I was curious to see where my fitness level was for the 50 miler at the end of March, so planned an insane run today. My goal was to run from my house in Sandy, Utah to my Dad’s house in Provo, Utah (about 34-35 miles).
I plotted a rough course yesterday on http://www.mapmyrun.com and packed my running backpack last night. This morning I woke up around 5 a.m. and played with the puppy for a few minutes, filled my running bladder, and headed off to Provo. I did a last minute change of shoes because the pair I intended to run in felt a little tight with my Ininji toe socks.
Starting time – around 5:30 A.M. In order to not have to carry any more weight than necessary, I layered my long sleeved running shirt with a light vest and a light jacket this morning. My camelback probably weighed around 10+ pounds most of the day, but I knew I had to be prepared in case of problems that might come up.
I headed south on 7th East until I got to the trax trail in Draper and then followed it for a mile. I was following the plan of run 20 minutes, walk 5 minutes. First few miles I was worried about my left knee, but it loosened up really well. When I got to 123000 South in Draper, I walked up a big hill to Starbucks and bought a large hot chocolate and an apple fritter. I was trying to hydrate by drinking water every walk break and taking 1-2 Etabs every hour along with some kind of gu/shot blocks.
I was on the Porter Rockwell Trail by 6 miles and then switched over to the Draper Canal Trail because it had a better equestrian section that I could run on to save my legs. Nursed the hot chocolate for 3 miles. When the canal trail ended, I swung up to the Porter Rockwell Trail to get halfway around Point of the Mountain. I was glad I still had on all my warmer clothes because the temperature dropped the farther I got around the point. I did run most of the Canal Trail and Porter Rockwell – just walking a few uphills.
It was nice watching the moon rise and the sky getting lighter. I was sure looking forward to sunrise to get warmer. I saw the sun come up on the Oquirrh Mountains and creep across the valley, but never got the sun on me while in Salt Lake County.
After the Porter Rockwell trail ended, I switched over to the Frontage Road and ran on the dirt shoulder as much as I could. I figured all the off pavement miles would be good trail mileage and also save my legs from pounding. I was just past the half marathon mark and at the Utah County line when I finally got into sunlight. It wasn’t much warmer then – there was a stiff headwind blowing constantly and the flags were standing straight out.
Passed the half marathon mark a little short of 3 hours. I did find that the colder weather was affecting me like it did last year in the Buffalo Run 50K. I wasn’t able to stomach solid food. I was drinking gatorade at this point in time, but only got down about 1/3 of the apple fritter. It just made me nauseous, even trying just a bite every mile or two.
First 13 miles: 14:01/13:33/12:51/13:44/12:38/17:29 (up the hill & in Starbucks)/13:29/13:16/12:44/13:44/13:38/13:24/13:56
Partway into mile 14 I started stripping off my outer layer of clothes and storing them in the backpack. By about mile 17 I was down to a running hat, sunglasses, long sleeved shirt, shorts, tights, shoes and socks. I had stored my gloves, cap, vest and jacket. The pants got dropped at mile 24.
I was pleasantly surprised that once I started running on pavement I was averaging between 11-12 minute mile pace while running and 15-16 minute mile pace during the walking stretches. I had figured the entire run would take me 10 hours, but knew that I was doing much better than that. It was also pleasant to see the hang gliders and parasails at Point of the Mountain.
As I passed through Lehi I kept hoping to see some of my running friends who had been on the Jordan River Parkway – but no luck. I did stop my watch for a commercial aid station for about 2 minutes at the Chevron where we turn off for the JRP. I knew I needed to get some liquid nutrition in me – so picked up a slim fast shake and drained that.
The only portion of the run I didn’t enjoy was through most of American Fork. Too much traffic and not enough shoulder. I was enjoying getting occasional calls from my sister, Marcia, ultra running buddy, Leslie and talked to my dad twice to get directions. I also stopped my watch for about 5 minutes after having to run back to a bathroom second and third times – but ended up a lot lighter after those trips. I had some Immodium with me – but the 3 breaks seemed to empty my system out.
Miles 14-26: 12:25/12:40/12:25/11:44/12:04/12:35/12:22/14:19 (including half mile walking)/12:31/14:50 (sick)/11:45/13:01/12:53
I was very pleased to pass the marathon mark at around 5 hours 45 minutes. Heck – a couple of years back that would have been a personal record for me. I was then looking forward to the 50K mark. My Camelback was starting to run my neck raw and I had to keep pulling up my running shirt. I was too lazy to try and find a bandaid to pad it with. I knew I was not taking in enough food, but kept forcing the gu, water and gatorade down. I was hoping there were gas stations on Geneva Road – but no luck and I had only bought the one meal replacement drink.
Miles 27-35: 13:14/12:05/13:19/12:46/13:31(dropping off backpack)/12:09/12:43/13:38/13:05
I was very happy that I had no knee pain at this point in time. That had been a big concern before the run. My pulled ab muscle only bothered me if I coughed – so I just decided not to cough if I could help it. Starting at mile 26 I was really looking forward to finishing each 20 minute running period because that 5 minute walk break saved me from going crazy. Around 30 miles or so I was so tired of the weight of my camelback I almost stripped it off and threw it away, but instead I called my dad and asked him to come and rescue it for me.
I passed the 50K mark at 6 hours 55 minutes. Granted my Garmin was off for about 8 extra minutes and this was mainly a road 50K – but this was a big personal record for me. Every step after 50K was new terrritory and I kept plugging away. I was really tired by now, so switched at mile 32 to walking 1/4 mile, running 3/4 mile. Luckily, the 2 significant uphills I had to go up to get to my dad’s house fell during the 1/4 mile segments.
I finished surprisingly strong (but was glad to not have to move anymore). It was a great run and I feel very good about the conditioning and endurance. No pain, no injuries. A blister on each big toe – but they were from my callouses rubbing and will be gone in a day or so.
7:40:16 35 miles 13:09 average 3659 Calories (per Garmin)