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Sunmart Texas Trail Endurance Run - 50M - RunUltra Marathon


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Huntsville, Texas
United States
Roger Soler's Sports
29F / -2C
Sunny
Total Time = 7h 55m 14s
Overall Rank = 15/187
Age Group = M30-34
Age Group Rank = 3/15+
Pre-race routine:

Hilton, Olga, and I woke up around 0500 and started getting ready. I had laid out my clothes and packed my bag the night before. I wore the same things I wore for Bartram...my Jaggad tri suit, a long sleeve Uunderarmour shirt, and my Maniacs jersey. I put on sweats over them, grabbed my bag, and we all headed out to the race site. We didn't get out of the room until about 6, which was a tad late, but it was only 10 minutes to Huntsville State Park. We arrived at about 615 and it was still dark. It was 29 degrees. BRRRR.
Event warmup:

Hilton and I tried to jog a bit, but I was really cold, I had to go to the bathroom, which meant completely undressing, and then getting redressed...and I wanted some hot coffee. I was freezing. We jogged on our own as much as we could in the time we had and then convened at the start line. Olga had the camcorder and we talked a bit on camera about our plans for the day. Soon it was time to start. The National Anthem played and we got ready to go.
Run
  • 7h 55m 14s
  • 50 miles
  • 09m 30s  min/mile
Comments:

The gun went off and Hilton and I both hit our start buttons. I had told him we needed to be up front so we can get onto the trails without having to fight thru people. We got onto the trails around 8th/9th position and were running around 7 minute pace. The trail almost immediately goes down about 50 feet so we had to be careful running at that pace. The next mile was all uphill so this is where the work began.

Loop 1: Hilton and I were able to keep up a mid 8 pace without much effort. The hills were pretty simple to traverse and the clay road was pretty easy. We got passed by a few people and passed a few ourselves, but this early, no one really makes any moves. We noticed two really cocky lookin' guys...must have been 20 or younger...run past us, basically sprinting. They were in good shape, but very young, which I knew would work to our advantage later on. One of them actually ran between me and Hilton and pushed us apart as he ran by. I wanted to trip him so bad!! The other waited a bit and passed us about a quarter mile later. I told Hilton to let them go, we'd see them later. I took a gel at Mile 3 and another at Mile 7. The first loop was pretty uneventful, other than the fact that we took a little bit of a wrong turn. It only cost us 2 minutes at the most though. Some of the top 10 runners had done the same thing in another area, but it cost THEM about 1.5 MILES...so they had a lot of time to make up. I figured we could use that to our advantage later on when they were tired. We stayed on our plan for roughly 1:45 per loop...coming in around 1:47. We went to our bags after crossing the mat and I took my loop 2 supplements and had some Coke. We headed off after a minute or so.

Lap 2: What I didn't realize when we left the "transition area" was that I had forgotten the gels that I had planned on eating. That back part where there is 4 miles between aid stations would be pretty tough without nutrition. Hilton told me I could have one of his. I didn't want him to waste a gel on me though, because I didn't want him to mess up HIS nutrition plan. We ran up and back on the clay road, I took some Mountain Dew and some Gatorade, trying to keep up my calories. After getting to the dam and taking another bit of Mountain Dew, we headed off for the back 4 mile stretch. We were at about Mile 18. I was starting to really feel the lack of nutrition. It had been about 10 miles since I had any real race nutrition. I was bonking. At Mile 20 I could barely hang on to a 9 minute pace. I broke down and accepted a gel from Hilton. But it was too late. I wasn't gonna absorb it in time. I started cramping. He ran on ahead and I stayed back, barely hanging on to 10 minute pace. When I got to the aid station after the 4 mile stretch, I stopped, ate an Oreo cookie, drank some Gatorade and some water. I felt spent. My legs hurt. I felt dehydrated. Hilton was already gone. I ran the last 2.5 miles back to the start/finish feeling like I had already run 50 miles. I was at Mile 25. I had to sit down and consider my next two laps. Was I capable of this? I started to feel like maybe it was time to give up. Hilton was waiting for me, and Olga looked at me like I was dying. I told Hilton to go, I was totally bonking and I couldn't let him waste any more time. He left and I sat for another 3 minutes. I swigged Gatorade, Coke, and chicken broth. I took my Tylenol and Beta Alanine. I decided I'd try another loop and if I felt bad, I'd drop at 37.5.

Lap 3: As I left the "transition area", I realized I was leaving without the gels again! So I turned around, grabbed 3 of them, and headed off. I was barely running a 12 minute mile. I felt like I couldn't move. My hip flexors were cramping, my quads were heavy. But as I ran, I started to feel marginally better. I took a gel at the bottom of the clay road and headed up. I still felt awful, but I did my best. I barely made it up the clay road at 12 minute pace. I saw Hilton coming down the hill at about a half mile before I got to the top, so he was about a mile ahead. At the top, I took some Mountain Dew and water. I was still considering dropping at 37.5 miles...I just felt as though I didn't have enough in me, even though I was feeling a bit better. I kept running. A couple of guys that had been behind us due to their wrong turn passed me. It was demoralizing. But I kept going. Soon, I was at the dam again. It was at 4:40 elapsed. When I looked down to see that, I figured...wait...maybe I'm NOT doing so bad. Suddenly I started to feel better. I took another gel, chased it with water, headed off and said "See you in 2 hours" to the aid station crew. It was then I realized that I wanted to finish the race. I was still running slow, but I felt like I could still beat 8 hours if I continually felt better. I took another gel about 2 miles later and I noticed that my supplements and Tylenol were helping me recover. I was starting to feel good! At the last aid station, I felt almost great...well, great for having run 35 miles. So I took some Gatorade and headed off. About a mile after I left the aid station, I came up on the young cocky kid...I passed him with ease and he asked me if I was running the 50K or the 50 Miler. I answered. He was in awe. Honestly, I was too...I couldn't believe I was feeling that good. I gave him a thumbs up and told him to keep going. I ran the last 2.5 miles at 8:30 pace and was feeling great! I was NOT gonna drop at 37.5. I came back to the start/finish area with a smile. I went to my bag, grabbed 3 more gels, swigged some broth and coke, and took my lap 4 supplements. I was ready for the last 12.5 miles.

Lap 4: Hilton was already gone, he was now about 3 miles ahead of me...almost 30 minutes. I headed off, feeling a little bit sore, but 100 times better than 2 hours previous. The first mile of the course is challenging so I was happy to be past it...it took 9 minutes. Lap 3 Mile 1 took 12. I was already making up time. I told myself...you can still get 8 hours if you get to the dam but 7 hours. So I just plugged on, took a gel at the bottom of the clay road, and ran up. Most everyone was walking up it. A few were jogging, but I passed everyone I came up on. I was now a mile ahead of the young cocky guy and we gave each other a thumbs up as we passed. I guess he wasn't so cocky anymore. It turned out that his twin brother (the one who ran between me and Hilton) dropped out of the race earlier in the day. This twin was still out there though, so he must have learned his lesson and he obviously was humbled by now. I noticed that I didn't see Hilton at all on the clay road, which means I was right in that he was about 30 minutes ahead. I was still on track to reach the dam at 7 hours. When I finally came to the dam, the clock was at 6:55...I was 5 minutes ahead!! I took some Gatorade and some Mountain Dew. I thanked the aid station crew for being out there. I had an hour and 4 minutes to get under 8 hours. That gave me a charge! I ran down, over a bridge, and I noticed that I was passing one of the guys from Lap 1 that had made a wrong turn. Then I went back up to the other side of the dam...the clock had just turned 7 hours...I had exactly 6 miles to go. So...all I had to do was run 10's for the last 6 miles and I'd have it! This was where there is 4 miles between aid stations. I made sure to take a gel at about the halfway point between the aid stations. Soon after that, I passed another guy who'd made a wrong turn on Lap 1. Two minutes later...another one!! I had passed three of the people who were previously in the top 10 of the race!! Even though I was still feeling good but I could feel my pace slowing. I figured it'd be okay though, since I figured that when I got to the last aid station I'd be able to hold a low 8 minute pace to the end. When I got to the last aid station, I took a gel, water, and made sure to thank the volunteers. I headed off with only 2.5 miles to go. I felt like a million bucks. I knew I was gonna get my sub 8 hour time, and I felt like I could run fast again! My pace was around 8:40...not exactly as fast as I thought it'd be, but still way better than it was on lap 2. I was feeling really good! I reached the "one mile to go" mark at 7:47. I knew I had it. All I had to do was run a 13 minute mile and I was running at 9 or better. I actually ran up all the hills in the last mile, passed a bunch of people in the 50K who were all giving me words of encouragement, and I hit the last quarter mile with anticipation...what if my clock is wrong? What if I'm really NOT at 8 hours? But when I saw the finish line, it said 7:54:50...I pumped my fist and said F*CK YEAH...just like last year...and I ran across the mat at 7:55:14. I was feeling great!! I was so happy it was over! There were some volunteers there handing me water and taking my chip off. I was able to walk, but I was immediately cramping.

I walked off to find Hilton and Olga. Found them and we all hugged and congratulated each other. I was just so happy to be done. Hilton had finished at 7:25, exactly 30 minutes ahead, like I figured. But the cool thing is, we had almost exactly the same last lap...his was 1:56, mine was 1:57. Talk about a comeback!
What would you do differently?:

Not forget gels, not neglect pre-race nutrition, and not run a 50K the week before.
Post race
Warm down:

After I was finished I had to find some water and some food. I wanted to know the results though. I knew by that point that Hilton had won our age group, and he told me that second place was almost directly behind him. But I figured maybe I still got third. I figured, if I didn't, it was okay, cuz I still beat 8 hours...but if I could go home with some hardware, it'd be nice.

Soon the results were posted, and I was third! So once I knew that, I went and got some mac and cheese and some chicken soup. We sat for a while until we really wanted to get back to the room to get changed.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Lack of correct nutrition, the sheer distance, and fatigue.

Event comments:

Sunmart is (so far) my favorite ultra. Always the best swag, always the best pre and post race food, always the best people. We'll see how Umstead measures up!


Profile Album


Last updated: 2008-10-13 12:00 AM
Running
07:55:14 | 50 miles | 09m 30s  min/mile
Age Group: 3/15+
Overall: 15/187
Performance: Average
Course: 4 loops of a 12.5 mile loop. Moderate amounts of climbing, a long out and back with a steady net ascent on the way out, and then a bunch of back trails...not overly technical but plenty of places to fall.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Not enough
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? Ok
Evaluation
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

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2008-12-07 1:35 PM

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Master
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Chelmsford, Massachusetts
Subject: Sunmart Texas Trail Endurance Run - 50M


2008-12-07 4:49 PM
in reply to: #1842572

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Champion
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Williamston, Michigan
Subject: RE: Sunmart Texas Trail Endurance Run - 50M
YAY you and congrats on another great race!!! RE: your bonk...way to recover and now you know how it feels for me to run everytime.....YAY for hardware.  You are the hardwre king
2008-12-07 8:53 PM
in reply to: #1842572

Subject: RE: Sunmart Texas Trail Endurance Run - 50M
Awesome job my friend! Not giving up is GOOD! Proud of ya! Maybe one day I'll have the guts to do an ultra race.
2008-12-07 9:34 PM
in reply to: #1842572

Champion
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No excuses!
Subject: RE: Sunmart Texas Trail Endurance Run - 50M
Great race Q and congrats on the hardware!
2008-12-07 11:25 PM
in reply to: #1842572

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Extreme Veteran
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Latonia, Kentucky (near Cincinnati)
Subject: RE: Sunmart Texas Trail Endurance Run - 50M
DUDE!  That was SUCH an awesome race report, now I WANT TO TRY one of these freaking ultra's!!!!  Way to make a comeback!  True sign of a great racer!
2008-12-08 5:33 AM
in reply to: #1842572

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Veteran
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Subject: RE: Sunmart Texas Trail Endurance Run - 50M
Awesome job!  Chris and I were thinking of you and knew you would kick a$$!  Umstead will be cake


2008-12-08 9:36 AM
in reply to: #1842572

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Elite
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San Jose, CA
Subject: RE: Sunmart Texas Trail Endurance Run - 50M

You Rock!!!

2008-12-08 11:38 AM
in reply to: #1842572

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Regular
102
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Tampa, FL
Subject: RE: Sunmart Texas Trail Endurance Run - 50M
Awesome job Jeff - way to stick it out. you make it sound so easy though that it almost makes me want to try one someday. Congrats again you ROCK!
2008-12-08 1:24 PM
in reply to: #1842572

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Elite
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Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea
Subject: RE: Sunmart Texas Trail Endurance Run - 50M
Nice! You're a stallion!
2008-12-08 1:41 PM
in reply to: #1842572

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Expert
748
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Big Bear City, California
Subject: RE: Sunmart Texas Trail Endurance Run - 50M
Holy crap. Amazing race. Sub 8 50 miler, you rock.
2008-12-08 3:35 PM
in reply to: #1842572

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Expert
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Orlando, FL
Subject: RE: Sunmart Texas Trail Endurance Run - 50M
AWESOME race report, and you know - to have come back like you did is so much more an accomplishment than to just have run along the whole way. Congrats!

And thanks for describing the race so well, I've run Huntsville enough that I could picture all the sections - great memories of those trees!


2008-12-09 7:15 AM
in reply to: #1842572

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Extreme Veteran
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50025
Brisbane
Subject: RE: Sunmart Texas Trail Endurance Run - 50M
Great report. Congratulations on hanging in there; things are probably not as bad as they seem in certain moments during races. Nice recovery.
2008-12-09 7:36 AM
in reply to: #1842572

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Elite
3223
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Hendersonville
Subject: RE: Sunmart Texas Trail Endurance Run - 50M
Great race report, honey! You did awesome out there and I hope we get to do it together next year.
2008-12-09 11:20 AM
in reply to: #1842572

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Expert
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Subject: RE: Sunmart Texas Trail Endurance Run - 50M
Congrats! Sub 8 in a 50 miler is fantastic!!
2008-12-09 11:59 AM
in reply to: #1842572

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Elite
3002
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HURRICANE, Utah
Subject: RE: Sunmart Texas Trail Endurance Run - 50M

Great race report Jeff.  You did so awesome job hanging in there thru the roughness and pulled yourself out well.  Way to go!  Love the hardware

2008-12-09 12:08 PM
in reply to: #1842572

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Extreme Veteran
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Subject: RE: Sunmart Texas Trail Endurance Run - 50M
Awesome job out there! I'm so impressed with your comeback! Killer horse trophy!


2008-12-09 1:48 PM
in reply to: #1842572

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Expert
1014
1000
Virginia
Subject: RE: Sunmart Texas Trail Endurance Run - 50M
great recovery and comeback!!
2008-12-09 5:12 PM
in reply to: #1842572

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Master
2005
2000
South Florida
Subject: RE: Sunmart Texas Trail Endurance Run - 50M
Way to hang in there and problem solve.  Smarts and Speedy = Great racer   Congrats.  I am not worthy!!!
2008-12-09 5:14 PM
in reply to: #1842572

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Champion
10471
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Dallas, TX
Subject: RE: Sunmart Texas Trail Endurance Run - 50M
WOW! Great job!

2008-12-09 9:04 PM
in reply to: #1842572

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Champion
6931
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Bellingham, Washington
Subject: RE: Sunmart Texas Trail Endurance Run - 50M
Good job, great race report.
2008-12-12 12:10 AM
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2008-12-12 3:50 PM
in reply to: #1842572

Champion
5345
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Carlsbad, California
Subject: RE: Sunmart Texas Trail Endurance Run - 50M

Way to go Jeff

I remember an interview of Dean K. in RW and they asked him what is favorite movie was. His response was "The Terminator" because more than once he had seen folks darn near dead out on the course rise up to finish strong (And even challenge him later in the race).

Way to see it through and prove once again that we are all going to have times in a race where things get really dark, but the feeling won't last and we can recover from just about anything.

Rest up and recover

2009-01-15 2:28 PM
in reply to: #1842572

Elite
2993
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Hattiesburg, Mississippi
Subject: RE: Sunmart Texas Trail Endurance Run - 50M
Again awesome job Jeff. Doing a 50k the week before and forgetting nutrition will definitely slow you down, but I'm proud you didn't quit.
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