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Northface Endurance Challenge 50K - Run

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Eagle, Wisconsin
United States
60F / 16C
Total Time = 5h 52m 46s
Overall Rank = 117/232
Age Group = m45-49
Age Group Rank = 8/16
Pre-race routine:

act typical breakfast of bagel and banana. Drove out to race site which started at Ottawa lake. Last time I went out there for a race I started with a swim. Not today, it would only be running. Sat in car for about 15 minutes as it was cold out (about 40). Decided to wander over to start area and who should appear? DAVE! Was mighty glad to see him and appreciated his support through out the day. Took some shot bloks at about 30-40 min before start and again at 15 min. before. Before I knew it was time to start.
Event warmup:

figured I would be doing enough running, so no warm up.
  • 5h 52m 46s
  • 31 miles
  • 11m 23s  min/mile

Well the plan was to take it easy and to keep on taking it easy until I couldn't take it easy any more. Plan was to walk all big uphills and play it by ear on the small hills. I would walk or stop at all aid stations. I took three bottles: two waters and one electrolyte mix (Nuun tablet in water) I would take a serving of shot bloks every 45 min. and and two enduralytes every hour.

So then I ran...and ran... and ran. Like all races beginning started out really bunched up with about 3/4 of mile on road. Wanted to settle in, but I started right towards the back and didn't know if that is where I wanted to settle in, so I passed a number of people until I get around the middle of the pack.
First 7 miles were in Scupernung trail, where I do a lot of training. I know this trail very well and played it accordingly. When I got to first aid station my pace was just under 10min miles. Right were I wanted to be. Filled one bottle and moved on. From this point we headed over to the Horse trails. This I was not as familiar with because I currently don't own a horse. This was all in the woods and, of course, very beautiful. At 11.5 my offical pace was 9:56/mile. Pacing by clock was difficult, because they really didn't have any mile markers and I just had my watch. So I just paced by feel, which was probably the best anyway. After the horse trails we headed to the Ice age trail. First through the woods then to a section of open fields with mostly rolling hills, with some sections in the woods with ups and downs. I was also very familiar with this section. Felt really good in this section and kept a decent, steady pace. I only stopped for aid stations (about every 5.5 miles) and for traffic (yes, at this race they make the runners stop for traffic)

By the time I got to mile 22, my official pace was 10:30. Again, right were I wanted to be. Usually in a Marathon, this is were things can start to get dicey, but on the trail I still felt really good. My steady pace was paying off. At this point I made my first real mistake. At most of the aid stations, I had been filling two of the three bottles. So I did that at this station. However I wasn't paying attention that my third bottle was just about empty. This would become a problem. After this the course started getting more difficult. Some mighty big hills and lots of sandy stretches. On the horse trails (which this part was) apparently, the horses like thick sand around their hoofs. But for us humans, this makes for some tough running. About mile 25 or 26 things were getting tougher, but I was still keeping a steady pace and running most everything, except the uphills (which seem to be getting more common) I was becoming aware that I was soon going into uncharted territory with mileage. I was expecting to feel worse than I was. At this point my bottles were just about empty and I was getting really, really hungry. I took this as a positive sign because at this point in most of my races, my stomach is really sour. It seemed like forever, but eventually that aid station showed up at 27.5. This was my second mistake. I filled all three bottles up (that was good), but then I started chowing down. I ate (in no particular order) a banana, 6-8 shot bloks, two hand fulls of pretzels and two heaping piles of Skittles. As I walked away from the aid station, I thought to myself, I hope my stomach can handle that... Well then my stomach got a little grumbly. This time I was prepared. I had some Tums with me and took those. That seem to quiet down my stomach. More sandy horse trails and now this thing was getting tough. I was walking both the hills and the sandy parts. I was still convincing myself to run on the other parts. Then somewhere in the mile 28, I came around a corner and Dave was standing on the trail. He ran with me to the next road cross and kept me running through a tough spot. Then I got to last 1.8. Homestretch, the first .5 was a long up hill. I just couldn't convince myself to run up it. (some around me were. ) Finally got to crest of Hill and then ran down (ouch, that smarts) Then we hit the road and less than a mile! This is going to happen. About 1/4 mile from finish Dave is there again giving me encouragement. Then the finish line, I run across, having a new 'farthest I have ever run.' far.
What would you do differently?:

Oh that's a good question. Pretty happy with my prep and race execution. Maybe a little slower to start, would have helped. Really happy with my nutrition and hydration plan (which was much easier with cool temps) A few rookie mistakes, but overall very pleased.
Post race
Warm down:

Talked to Dave, got some food and even a little beer. Was hungry and stomach really behaved.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Not enough experience (heck no experience) at the distance

Event comments:

Race was well run and very professional. Only beef was the idea that runners had to stop for traffic, not the other way around.

Huge thank to Dave, for helping getting me prepared, keeping me calm and encouraging me on race day!

This race continued my love of the trails! I once again have that feeling where I can't wait for the next one.

Last updated: 2013-08-15 12:00 AM
05:52:46 | 31 miles | 11m 23s  min/mile
Age Group: 8/16
Overall: 117/232
Performance: Average
Course: Little bit of everything. Scuppernong trail in woods, Ice age Trail, Horse trails, open rolling fields, some flats lots of Kettles and Moraines.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2013-09-15 5:34 PM

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Delafield, Wisconsin
Subject: Northface Endurance Challenge 50K

2013-09-16 8:32 AM
in reply to: #4856102

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West Allis, Wisconsin
Subject: RE: Northface Endurance Challenge 50K

EAWsum job out there donkey!!!!  everytime i saw you, you were not only looking solid, but also like you were enjoying yourself!!  maybe the 100k next out at kettle moraine???

2013-09-16 9:17 AM
in reply to: #4856102

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Menomonee Falls, WI
Subject: RE: Northface Endurance Challenge 50K
Nice job Jim.  Impressive work & EEEEEAAAAAAAAW.
2013-09-16 11:49 AM
in reply to: #4856102

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Subject: RE: Northface Endurance Challenge 50K
well done.
2013-09-16 5:23 PM
in reply to: #4856102

Subject: ...
This user's post has been ignored.
2013-09-17 11:29 AM
in reply to: #4856102

Madison, Wisconsin
Subject: RE: Northface Endurance Challenge 50K
Impressive Webbies!!! Congrats!!

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