Quad Rock 50 2012

Activities17 Comments

Distance 51.42 mi
Time 11:41:07
Rank 69th
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.

  • Timko

     Have you tried sticking a cork in your ass?

  • mikehinterberg

    Bummer, wondered what happened.  And thanks for crapping all over our town!

    Let’s solve the bowel issue (for everyone’s sake!), esp before WS.  Did you drink enough water the day(s) before?  What did you eat that had your bowels “stocked up” but yet you were starving?  

    Ideally you’re eating more carbs (percentage-wise) the couple days before; drinking plenty of water; and -gaining- a few pounds of weight (the water that’s stored along with glycogen), and also helpful to avoid constipation.

    How do you use caffeine before/during the race, any unusual differences there?  How much did you go the previous couple days, and how much in total did you go during the race?  (Not sure if everyone wants the literal answers to those questions, but trying to think about solving the problem…)

    I don’t think it’s the taper itself.  While a normal daily run is helpful for many of us as part of our “routine,” the single 0M-day shouldn’t have completely thrown everything off.  And I think you run different paces at different times of day, so you’re body isn’t regularly dependent on the same run at the same time of day like some people are. Sounds like food/drink during the week is affecting it, and maybe longer.  Do you eat your fiber?  Something like oatmeal and fruit (plus yogurt for protein) for breakfast, fairly regularly, might help clear out any malingering collateral damage from previous Burger Wars. 

    Last is the possibility of a food intolerance or allergy, which would take some time to narrow down, but you seem to be fine normal training days, right? 

    And: don’t take off at the front of the pack! =)

    Still a solid training day.  Mostly, you’ll probably feel better during WS just from eating better.  

  • Timko

     Looking at the results, and going by just Ultrasignup ‘rankings’ around you, compared to yours, you still did well. There isn’t a person who finished above you, who had a lower ranking. As someone who auto shuts down at about the 4 hour mark at every race, I completely get the frustration though.

  • http://thescenebegins.com/ Chris Boyack

    I still have a ton of admiration for that run you had in Boston.  You definitely have it in you to race like that in an ultra.  For sure.  For what it’s worth (not much), I would advocate maybe racing a little more.  Not at the every-damn-weekend JT level, but more ultras, more often.  I think it helps to smooth out the highs and lows, and run more consistenly.

  • http://brandon.fuller.name/ Brandon Fuller

    It just falls out.

  • http://brandon.fuller.name/ Brandon Fuller

     I know racing them more would help.  This falls firmly in the camp of picking my battles with family time and other commitments.

  • http://brandon.fuller.name/ Brandon Fuller

    You always comment and make me feel like I have homework! :)

    I didn’t drink any more or less water the day before than normal.

    We had pizza the night before.  Family in town.  Everyone went out.  I went with it.  I have a gluten issue so pizza is not often consumed.  Although I do just fine at this place we went.

    I didn’t go aggressive on caffeine for this race like I do others.  Just hit coke at all the aid stations.  No other sources except maybe a gel block flavor had it.

    Food will be my crutch through this whole thing I think.  Just shows I don’t have it nipped yet.


  • LucasCrespin

    Seems like everyone is giving you legitimate advice but I’ll just say you’re going about it all wrong with the beard. If it didn’t work, it wasn’t big enough. Good luck with those issues but it seems like you’re on to the answers for a lot of them, especially that zero mile taper and extra crap in your system. Makes sense. 

    We’ll be up in Pbville May 25-27 and June 1-3 if you’re around and want a run!

  • http://brandon.fuller.name/ Brandon Fuller

    Laughed at the beard comment!

    I will be there…probably.  You know where to find me.

  • mikehinterberg

    Just tryin’ to help, it’s cool to see problems get solved. 15 times(!) — wanna make sure you race the way you’re capable of, but also long-term healthy.

    A nutritionist would probably suggest a food diary — that’s a lot of work, but only way to capture the long-term trends.Caffeine-wise, I mostly meant if anything was unusual.  Sounds like it wasn’t.  Some people quit caffeine a few days before, others take noticeably more the day of — both of those being “different” than normal and leading to consequences.  So it’s more about what you’re used to.  

    Racing more is great advice to get it dialed in (getting used to the stress/hormones), I hear you on the commitments though.  The unusual thing though is this happened so early, you would have felt it in a 10k or 5k even, so possibly some short races could stimulate the experience…I think you’re planning BB again?Otherwise, nothing obvious I guess (possibly the gluten but not sure why you’re OK during training), except making sure you take a crap the days before the race, whatever that takes: a run, if that helps, and enough fiber (fruits, veggies, rice if wheat is bad) earlier in the week.  Starting with a clean system.

    Good luck, you’ll get it dialed in!

  • Jim Petterson

    You’re going to do fine at WS100, so forget all that crap.

  • http://brandon.fuller.name/ Brandon Fuller

     I see what you did there.

  • pittbrownie

    You suck, no amount of advice is going to help.

    I thought my Boston crap record would stand forever, you smashed it by the 18 mile mark.  A Beamon-esque performance in that area.

  • NickP

    First, do yourself a favor and order a pair of these: http://www.drymaxsocks.com/extremerunning.php With those you can almost guarantee no foot issues at WS/Pb. 

    Do you remember what you did in terms of food before Boston? My advice would be that if you know what you did and it worked stick with it. I try to eat the same things leading up to a race because I know that they will work and not cause any issues. It is a little boring to always eat the same thing but eliminates one variable that could cause problems. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Glenn-Hahn/1138550262 Glenn Hahn

    How many slices? Has pizza been a good pre-race meal in the past? So it sucks eating low-residue the night before a big race when everyone is chowing down around me. But I ate the whole “meat lovers” pizza the day AFTER the race. And cheesecake for desert: you can handle 24 hours of delayed gratification.

    Your plan is good: work out the steps before the big dance.

  • Footfeathers

    NickP is right.  Hell, all I usually eat for 24 hours before a long race are clif bars (and beer).  Of course, I could eat a formaldehyde fetal pig washed down with battery acid and be ok racing, so what do I know.

    Long descents 2x per week for the next 4 weeks.  Go.

  • Craig Howie

    Hi Brandon,

    Thanks for posting this for Quadrock. I’m registered for this years race and it really helps me in my prep.

    Big Congrats on all your past races too!