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Deadwood Mickelson Trail Half Marathon - Run

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Deadwood, South Dakota
United States
Lean Horse Productions
75F / 24C
Total Time = 6h 06m 10s
Overall Rank = 303/500
Age Group = M40-44
Age Group Rank = 30/32
Pre-race routine:

This is an event I set out to run with my fiancee. Come Hell or High Water, we were going to start and finish this together. I long ago decided that I WASN'T going to train for this distance because it was the outlier in my season - everything else is short course, so I didn't see the point in investing a ton of effort into tons of mileage for a one-off event. I knew it was going to hurt, and I was Ok with that.

Coming from EDT, waking up at 5am was super, super easy for us. Our bodies thought it was 7am still as we had just arrived in Deadwood from Cleveland only about 36 hours beforehand. If nothing else, this is what would bite us..... not allowing enough time to acclimate to the change in altitude.

I have an uncle that live up in the mountains in Colorado and he swears by the adage of allowing 1 day for every 1500' of altitude change. Well, we seem to have fallen two days short. I did a really good job of hydrating extra beforehand, but my better half, it appears, didn't do quite so well.

Anyway, we woke up, got dropped off by her parents (who traveled with us for the vacation) where we met the buses, and we climbed aboard.
Event warmup:

Nothing, really. We were on one of the first buses down to the start (it is a point-to-point coursse), so there was a lot of idle time. We walked around and checked out some of the awesomely hilarious buildings in the area of Rochford, SD.
  • 6h 06m 10s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 13m 59s  min/mile

The title says Half Mary, but this was for the Full.

The race is on the George S Mickelson Railway Trail that ends in the historic town of Deadwood, South Dakota (yes, THAT Deadwood).

The first 14 miles is a constant, unrelenting uphill at approximately a 3% grade. You begin at an altitude of 5500' and ascend to just over 6200' before then descending to 4500' over the last 12 miles. The 700+ feet of ascent - after already not allowing enough time to acclimate well - is what got us.

We started out decently - I made a point of taking fluids right away at every aid station, Eliza however, ignored that and skipped the first one. Not saying that is the difference in anything, but I know it couldn't have helped.

We did quite well and were happy until roughly mile 9. At that point we were both extremely tired of going uphill. The scenery was so beautiful throughout the entire course, however, that it was very easy to forget about it.

Around Mile 11 things started to get bad... I had things hurting, like feet and above the knee caps - things that were to be expected, but she was talking about upset stomach, constantly having to stretch things, talking about muscles wanting to cramp, etc...

At mile 14 we had begun to take more frequent walking breaks, sometimes she would even walk backwards to change up the muscles being used. The sun was everywhere -- clouds in the sky all over the place, but pretty much not a bit of shade on the course.

Somewhere around mile 15, shortly after beginning to run again after taking fluids at an aid station, she threw up for the first time.. We were both already behind the 8-ball in terms of hydration as it was, but this was kinda a dagger in us. We continued to walk lots and do some seriously slow jogging for about 1/4 to 1/2 mile at a time as we could. The aid stations were every two miles, and at the next one she tried to take more fluids and thought she could get going right away after it... that was a mistake. The second bout of vomiting followed which pretty much signaled the end of any thoughts of a valiant finish for us. I told her we could stop at any time and catch a ride back, but she said no. Even if we had to walk the entire way in, we were going to finish it - and we did.

It was WAY more walking than even below-recovery effort jogging, but in the end we finally made it to finish line. Through the first 9 miles, we were actually on pace to set a P.R. for the distance for both of us, and in the end we set a Personal Worst for both of us, hehe. Such is sports.

It was an exceptionally tough day in an absolutely beautiful part of the country and I didn't mind being slow one bit.... that's not why we went there.
What would you do differently?:

Allow an extra day - at least - to acclimate. Preferably two days.
I think I would take/wear a hydration pack the next time. That way, even if we have to walk we can at least go Gonzo on hydrating while we're not working hard.
Post race
Warm down:

We hobbled about a little and each chugged a couple of bottles of water, then walked barefoot back to the place we'd rented for the week (which was right on the trail and only about 200 yards from the finish line!). After that, we all went out for dinner and we gorged ourselves on pizza at some place called PizzaLAB (awesome food!).

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Hahahahahh! Name it :)

Event comments:

This event is all about the location. It's a destination event for those wanting to check out Deadwood, SD and all of the surrounding National Parks like Rushmore, Crazy Horse, Devils Tower, Badlands and the Black Hills. There is a TON of stuff to do up there for those looking, and I highly recommend making the trip.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2015-04-13 12:00 AM
06:06:10 | 26.2 miles | 13m 59s  min/mile
Age Group: 30/32
Overall: 303/500
Performance: Bad
Course: Point-to-point on a converted railway trail.
Keeping cool Average Drinking Not enough
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Below average
Mental exertion [1-5] 2
Physical exertion [1-5] 2
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

2015-06-23 4:35 PM

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Subject: Deadwood Mickelson Trail Half Marathon
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General Discussion Race Reports! » Deadwood Mickelson Trail Half Marathon Rss Feed  

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2005-04-17 12:47 AM davidsra
date : April 28, 2015
author : hadleyusa
comments : 1
Training for a specific running event is not as easy as it might seem. Here are some tips and a weekly plan to avoid overtraining and to improve your performance.
date : May 24, 2010
author : Coach AJ
comments : 0
My question is am I playing with fire entering the half marathon this close to my primary goal for this season which is the HIM?
date : November 17, 2008
author : mat steinmetz
comments : 7
I just started doing tris this summer and I have two under my belt, both sprints. Is it reasonable to build up for a Oly in early ‘09, with a HIM in Oct of ‘09
date : June 10, 2008
author : kns57
comments : 0
Steady is our walk. Ignoring the pain that is radiating from my feet, I continue to place one foot in front of the other. Again I wonder, “Why am I doing this?”
date : July 10, 2007
author : Ontherun
comments : 0
Having three seasons under my belt I thought I knew what I was doing. That all changed with a few new challenges and a bunch of new friends.
date : October 24, 2005
author : mikericci
comments : 0
This program should be used for an athlete whose goal is to run a marathon in the 1:30-2:30 range and has a good running base in the past 8-12 weeks.
date : October 2, 2005
author : smeeko
comments : 2
I will assume you have not run consistently more than 6 miles and have never completed a half-marathon. I believe running your first half-marathon is a big task which requires dedication and work.
date : January 10, 2005
author : ewkfit
comments : 0
My training was taking off. I had never felt stronger. I was making bigger strides than I ever had. I was stronger and faster than I had imagined myself ever being.