race Food - I stayed on sugar and coke all day. Seemed OK. I tried out the applesauce plan and I think it was money. I still didn't hit it as well as I should of. When the race got to the late miles, I threw in the towel and just ground it out. I should have experimented. That's why I was there.
+ Shoes - I blistered in my Crosslite 2.0s. Surprised. My socks were wet all day from going off trail. I should have swapped socks at 25.
+ Legs - My quads were great. My calves and ankles went to hell. I should have worn the post in my shoe too.
+ Trails - Those were some different trails. Lots of ups and downs while ascending and descending. Like running Flagstaff-kind-of-stuff if it was stapled on Green. Does that make any sense. Just different. Body not used to the constant change. I run a lot of road here.
+ Lungs - Limiting factor on the climbs. Was just out of breath all day. More time in Leadville before WS100?
+ Taper - I feel like I did it wrong. Or just didn't peak correctly.
+ Beard - Its gone. Cut it when I got home. Didn't work.
Part of this whole thing makes me want to quit this whole thing. Whine. The other part of me wants to break it all down. I can't figure out why I can't just nail one of these ultras for once. I just keep telling myself I haven't cashed that check yet. If its at WS100 or LT100 this year, it will be worth it. I will try to guide my luck towards making that happen in the meantime.
Chalking it up to sucking and being a long training run a month from the biggest race of my life (so far).
I went 51.42 miles with an elevation gain of 10,608 feet in 11:41:44, which is an average pace of 13:39. View my GPS data on Garmin Connect.