Sunday September 15, 2012
I had a good race all day except for the final injury at mile 40 or 41. Throughout the race i was either in 2nd or 3rd place overall and the most important thing in my perspective is that i felt great most of the way. There are a couple theories on why my knees gave in on me:
1) I didn't do enough gym work to give my legs the strength to endure an increase in milage like that and at the end my legs just couldn't sustain. I did a substantial amount of cardio in my spinning and boot camp classes but that is all. I needed to do a whole lot more of weight training especially for the increase in milege i was going to attempt.
2) I don't do enough running for training and my legs just don't develop strength at all. Charley gave me some pointers as to what to do and how much, running of course, i should do to prepare for a race. He suggested i do back to back long runs on weekends, 15 miles on Saturday and 20 miles on Sunday. He says that 8 to 10 weeks of this will prepare me well for a 50 mile run.
3) Nutrition, in the middle of the race i come to find out that PCTR does not provide energy gels and instead they do the cubed jello like stuff that i am not used to or know anything about. I was counting on having the energy gels and when i noticed i was't going to have them my plan was just upset. Another thing that i learned with 50 mile runs is that i need to have a shake of some sort with protein, coconut water, and other nutrients to replenish. It will be great if i can have it at mile 30something, no longer that mile 33. This will give my body time to replenish and still benefit from it for the race. The guy i ran with the last couple miles did that and he pulled away from me on mile 40 with a great effort. For next race and for every other race after i will have enough energy gels that will last me at least half of the race.
Race started and i stayed in the middle of the pack getting warmed up. I soon noticed Mike, from Golden Gate Race where i finished 6th behind him, running and we talked for 2 miles. He said he was training for Javelina 100M in phoenix and that he might do another 50k race tomorrow in San Jose. I was soon after on my own trying to keep the front pack in sight but not pushing it too hard for myself in the beginning. I past Tennessee Valley and headed to Stinson Beach and after the steps on the long descent off the mountain on Coastal Trail, i noticed a girl who had a good pace and i caught up to her and stayed behind her until past Tennessee Valley where she pulled away from me on the ascent. That was my first obvious sign of me not feeling well. I felt like my knee was not going to have a good day and that it was a matter of time before something bad happens. Of course my hopes were that i was wrong. Up to that point my goal was to stick with Halley's pace (9 min/mile) most of the race and then my knee gave me a sign it will not hold.
I continued to Golden Gate Bridge behind Halley but she disappeared somewhere and didn't see her until Rodeo Beach as i was going off from the Aid Station. After the Golden Gate Bridge we headed to Rodeo beach to complete the first half and turnaround towards Golden Gate Bridge again for the second half and go opposite way and end at Rodeo Beach. At Rodeo Beach i was Received by an enthusiastic Charles and a couple volunteers. Charles asked me if he could look at my pace on his garmin. He then told me that i was first place and that i was on a great pace. I told him that there was a guy on first place and flying through the trails. Someone else confirmed what i said but Charles just ignored that and told me i was doing great. I soon headed on Bunker road and got onto Miwok Trail towards Golden Gate. I put on my earphones and jammed some music for a bit and noticed i did well listening to music. I was running up those hills like a goat. From there to Golden Gate Bridge was a great time. I had lots of energy and i enjoyed the miles. Underneath the Golden Gate Bridge i was caught by a guy from the city who turned out to be pretty cool. Can't remember his name but i ran behind him from there to where i broke down at mile 40. We talked here and there but he smoked me at the start of Bobcat Trail headed towards Tennessee Valley. Before Tennessee Valley at around mile 38 i was trying to keep running but found it hard to keep on. I made a big effort to keep going and managed to keep running until i got to the aid station about mile 39.5 where i was received by Charles again who asked me how i was doing and if i was doing ok mentally. Soon after i was on my way to Stinson Beach and had to stop to stretch because i felt if i didn't, something was going to break. I did and i got a bout a mile of fresh energy as i climbed the two hills to catch u to the guy on second place who was also exhausted but noticed he had a drop bag at Tennessee Valley and had some kind of shake. That soon payed off as he just took off and was going downhill like a goat. I did the best i could to keep running but i soon felt my knee could no longer sustain running and i stopped and hiked for a bit. I tried to run again here and there but it was impossible for long periods of time. On the last hill to Stinson Beach i was passed by the curly blond hair guy from Hawaii. I was later passed by another two guys until i got to Stinson Beach. At Stinson Beach Aid Station i stretched for about 10 minutes and it felt and did a whole lot of good to my legs and was soon thinking about heading out. I eat and talked to the guy at the station who told me i needed to go back to Tennessee Valley via Coyote Ridge and head towards golden Gate Bridge again. I told him i was on mile 40 with 10 miles to go and he was still insisting that was the way to go. When he told me i needed to go to GGB again, i knew he was full of shit and knew nothing about ultrarunning. But of course he was a volunteer and the race director's brother. A minute before i headed out Halley arrived and soon took off. I left after her and ran as much as i could. I ran for about a mile, up-hills mostly, but soon knew it was going to be a long way back to Tennessee Vally and if i was to attempt to go all the way, it was going to be long, painful and risky for my knees. At mile 43 i was done running. I had decided i was going to hike the rest of the way and decide at Tennessee Valley if i wanted to finish or not. As i was descending the big mountains towards Tennessee Valley i decided that i was going to drop at the next Aid Station. It is amazing how bad it feels like when you stop running and your body cools down. As i was hiking all of a sudden everything hurt. I was beginning to walk funny and to make faces with almost every step i took. 100 yards from the Aid Station i was approached by a lady whom, after exchanging a few words, offered me a ride to Rodeo Beach and i was soon reunited with Charles at Rodeo Beach chatting and having a good time. I wish i could have finished the race but i also had no intention to risk the end of the year, The North Face 50M, by completing this race injured. 4 miles is not a long run but running or walking it injured IS a long way to go. I do not regret my decision, i did well, i ran pretty much the whole coarse and that gives me confidence for next race knowing i ran a 50 mile race before. For now i will hit the gym and get a complete rehab, leg press, dead lifts, lots of stretches, and other spots i have in mind while keeping my Boot camp and Spin in my schedule. Next month i will start including some running either at the Headlands or Montara mountains. Don't know how long my rehab will take but considering the time i did last time it will be about 2 months. This time with the experience i have from last time i was injured, i think i can be more efficient with time and more effective workouts.