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2013 Stone Steps 50K - Run

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Cincinnati, Ohio
United States
60F / 16C
Total Time = 7h 42m 15s
Overall Rank = 74/93
Age Group = 50-59
Age Group Rank = 2/3
Pre-race routine:

Drove to Cincy with my daughter on Saturday. Set up camp then drove the 15 miles to the park to scope it out and get a feel for the one aid station in the middle of the two loops. Saw that the terrain of the course was very technical and steep. My friend Karen arrived around 9 that eve. Slept just OK - woke a lot going through the details in my mind - working out a plan that would allow my daughter (who's not run more than 3 miles at a time) to join me in part of the run. Ate a banana and yogurt in the morn and packed a bagel to eat in the car and realized later that I never ate it. Got there about 7:00 for the 8:00 race start and had a great parking spot on the oval where Tennie would be safe and could see me come through the A/S and grab things if I needed them. Gave a hug to Tennie and to Karen and we were off right at 8.
Event warmup:

Nada other than running to the bathroom several times.
  • 7h 42m 15s
  • 31.07 miles
  • 14m 53s  min/mile

Weather forecast was for starting in 30s and getting to high 40s. Dressed in capri/skort and jacket but ditched the jacket after first loop and changed into shorts after 3rd loop as I was just way too hot. Temps rose to low 60s so I was thankful to have brought cooler stuff. Started toward back and hung with a pack of folks for most of the first loop. HR skyrocketed on all inclines. Wore my UltraSpire vest and felt like I took a sip of Perform pretty regularly but I was sweating a lot. Uneventful 3 mile loop then back on the 5.5 mile loop where I started getting a bit light headed/dizzy/nauseous. . During my last trail marathon in the spring I'd had to resort to laying on the trail and practically crawling the last mile to the finish due to nausea and dizziness. I was concerned to feel this way so early into this race. I'd taken an electrolyte pill, drank a bunch of Perform and had a gel. Also, due to the rocks and roots on the trail I was running more on my forefoot and therefore aggravated the arthritis and bunion in my feet. I was really unhappy on this loop. Knowing Tennie was to join me at the next 3 mile loop made me push through. She gave me a pick-me-up mentally but I was really struggling and had to stop several times for fear of fainting. What was going on? I decided to drink a glass of water at the aid station and Tennie decided she was going to do the 5.5 loop with me (that wasn't in the original plans). I'd left Perform in my vest bottle but I swear the water cleared me up through half that loop and we were going strong and I'd found my happy place. Unfortunately, I had to resort to Perform and that started me back to feeling like crap. I barely made it up the stone steps and couldn't breath when I got to the top. Totally thankful Ten was with me to calm me down. When we got to the aid station she said she needed a break (she'd just done 8.5 miles!). I drank more water at the aid station and had the sweet lady volunteer switch out my bottle to water. It was amazing how much better I felt. Although my foot was bothering me, I was able to run that 3 mile loop continually and even passed 2 guys. They were the first and only people I passed the whole day but to do so around mile 25 felt good. :) My baby girl joined me again in the final time around the 5.5 mile loop. At that point I felt pretty good mentally but was just OK physically so we took it slow and talked and talked. This was my 3rd 50K and I have much more to learn. Although this wasn't a great race for me physically I'd go through it again to have been able to spend the time with my daughter making a memory that will be with us for the rest of our lives. I needed her during the 14 miles she slogged out with me and I'm so proud of her. :)
What would you do differently?:

Put only water in my vest and put the Perform in my drop bag to take after each loop? Can't figure out what my problem is with gels and sports drinks as I continually have issues with them. I took in one gel around mile 7 when I realized I hadn't eaten anything really solid in the morn. It wasn't long after that when I started feeling ill. Hmmm....I just don't know. I'll keep trying things out, though. Maybe I'm just not meant to go long. We'll see. I will say that the terrain was WAY difficult for my level of training.
Post race
Warm down:

Sat for less than a 1 minute while they took the chip off my shoe. Thanked the RD and the volunteers then drove back to the campsite. Got a wonderful shower, packed up the camper then hit the road for the 4.5 hours back home.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Dehydration?? For sure it was in part due to the lack of elevation training and the arthritis and bunion pain.

Event comments:

Low key and low cost event put on by an ultra runner so he had the abundance of appropriate drinks and food at the aid station. Well marked course which was beautiful but which had the most technical and difficult trails I've ever been on thus far. I did this event to train my mind to keep going in endurance events in preparation for IMWI. I'd do it again if I get into the ultra scene and figure out how to do one correctly. :)

Profile Album

Last updated: 2013-10-22 12:00 AM
07:42:15 | 31.07 miles | 14m 53s  min/mile
Age Group: 2/3
Overall: 74/93
Performance: Average
Course: Two separate loops - a 5.5 mile one to start followed by a 3 mile one. The 5.5 had the stone steps and a downhill called gummy bear hill along with several other steep inclines. The course has over 10,700 feet of elevation change and most of that was in the first big loop. The 3 mile loop was relatively tame in comparison.
Keeping cool Below average Drinking Not enough
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Below average
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Too hard
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2013-11-07 3:22 PM

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Subject: 2013 Stone Steps 50K
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