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XTERRA White Tanks Trail Run 20K - Run


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Waddell, Arizona
United States
AZ TRAIL RACE
38F / 3C
Sunny
Total Time = 1h 46m 3s
Overall Rank = 17/202
Age Group = 35-39
Age Group Rank = 5/27
Pre-race routine:

Up at 5am, bowl of steel cut oats w/ raisins and handful of pecans, two sudafed, two aleve and a glass of Alka Seltzer Sever Cold and Flu. Venti Zen tea w/ honey on the drive out. 15 minutes prior to start, 1 hammer gel.
Event warmup:

10 minute run just trying to get warm
Run
  • 1h 46m 3s
  • 20 kms
  • 05m 18s  min/km
Comments:

Second consecutive year running this race and I was looking forward to seeing the benchmark of fitness that I've established as I am just rolling into the start of my build for Boston. This same time last year I was just finishing up a Pfitz 12/70 plan in preps for a BQ attempt two weeks later, which was a success. So I was at peak fitness last year.

First off, just like last year, I've been sick. Day after Christmas came down with a nasty respiratory flu that's just held on, settling into my sinuses and lungs making breathing difficult and decimating my energy stores. I also hurt my back last week but thankfully that has been healing and while not 100%, it doesn't trouble me when I run and is on the mend. Additionally, I kept hearing coach's words echo through my head all race morning and through the race, "keep the big picture in mind". In other words, this is a B race at best and I needn't jeopardize training for Boston by going all out or by falling, which I did last year.

Great start for me, finally! I've always positioned myself too far back on these trail races and then I'm stuck in a herd of people making passing very difficult. This time I lined up on the second row and had clear sailing. The initial lead out felt good, mile and a half of gentle incline and we had a good group of 6-10 plugging along, second lead pack. Then we hit the switchbacks which signified the start of the real climb for the next 4-5 miles. I'm not a climber, I don't run significant hill work and I don't try and fool myself. I just wanted to put in a decent effort on the climb and go from there. It was here that I was passed by a few people, probably around 5-7. I just let them go hoping I could reel them in later and keeping the bigger picture in mind. It was also during the climb that I could feel the lack of energy and the flu sitting in my lungs, it was hard to breath and I just felt flat. Keep pushing, it will flatten out soon enough and then it's all downhill.

Nearing the summit I was trailing one guy and we had another guy come up on us that decided to stick in for a little while. He was great, sitting back there chatting it up a bit, talking about how beautiful the area is (and it really is) and just saying things like "great pace guys". After five minutes or so he jumped out and was gone! Turns out it's a kid from Flagstaff and this was his first race ever. Got to talk to him after the race and he and his brother came down to participate. Super friendly and cool people and he ended up going top 5. Kudos!

Once we cleared the top I settled into a good working pace, just trying to keep everyone in front of me in sight. The guy I was following was still right there and while he was a better climber than me I seemed to pull him on the flats so I just sat in until I knew all the climbing was over and then pulled around. Coming up near halfway there was to be an aid station which is where I'd planned to pop a gel. Surprise as we round a blind corner and they are right there! Caught with my pants down! Rather than pass it I decided to just stop, grab my gel out of the rear pocket of my tights and get it down without distraction. Gel down, water in, lost three spots, back off we go.

This level to slight decline flat we were running now felt great as I was really able to open the legs up and go. After a mile I reeled in two of the three guys that passed me at the aid station and had sight of the third, although I didn't seem to be making much ground on him. Then we started dropping, big dropping and super technical terrain with sharp rocks everywhere. This is where I went down HARD last year so, keeping in mind "the big picture" I pulled it back a little bit in hopes of keeping it more under control. Soon enough I heard footsteps behind me and was passed by someone else who was just bombing down the hill with abandon. I honestly don't know how he stayed up but that's one of the keys to running trails well, you have to be good with the technical stuff and this guy was. After that there was nobody within shouting distance behind me and passer guy was quickly pulling away. I figured I kept him behind me until that point so I figured I could catch him during that last flattish 1.5-2 miles.
Crossing the 8 mile marker I was feeling completely flat and was getting chilled, something that was a direct result of being sick. By mile 9 I was really dropping and once at 10 and the flat I was done with any good effort, just could not muster it. At my best I could sustain a 7 minute mile pace and that was a LOT of work but I was catching the guy that last passed me and a couple others, so I dug as deep as I could. Managed to get around him with a mile left and that was that.
What would you do differently?:

Not be sick
Post race
Warm down:

food, stretch, food, coffee

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Still recovering from this flu was by far the biggest limiter to this race. I'm sure it cost me at least a few minutes overall and a stronger kick to the finish.

Event comments:

I was two minutes slower this year than last and I knew that when I crossed the finish line. Initially that left me pretty bummed as I've PRd every race for the last two years. But once I factored in that last year I was peaking in a marathon build for this race and this year I'm just starting out my thoughts turned more to optimism. Effectively my base fitness this year is at my peak run fitness level last year, that's a benchmark I can be proud of.

Additionally, I love trail running, absolutely love it. Unfortunately, I never seem to do enough of it but I think it's time to change that. Hopefully I can incorporate some into this build for Boston but definitely after Boston I plan to make it a regular staple in my running diet.


Profile Album


Last updated: 2014-01-03 12:00 AM
Running
01:46:03 | 20 kms | 05m 18s  min/km
Age Group: 5/27
Overall: 17/202
Performance: Below average
Course: Rock trail with many very technical areas, especially on the ascents and declines. Lollipop course with climbing the first 6 miles totally over 2000' and then dropping all the way into the finish.
Keeping cool Average Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall:
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
Evaluation
Course challenge
Organized?
Events on-time?
Lots of volunteers?
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5]

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2014-01-06 12:03 PM

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Expert
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Scottsdale, AZ
Subject: XTERRA White Tanks Trail Run 20K


2014-01-07 3:14 PM
in reply to: #4925256

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Member
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1001002525
Phoenix AZ
Subject: RE: XTERRA White Tanks Trail Run 20K
Nice work man, esp. with the lingering sickness.

I was out there as well, but ran the 8K as my very first trail race. Rode with Tribe on Saturday and my legs were shelled, so just planned on having fun. But wound up 3rd place in my age group (35-39). Had it not been for a spill (I guess I had to get dirty and bloody at my first race) and lining up too far in the back I would have had second. Still had a great time and looking forward to the McDowell Mtn and Black Canyon events.

PS any general tips for trail running and recovery? I'm still relatively new to the trails and my quads and bottoms of my feet ache like heck for days afterward. Shoe problem maybe? Going too hard on downhills?
2014-01-08 9:51 AM
in reply to: Bunsbert Montcroff

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Expert
3145
2000100010025
Scottsdale, AZ
Subject: RE: XTERRA White Tanks Trail Run 20K

Originally posted by Bunsbert Montcroff Nice work man, esp. with the lingering sickness. I was out there as well, but ran the 8K as my very first trail race. Rode with Tribe on Saturday and my legs were shelled, so just planned on having fun. But wound up 3rd place in my age group (35-39). Had it not been for a spill (I guess I had to get dirty and bloody at my first race) and lining up too far in the back I would have had second. Still had a great time and looking forward to the McDowell Mtn and Black Canyon events. PS any general tips for trail running and recovery? I'm still relatively new to the trails and my quads and bottoms of my feet ache like heck for days afterward. Shoe problem maybe? Going too hard on downhills?

Nice job out there! Are you planning on doing the McDowell race? If not you should as it's much less technical than White Mountains, pretty much just hard pack trail the entire way. As far as tips, just run more trails. The quads and feet are most likely just a matter of acclimation, especially on a trail run like that one. All that climbing will roast your quads and then such a major descent will just roast them more, then you have all the small rocks causing foot issues. One thing that helps with the feet, at least for me, is a shoe with either a real sturdy sole or one with a rock plate. 

2014-01-09 1:43 PM
in reply to: thebigb

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Member
251
1001002525
Phoenix AZ
Subject: RE: XTERRA White Tanks Trail Run 20K
Originally posted by thebigb

Originally posted by Bunsbert Montcroff Nice work man, esp. with the lingering sickness. I was out there as well, but ran the 8K as my very first trail race. Rode with Tribe on Saturday and my legs were shelled, so just planned on having fun. But wound up 3rd place in my age group (35-39). Had it not been for a spill (I guess I had to get dirty and bloody at my first race) and lining up too far in the back I would have had second. Still had a great time and looking forward to the McDowell Mtn and Black Canyon events. PS any general tips for trail running and recovery? I'm still relatively new to the trails and my quads and bottoms of my feet ache like heck for days afterward. Shoe problem maybe? Going too hard on downhills?

Nice job out there! Are you planning on doing the McDowell race? If not you should as it's much less technical than White Mountains, pretty much just hard pack trail the entire way. As far as tips, just run more trails. The quads and feet are most likely just a matter of acclimation, especially on a trail run like that one. All that climbing will roast your quads and then such a major descent will just roast them more, then you have all the small rocks causing foot issues. One thing that helps with the feet, at least for me, is a shoe with either a real sturdy sole or one with a rock plate. 



thanks for the tips! i am def. planning to run more trails, and have been hitting trail 100, shaw butte, 8 and 8A (all that stuff that starts at lincoln and 32nd), and the lookout mountain trails which are all near me in central phx.

i am leaning toward doing the mcdowell mountain race, but if i do it will be the 7K. i've hiked that trail before and remember it being easy. i've ridden the pemberton and that does have some rocky sections but my run volume isn't enough to tackle the 15 miler. haven't signed up yet because there is a bike race in oracle that weekend that i may do...finding it hard to focus on one or the other this season.

and i will also start looking for some trail runners. i've just been hitting the trails in an old pair of kinvaras but the rock plates and stiffer soles sound appealing. thanks again!
2014-01-09 5:15 PM
in reply to: Bunsbert Montcroff

User image

Expert
3145
2000100010025
Scottsdale, AZ
Subject: RE: XTERRA White Tanks Trail Run 20K

Originally posted by Bunsbert Montcroff
Originally posted by thebigb

Originally posted by Bunsbert Montcroff Nice work man, esp. with the lingering sickness. I was out there as well, but ran the 8K as my very first trail race. Rode with Tribe on Saturday and my legs were shelled, so just planned on having fun. But wound up 3rd place in my age group (35-39). Had it not been for a spill (I guess I had to get dirty and bloody at my first race) and lining up too far in the back I would have had second. Still had a great time and looking forward to the McDowell Mtn and Black Canyon events. PS any general tips for trail running and recovery? I'm still relatively new to the trails and my quads and bottoms of my feet ache like heck for days afterward. Shoe problem maybe? Going too hard on downhills?

Nice job out there! Are you planning on doing the McDowell race? If not you should as it's much less technical than White Mountains, pretty much just hard pack trail the entire way. As far as tips, just run more trails. The quads and feet are most likely just a matter of acclimation, especially on a trail run like that one. All that climbing will roast your quads and then such a major descent will just roast them more, then you have all the small rocks causing foot issues. One thing that helps with the feet, at least for me, is a shoe with either a real sturdy sole or one with a rock plate. 

thanks for the tips! i am def. planning to run more trails, and have been hitting trail 100, shaw butte, 8 and 8A (all that stuff that starts at lincoln and 32nd), and the lookout mountain trails which are all near me in central phx. i am leaning toward doing the mcdowell mountain race, but if i do it will be the 7K. i've hiked that trail before and remember it being easy. i've ridden the pemberton and that does have some rocky sections but my run volume isn't enough to tackle the 15 miler. haven't signed up yet because there is a bike race in oracle that weekend that i may do...finding it hard to focus on one or the other this season. and i will also start looking for some trail runners. i've just been hitting the trails in an old pair of kinvaras but the rock plates and stiffer soles sound appealing. thanks again!

Very familiar with Lincoln and 32nd, run through there a lot as I'm in Old Town. Yeah, daily trainers are fine for something like Pemberton that's more trail but when you start running stuff like White Tanks or even some of the stuff off 8 and 8A, a more sturdy trail shoe is nice to have.

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