Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Hashawha Hills 50K, Westminster, MD – February 26th

I was using this run and the Buzzard’s as shorter distance training runs in the CAT-100 plan.  This 50K was somewhat muddy and a little icy.  The course consisted of a 15 mile loop that was repeated.  The terrain consisted of a lot of meadow perimeter running (not too exciting for me) and single track trail running.  Since this was late February, overall the conditions were good, the forest was bare and not much to see.  Can’t wait till spring time!  My strategy was to start slow and gauge the conditions.  I did this through the first loop and pretty much kept my position.  Passed a few folks here and there at the end of the first loop.  On the second loop, I was slowly trying to catch someone in front of me.  The chase was on for about 5 miles I would get within striking range the loose grip over and over.  I had my 100 oz Camelbak with me and this turned out to be a strategic advantage.  I passed this competitor at the aid station and little did I know that I would also pass another competitor as a result.  I am learning that strategy and planning plays an important part of ultrarunning.  You must find a way to minimize the distance (less time at aid stations, faster downhills, etc.)  or risk falling behind in the pack.  This race was all about passing by the aid stations and focusing on the event.  My hydration system and food was all I needed.  Although I did want to overly partake in the perogies!!  I had to fight back the temptation. 
The unexpected swag was a locally made coffee mug to all the finishers.  I collected mine after 5 hours and 51 minutes!
What did I learn?
I am getting better and I am focused on my mechanics and body.  I am learning how to stay hydrated and fueled properly.  I also am finding ways to pick up and drop off the pace as needed.  I am not on one speed that continues to get slower.  I can store reserves and tap into them if needed later in the race.  I learned that my progress is slow and that I have a lot of training left before CAT. 

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