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Hog's Hunt 50K - RunUltra Marathon

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Huntsville, Texas
United States
80F / 27C
Total Time = 5h 38m 57s
Overall Rank = 20/102
Age Group = Masters
Age Group Rank = 11/58
Pre-race routine:

1 and a half bagels with pb & honey, a small sugar-free red bull and an hour long ride to Hunstville State Park.
Event warmup:

a very short warm-up run...maybe a half mile.
  • 5h 38m 57s
  • 31 miles
  • 10m 56s  min/mile

WOW!!! What an experience. It was a small event with just under 400 total runners in three events...10K, 25K and 50K.

Left the house at 4:30am drove about an hour north to Huntsville State Park with my wife Jen (who was going to complete her first ever 10K) and Rachel K (who was doing the 25K). Packet pick-up and late registration was that morning so we wanted to make sure we had time to take care of all that. It was actually very easy to find. The people (volunteers) were all very friendly and helpful. Good start to the morning.

The 50K started at 7, the 25K at 8 and the 10K at it was a staggard start for our trio of runners. There was a good mix of runners for the event... ages, sizes, equipped, less equipped, experienced, less experienced, etc. I was not intimidated at all.

The race kicked off and I just hung in the mid to back of the pack (about 115-120 runners, not all of which finished). The plan was just to cruise the first couple miles and then slowly click off a few seconds per mile toward the finish. (10:00-10:30 pace was where I was starting.

The first 500 yards of the trail was a jeep trail...what I expected. Then we crossed the park road and off into the woods onto the 'real' trails. This is where I thought, ok...just becareful...don't worry about pace, just don't eat shit and get hurt. I lean more towards the clumsy side, so tripping on a root, bouncing off a tree, or just randomly throwing myself on the ground is a very good possibility.

I did trip a few times, but overall I managed to stay safe, upright and came through without and scratches, bumps, bruises or dirt in my teeth. Success for sure!

I was doing very well the first lap. Pace had settled in nicely..had found a good zone to run in, and I was picking off runners that by appearance alone...I shouldn't have been passing. That was a confidence builder! I thought my pace was in the 8:30's simply by feel...but I look down at the ol' 910 and I am at a 10:37 pace....alright, this is the difference TRAILS and HILLS make. HA!

Hydration and nutrition for the first 22 miles was spot on... Felt great, was sweating a LOT. It wasn't hot, with the shade and breeze, but it was damn HUMID! My BIGGEST mistake of the that I KNOW that I shouldn't have done, but I was over thinking the race and it being a trail run. At mile 17 I ate a Stinger Waffle. Sounded good, taste good, and ON THE BIKE they are the bomb (1 every hour). On the run, I always take GU shots every 45 minutes...5 marathons that strategy has never failed me, so WTF would I change that today! I paid the mile 22 my stomach started getting pissed off that I put more 'solid' calories in there then normal. Nausea sat in for the next 6-7 miles. I would run (legs felt good - feet were beginning to feel the course) but then my stomach would make me believe I was gonna puke at any moment!

I ran with the top female finisher for about a mile then she dropped off having to walk, said she was bonking. Well about 3-4 miles down the road, she got back on track and caught back up to me. She was super fit, super cute, and all kinds of experienced. Had a good chat and then I had to stop and walk or risk puking on this trail running off she went.

I continued to struggle until mile 29, then I threw in the towel and walked... VERY, VERY FRUSTRATING!!! Because I had the legs to run...and up until that point the only person that had passed me (back) was the top female. But over the next two comes a train of about 10 men and a few women passing my Ironman tattoo having, sickly, walking ass!!! Not a happy camper ~ but oh well... it is what it is.

When I finished, my very thought was...F' this trail running BS, that race just cured me of wanting to do a 50 miler, etc... Lubbock all over again! I said that about Buffalo Springs Lake 70.3 twice now and I am headed back there for a 3rd go of it. Now that a few days have passed, I feel much better, I am totally ready to reconsider anouther 50K trail run.
What would you do differently?:

First and foremost... get TRAIL running shoes, and the 'gator' shoe cover things to keep the dirst and debris out of your shoes.
I would actually train on trails and maybe even this course...flat land, pavement pounding does not prepare you for this type of event...I don't care how many miles you log.
Stick with the known plan...nutrition! Don't try and be 'smart', keep it simple stupid and stick with what works. GU's every 45 minutes with water!
Post race
Warm down:

NONE... walked back to the truck. head kinda hanging low and went got some food. I feel much better about it now!

What limited your ability to perform faster:

shoes - not right for the type of terrain.
lack of training on the type of terrain and on hills.
mistake in nutrition

Last updated: 2012-03-13 12:00 AM
05:38:57 | 31 miles | 10m 56s  min/mile
Age Group: 11/58
Overall: 20/102
Performance: Average
first 25K lap 2:24:28. Overall HR data 149avg / 174max Garmin was set on auto pause and during the second lap it kept auto pausing when I was moving...only recorded 26.59 miles...tree cover maybe. I will not run with it on auto pause anymore!
Course: winding route of technical trails and decent hills. Very well marked route, with about 6 aid stations.
Keeping cool Average Drinking Too much
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Below average
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Ok
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Below average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2012-04-16 8:38 AM

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Triathlete Nation ~ Texas!
Subject: Hog's Hunt 50K

2012-04-16 9:40 AM
in reply to: #4153017

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Silverton, Oregon
Subject: RE: Hog's Hunt 50K

Great job out there Justin! Yes, trail running is a whole different animal. Great job making it through those tough miles! Sounds like a successful race to me... you finished, learned a lot, and met a trail hottie along the way. Congrats!!!

I literally laughed out loud about the "F trail running". Ha! Can't tell you how many times I've thought the same thing during and after races. Like you, I always change my mind later.

2012-04-16 9:43 AM
in reply to: #4153017

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Subject: RE: Hog's Hunt 50K
Wow!!! Great job! Way to hang in there! Sounds like a tough race and, yeah, trails are a whole 'nother ball game! Because your pace was so much slower then you planned, you were out there a lot longer than you planned. Sorry your tummy said no to the honey stinger. But way to persevere, and glad you are over the "never again" thoughts! Congratulations!!!
2012-04-16 9:56 AM
in reply to: #4153017

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Subject: RE: Hog's Hunt 50K
Justin you are tough as nails. Way to dig deep and get 50K done!
2012-04-16 11:58 AM
in reply to: #4153017

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Extreme Veteran
NW Georgia
Subject: RE: Hog's Hunt 50K
Solid race, my friend.  Sucks about the stomach issues.  Congrats on toughing it out and finishing. 
2012-04-16 1:39 PM
in reply to: #4153017

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Sarasota FL
Subject: RE: Hog's Hunt 50K
That's an awful lot of run-nin.  Good job!

2012-04-16 2:18 PM
in reply to: #4153017

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Brevard, North Carolina
Subject: RE: Hog's Hunt 50K
Nice job Justin.  Even though it's slower, I'll take the trails over the road ANY day.  Way to hand tough and get the job done.
2012-04-16 7:03 PM
in reply to: #4153017

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Subject: RE: Hog's Hunt 50K
Great race Justin! I'm more interested in the hottie, any pics???
2012-04-17 8:37 PM
in reply to: #4153017

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Subject: RE: Hog's Hunt 50K
Great job on your first ultra!  I learned that nutrition thing the hard way last year when I ran (and walked) the JFK50.  Trail running is different and so are ultras.  I'm looking forward to reading about your first 50.  :-)
2012-04-18 2:03 PM
in reply to: #4153017

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Cypress, Texas
Subject: RE: Hog's Hunt 50K
Awesome report Sir!  This offroad business is way different road stuff is it not?  Wait till you try it on a bike!  We've got lots of trails to train on by the house great for both MTBing and running. 
2012-04-19 7:59 PM
in reply to: #4153017

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Verona WI--Ironman Bike Country!
Subject: RE: Hog's Hunt 50K
Justin you had a great race!!  You have to go back if for no other reason than to see that trail hottie again! Wink

2012-04-20 6:41 AM
in reply to: #4153017

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metro west, MA
Subject: RE: Hog's Hunt 50K

Was this your first trail run?  And a 50k to boot?  Sounds like a fantastic first go at it.  You learn something with each one and makes you hungry for more. Next time you'll smoke the hottie, I'm sure. Nice work!

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