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Rocky Raccoon Trail Run - 50 Mile - RunUltra Marathon

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Huntsville, Texas
United States
Rocky Raccoon Trail Run
42F / 6C
Total Time = 9h 18m 54s
Overall Rank = 50/260
Age Group = N/A
Age Group Rank = 0/0
Pre-race routine:

I had a friend running the 100 so we left pretty early. Got a great parking spot, then checked in. Hung out in the car for about 45 mins then I walked with him to his 6am start. I watched the 100s go off then hung out in the car for another 45mins till my 7am start came.

I waited till about 5 minutes till start time to undress (take off my warm up pants, etc), then walked up to the semi front of the line. I met the President of Newton running here and chatted with him for a bit till the "GO" shout came. It was "GO" time. Only 50 miles to go :)
Event warmup:

Let me preface all of this with the fact that I did a long run of 15 miles for this run, and had just recently come off a stress fracture. I hadn't run in 6 weeks and had started around January 9th or 10th. In January I logged all of like 65 miles. To say I was under prepared is an understatement, but if I've learned anything in my little bit of ultra running, I've discovered that ultra running is just as mental as it is physical, and I was ready for the mental part.
  • 9h 18m 54s
  • 50 miles
  • 11m 11s  min/mile

I'm going to try my best not to do what I typically do, which is ramble on and on about the little details...

Lap 1:

I started this lap just chatting it up with the Newton president. He wanted to go sub 8 and my secret (impossible for my training) goal was sub 8. So I figured I'd just hang out with him. Stupid mistake number one, I just ran straight through the first few aid stations. I really should have walked these aid stations and fueled a bit better. (liquids)

I'd run the majority of this trail before so I was pretty familiar with it. Everything was going really well, then around mile 12-13 a little bit of fatigue started setting in with the legs, but I still felt great. I started targeting 2:20 for my first lap. WIth that in mind I figured I could do 2:40 for my next lap, then 3:00 for my last lap and still break 8:00.

This turned out to be the stupidest (not a word) mindset I've ever approached a race with. I got back to the start/finish and was feeling pretty good. I took about 2 minutes to refill on gels/water and got back on the trail. This is when I realized how ugly this race was about to get. My thighs started aching (with lactic acid) and the bottoms of my feet were feeling bruised. (if you've run an ultra you'll understand what I mean) I definitely hadn't given myself enough walk breaks on the first lap, and all that lactic acid was finally catching up with me when I stopped at the start/finish.

Lap 2:

ald;fghsr;ghserghsd;fjklgsdf. Well that's what I felt like at this point. I still had some hopes of breaking 8 hours, but once I got back out to around the first aid station I started to realize that it just wouldn't happen. I started enjoying the aid station, and began regularly eating M&Ms, anything salty, and coke. I was having some definite cramping issues in my calves, on top of my thighs screaming at me. (Literally people... my thighs were screaming at me... yea. Visualize that)

I also realized with all the cramping that i just hand't taken enough salt early on, but by this point there wasn't much I could do other than damage control. I made to mile 24-25 or so feeling ok, but had already begun the (what I like to call it) "Super Shuffle". You know... where you don't really pick up your feet, but you're still moving at a "running" pace. Yea. The only problem with that on this course is that there are quite a few roots, and everytime I'd hit a root I'd fall face first into the ground. I'd lay there for a minute until I finally opted to get up and keep moving. (Ohhh how good the soft ground felt)

It had rained quite a bit a few days previous and there were still a few wet/soggy spots, but no where near as bad as I expected it to be. I went OUT OF MY WAY to stay out of the mud and water, cause I just didn't want wet, cold, soggy feet just yet.

Halfway through this loop I was talking fairly long walk breaks. It seemed that the more I walked the more my thighs hurt. There's a jeep road on the back side that seems like it goes on for FREAKING ever with false flats. Then right after that there's what I'd call the only actual hill on the course. It's amazing how much bigger it seemed on the second and third loops. I watched the 2:40 mark tick away, and knew I still had about an hour left at that pace to get back to the start.

Around here I took a pretty nasty spill on a root, and my left calf completely cramped up. I just laid there as people ran passed asking if I was ok. Of course I said yes, but I wasn't completel sure I'd be able to get up! haha. Finally someone stopped and pushed my toes up so that it would uncramp and I walked it off as best as possible. This is when I started shuffling to prevent cramps. (if you're an ultra runner you'll know what I'm saying) It's kind like you don't want to kick your feet up high enough for anything to cramp, and that's exactly what I did to finish the second lap.

I got back to "base camp" and sat down next to my backpack. I enjoyed a clif bar and a 5hr energy shot. Refilled my gels and popped a few jelly bellys. After maybe five minutes or so I got up to refill my water bottle and headed back out.

Lap 3:

The final lap actually started out pretty well. By this lap I had made peace with the fact that this was going to hurt like hell, and that I was completely unprepared. I shuffled my way pretty well to the first aid station and refilled, along with eating my now regular M&Ms, trail mix, and coke.

I walked my way back onto the trail and started to enjoy being alone in the woods. Then I saw a little troll hiding under one of the bridges. We struck up a conversation as we walked along the trail. I spoke with the troll about the meaning of life and why I'd be walking in the woods alone for XX:XX amount of hours when It's cold and I'm underprepared....

Ok that's a lie... but I was getting pretty tired. Not tired enough to hallucinate though! I did walk quite a bit here.. Once I got back to the Dam road section I ran a bit more. To be completely honest I was finally finding my "Ultra Rhythm" by this point. You know... that point where you deal with the pain and almost make friends with it. I felt like I had run a lot more of this loop than the last loop (whic was true), but then I ran into (Not literally) someone from DFW.

We chatted for a bit about Ironman, etc. I found out she was only on her second lap, and planning on walking the rest of the course. We chatted for way too long (was still fun) and I finally headed out. I think if it hadn't been for this walk/talk break I would have been faster than the second lap.

I took my last nasty fall with about 3-4 miles to go, and again had to have someone push my toes up to uncramp my left calf. I paced with a guy for a bit and finally came to the 1 mile left section. I picked up the pace just a little bit because it looked like I could break 9:20. With about half a mile to go I really pushed the pace cause I was pretty sure I'd get 9:20 and I did. Crossed the line and looked for the fold out chair I had brought.
What would you do differently?:

Oh man. Normally I hate this question, but here my lack of training killed me. On the other hand I'd have to say that my experience with long distance stuff really saved my rear. I was mentally able to deal with the pain, and as always, thats such a great feeling.
Post race
Warm down:

Sit. Chair. Redbull. Snickers.

Went to Dairy Queen and got french fries, cause I love french fries.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Lack of training.

Event comments:

Great race. I wish we'd had more time to hang out afterwards and check everything out, but my friend had bailed on the 100 at mile 40, and we were both pretty read to leave.

Last updated: 2010-01-08 12:00 AM
09:18:54 | 50 miles | 11m 11s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/0
Overall: 50/260
Performance: Below average
3 16 mile loops: <b>Lap 1:</b> 2:22:03 (8:30ish pace) <b>Lap 2:</b> 3:25:35 (12:20/mile) <b>Lap 3:</b> 3:31:16 (12:40/mile)
Course: 3 loops, Mix of jeep roads, some "single track", which was really a lot more like 4 wheeler track. Very wide trails. Minimal elevation change. Few "short steep" climbs.
Keeping cool Average Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %N/A
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Too easy
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2010-02-15 10:36 AM

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Plano, Tx
Subject: Rocky Raccoon Trail Run - 50 Mile

2010-02-15 10:47 AM
in reply to: #2673486

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the colony texas
Subject: RE: Rocky Raccoon Trail Run - 50 Mile
stud like for sure..

not smart stud like,

but still stud like enough to say  "stud like"

definately not super studly, or stud ish though

Yeah,, I'm thinking stud like is the word I'm looking for.

2010-02-15 12:09 PM
in reply to: #2673502

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Extreme Veteran
Kingwood, TX
Subject: RE: Rocky Raccoon Trail Run - 50 Mile
Nice job on finishing that bugger!  And great RR ... was wondering if the troll you met was the same one that I chatted up the last time running at Huntsville?? Small world .... lol
2010-02-15 8:48 PM
in reply to: #2673486

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Plano, Tx
Subject: RE: Rocky Raccoon Trail Run - 50 Mile

Had to be! Those trolls are tricky... He was there one minute gone the next!

2010-02-15 10:38 PM
in reply to: #2673486

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Subject: RE: Rocky Raccoon Trail Run - 50 Mile
2010-02-16 6:37 AM
in reply to: #2673486

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Subject: RE: Rocky Raccoon Trail Run - 50 Mile
I have ever mentioned that your quite tough, which makes you one heck of a competitor.

2010-02-16 7:41 AM
in reply to: #2673486

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Waller County, TX
Subject: RE: Rocky Raccoon Trail Run - 50 Mile
Great job on your race.

You're becoming quite the experienced ultra trail runner in addition to a solid triathlete.
2010-02-16 3:34 PM
in reply to: #2673486

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Extreme Veteran
Frisco, Texas
Subject: RE: Rocky Raccoon Trail Run - 50 Mile

way to go jacob. you're incredible!! very impressive stuff.

2010-02-16 4:08 PM
in reply to: #2673486

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Subject: RE: Rocky Raccoon Trail Run - 50 Mile
good rr, congrats. Your a tough cookie.
2010-02-17 7:38 AM
in reply to: #2673486

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