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North Face Endurance Challenge DC 50km

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North Face Endurance Challenge DC 50km

Post  Mike MacLellan on Sun Apr 30, 2017 9:58 am

I promised brevity in my blog, so I'll try to stick to that...

Original goals were:
A. Podium (<4:20 based on last year's results... it was a soft field last year)
B. Top 10/PR (<4:33*)
C. Sub-5

Training went mostly well - lots of good runs, a few niggles that took a couple days of training from me, but overall, a success.
Taper went less well, but I still felt "race ready."  Jittery, a little scatterbrained, all that good stuff.
Weather report showing a high of 90+ with moderate humidity... well, shit.

So podium looked to be off the realm of possibilities, but top 10 and a PR might be possible if I raced smart.  Spoiler alert: neither happened.

For some reason, 9:00 miles was all I could think of as I toed the start line.  Okay, we'll run 9:00 pace to Great Falls (13.1mi) then see what happens.  This was quickly adjusted as I fell into the 2nd pack at a low-8's pace.  Alright, I guess we're going to conduct an experiment today.  Can I, the negative-split apostle, run an effective positive split with the intention of fading less than other people?  Another spoiler alert: no.

Made it into Great Falls pretty quick - somewhere in the 8:30 average range.  According to my crew (girlfriend), I came "roaring in" and I was in 28th place at this point, which was a bit of a bummer (I had no idea there was a huge group up front), but oh well.

The GF loop is just about 6mi, I guess?  It's supposed to be closer to 7, but I rolled in at 13.1 on the nose and left at a little over 18.5, so...  Picked up about 10 places and had 3 other runners right with me as we rolled out of the aid station.  I made a gesture to Haley of me putting a finger-gun to my head at this point.  I knew the back half was gonna be really ugly.  

It drizzled briefly, which was a great reprieve from the creeping head and mug... until the mud started.  Fuck.  Me.

At mile 20ish, I realized I was running marathon pace and would definitely be done at 26.2 unless I really conserved.  So I tried to do that.  It kind of worked.  22-29 were a slog through mud, mental lows, blah.  I came out of the mud and realized I was still in range of my C goal, crossing the last aid station with 1.7mi to go and about 16min to make it.  

Finish: 4:58:xx, 21st overall, 4th AG.  

Pros: 
I learned that I can not run an effective positive split.  
Hydrated and fueled well for the most part.  Taking in 500kcal of solid food at mile 26 probably wasn't wise, but I was starting to bonk pretty hard at that point.  
Didn't walk off course and sit and cry like I wanted to for a few miles  What a Face
Avenged my grudge against NF events.

Cons:
Hot.
Muddy.
My foot hurts.
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Re: North Face Endurance Challenge DC 50km

Post  KBFitz on Sun Apr 30, 2017 10:15 am

Ya. Those NF events can be brutal. And yesterday in record setting heat? Man I'm impressed that you even showed up under those conditions. Your finishing time in that swampy heat is quite commendable! Just finishing without doing major damage is a supreme accomplishment. Good on yer.
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Re: North Face Endurance Challenge DC 50km

Post  Mark B on Sun Apr 30, 2017 12:05 pm

Heat+humidity= Suck

Congratulations on hitting your C goal in those conditions, especially throwing caution to the wind and allowing yourself to run somebody else's race. The upside if that is, now you know.

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Re: North Face Endurance Challenge DC 50km

Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Sun Apr 30, 2017 6:58 pm

The conditions were not real conducive to racing yesterday - but yet you persisted.  Nice job, Mike, and I hope to see you in a few weeks!
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Re: North Face Endurance Challenge DC 50km

Post  ounce on Mon May 01, 2017 8:25 am

Gratz on the C.  Now that you're conditioned to that kind of weather, you can get mom to crew you down in her neck of the woods at some ultra race!  Oh, yeah.
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Re: North Face Endurance Challenge DC 50km

Post  fostever on Tue May 02, 2017 11:06 am

Hold yer head up, Mike! Freaking 90F w/humidity can be a death sentence if you aren't careful, and add mud, holy hamstrings, batman! That was a solid C goal accomplishment, congrats! We can only persevere when life throws us curve balls, and sounds like you did that famously!
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