Tuesday, July 09, 2013

McDonald Forest 50k Race Report 2013

In a nutshell, the Mac 50k, version 2013, was a really good race for me.  

I've run this twice before, in 2007 as my 4th 50k and again last year, 2012.  Both finish times were squarely over 7 hours.  This year, with a higher fitness level and coming at the heels of my sub 11 hour 50 mile finish, I was determined to get under 7 hours.  And that I did, finishing in 6:44:03, a course PR by about 30 minutes.  

It was a hot day...I think the high got into the 80's....but I only had one real low point.  When I was coming out of the Dimple Hill aid station around mile 18, I grabbed a chocolate chip cookie thinking I'd walk out of the aid station eating it.  But, duh, of course there's a big downhill right there so I crammed it into mouth.  Trying to cruise down a nice hill with a big lump of chocolate chip cookie in your stomach isn't fun so I had to take it a lot easier down the long mile or two hill than I wanted to.  Actually it was probably a good thing because when I got to the bottom I realized how hot it had become.  My face started to feel tingly which happens when I'm starting to get dehydrated or overheated.  So I downed an S-cap and resolved to pay closer attention to the conditions and my fueling.  

I arrived at the Chip Ross Aid Station with about 4:45 on the clock and 10 miles to go.  It was heating up and there was an exposed section (and a big climb) ahead.  At this point I thought the sub 7 might not be possible.  I thought about how hard I had pushed at Capitol Peak and decided that it wasn't worth killing myself on a hot day.  I wasn't giving up the goal at all, but I realized I might not have a full on fight in me that I had two weeks prior.  It seemed more like an honest assessment of how I was feeling both physically and mentally at the time.

But the exposed section and the hill wasn't as big and bad as I remembered.  Before long I had topped out and saw a sign that said 6 miles to go. It was now 5:30 on the clock, and with some of downhill ahead I knew I could do it.  I was re-energized!  Historically, these last miles included a lot of forest road before a fast, one mile downhill finish.  But in the past few years, they've incorporated some new single track, which adds a few more uphills, but is overall more pleasant.  And knowing I had made my goal made the final downhill push that much more sweet, even managing to get under 6:45.

So now that I've run this race three times I'm thinking it's time to move on and find new races.  But I think you get something after racing 5 times.  Hmmmmm......

Following are the pictures taken of me by Long Run Pictures.  In the first three, Michael caught me as I was getting my second bottle out of my race vest and had me cracking up as you can see.

1 comment:

Olga King said...

I think #5 photo is awesome! I think #5 Mac would feel pretty sweet too:) You are having a great year, honey!