Hampster Endurance 12-Hour - Run

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Bellingham, Washington
United States
70F / 21C
Total Time = 11h 30m
Overall Rank = 3/
Age Group =
Age Group Rank = 0/
Pre-race routine:

Made sure to get a couple of good night's sleep leading up to the race. Just had some pizza and no beer the night before. I only live 10 minutes from the race so it was a pretty easy morning. Got up, drank a few cups of coffee and ate a granola bar. Packed a cooler of G2 and plenty of gel and Shotblox. I wanted to keep my nutrition very simple and easy to count calories.
Event warmup:

Put my race number on. Does anyone really "warmup" for a 12 hour race?
  • 11h 30m
  • 54.6 miles
  • 12m 38s  min/mile

The weather was perfect for an August event. Cool, cloudy, even had a little mist at one point which really felt good. My goal was to beat last year's 50 miles which I figured was in the bag as long as I had no problems. My running has gone very well over the last year.

I had my pace and lap times calculated out for 19, 20, and 21 laps. I wasn't a half mile in before all my rational planning went by the wayside. I started chatting with a guy that had been running twice the weekly mileage as me and about a 45 minute faster marathoner. He had not run beyond 26 before so he was interested in what I had learned from last year. I had determined that I would walk the main hill and two other inclines and maintain a comfortable pace on the flats. Occasionally I'd stride out a little on the downhills to stretch a bit and take advantage of the gravity.

The day went by very quickly as I enjoyed the company and conversation of my running buddy. He works in the same industry as I do so we had a lot to talk about. It went so well that I was on pace for 62 miles eight hours into the race. I could not believe it. I knew I was pushing harder than I had planned but just went with it. I was still feeling strong and I had hit my nutrition/hydration perfectly.

At that point, my buddy took a break and I was on my own. I started doing the math in my head and figured I only had to cover about 15 miles in four hours to hit my most optimistic goal so decided to play it safe and take it down a few notches. My knees started to hurt on the downhills so I began to walk those stretches as well.

At the end of each lap, I grabbed a drink and some gel and/or shotblox in the "pit stop" area. I was very quick and wasted no time. The key to a long day like this is to keep moving. Towards the end I started alternating potato chips and Coke to keep up on my salt and sugar hits.

I decided with three hours to go that I would accept my optimistic goal even though I think I could have squeezed an extra lap in. I saw no point in tempting fate and I was really happy with the overall day. Towards the end I was covering a lap in about 40 minutes. I had 30 minutes left on the clock when I called it a day so I have no doubt I had one more left in me if I had chosen to push it. Maybe next year.
What would you do differently?:

Stick to my own plan and not get sucked into peer pressure. Overall very pleased and I know I made the right decision to coast the last quarter. I have a half marathon this Saturday in Vancouver (Seawheeze) which is one of the highlights of the summer so needed to think about bouncing back for that.
Post race
Warm down:

Skipped the routine post race beers and just went home. I was still mobile but barely and needed to rehydrate and lay down. I wanted to take it very easy and make sure everything was OK. I think I'm capable of pushing myself beyond what is safe so thought it best to lay up and monitor myself.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Nothing. I had a very good run. If anything maybe look at a more cushioned shoe to reduce the cumulative impact on my joints. Hoka's were far and away the shoe of choice. I wore Mizumo Inspires which are OK but not in the same class as Hoka's for cushioning.

Event comments:

Great event for an ultra. Just enough variety on the loop to keep things interesting. They have added a 6 hour race to go along with the 12 and 24.

Last updated: 2014-08-18 12:00 AM
11:30:00 | 54.6 miles | 12m 38s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Good
Course: The course is a 2.6 mile loop around the prettiest small lake on a crushed gravel path that is flat and open for about half with the backside of the trail winding through a heavily wooded area that has a several small hills and some small rollers. 214 feet of elevation each lap.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5