Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Feb 2 2013: Ray Miller 50km Race Report

Ray Miller 50km is a training race for me.  Getting stronger does not always mean going all out at races.  There are many factor with endurance training.  Beside physical fitness, pacing, nutrition, and managing your body is also as important.

For Ray Miller, it's about testing some equipment and working on my nutrition.  Because I don't have to beat any cut off, it's a little bit more relaxing.

I loaded my running pack with 17 lbs of weight Friday night and went to sleep. Out which I have 70oz of liquid nutrition and 2 water bottles for water. Even took my hiking poles just for good measure.

I am excited because this is the first ultra marathon training race for the Team In Training Ultra Team. Of the 10 people doing it, 6 of them never done an ultra marathon before.  It's the perfect timing for me because I can kind of sweep the course to make sure all the participants are ok. Again, my goal is to do the whole race with a 17 lbs pack (and feel good doing it) so I don't need to go super fast.

=P Adventure Racer Wannabe
Come Sat, I went to pick up Roy in Santa Monica and we got to the start line at 5am.  We did some last minutes preparation and headed out for packet pickup.  Things went by pretty fast, before we know it we are minutes from the start.  The Ultra Team position ourselves in the middle. Our fastest participant Mandi was standing next to us.  "What are you doing here... get to the front"... I usher her to the front!

Race Morning - Rob missing in the picture
3, 2, 1 Go. We took off.  I focused on walking uphill than running uphill.  I passed Da, Roy, and Rouman early on at the race and they passed me at maybe around mi 3.  The pack does take it toll.

Rouman on La Jolla Canyon Trail

I am just kind of doing my own thing and I got to aid 1 at 1:30, 7 minutes slower than 2012.  Because I carried so much stuff I did not stop for aid.  By this time I caught up with Da and Roy. I talked to them to remind them to eat/drink.  Sooner after they disappeared and then I am going at my own pace again.  Apparently I am very slow because no one was around.  Last year there were actually people running around me.  It doesn't matter, my focus is not time today.  I got to Aid 2 after 1:18.  So I am almost 20 minutes slower than my 2012 time.  Just like in 2012, my nutrition was good. I ate enough and I drunk my intake.  Da/Roy left A2 before I get a chance to finish my refill.  I talked to a few friends at A2 and make my way to A3.

Coyotes Aid Station

One thing worth mentioning is that my running has changed because of the 17 lb pack.  It forced me to really focus my stride because I am 17 lbs heavier.  It made me more aware of my landing and that's a good thing.  Long story short it forces me to bound less, land better, and focus on turnover rate.

Roy and Da pulling away =(
Now I am up Coyotes Trail.  I had problem last year, not this year. I felt great.  I cramped on hidden pond trail last year, that isn't a problem this year.  The weather is a little funny this year.  It's overcast but at the same time it is really hot.  I pull water over my skin and the water dried up after a few minutes.  I pour water over my head and keep on going.  Even though I am slower but I generally feel great!

Next thing I know I am at Danielson Aid Station at mi 18 (or 19).  I thought the Coyotes are going to be there. Nope, but my friend Nancy (aka cool kid) was there.  So did Roy, Da, and Rouman.  And they left again before I finish refilling.  I guess they are the Pacman and I am the ghost.  Fine, I am sure I'll catch them later in the race.

The next 4 miles are uneventful.  Well I dropped my bear bell, but I was too lazy to find it so I continue.  When I got to Serrano Canyon I can see Roy/Da/Rouman down below. Maybe 0.3 mi away. Ok I am going to catch those 3... evil laugh.

Yes, I know I can catch them!

I caught Da/Roy maybe half a mi before Aid 4 at mi 25 and I caught Rouman at the Aid Station.  I checked on them, hung out, and the 4 of us left the aid station.  5 more miles to go. Rouman was very driven and try to finish ASAP.  Roy/Da were going a little slower so they don't injure themselves.  Their goal is to finish so I left them alone.  I did yelled at the 2 when they used their phone!

Last Aid
Roman Staying Focus
Going up Fireline Trail
When I got to the Ray Miller trail head, Rouman is actually kind of far away... maybe another 0.25-.3 miles away. I decided to see if I can catch him and I eventually did.  I was very focus and I was going very fast.  By that time my pack weight about 10 lbs but I didn't feel it at all, it was nice to know.

Before I cross the finish line, I took the Mari BIB and I let it cross over the finish line first.  I just found my way to honor my dear friend Mari.  She'll always cross the finish line before I do every time I carry her BIB.

Crossing the Finish Line with Mari

A brunch of Ultra Team participants were there and they started talking to me.  I wasn't really talking to them because I was looking at the result trying to find out how Mandi did.  OMG she won the race.  I was thrilled. A little while after Da/Roy crossed the finish line.

And yes, one of my friend made me a sign. Totally Sweet!

Ultra Team

10/10.  It was a good day.

My time is about 45mins to an hour slower than my average time.  My pace was faster running the 50miles than doing this 50km.  However I felt really really good and I didn't have any problems, to me that's a win.

I can't wait until the team does the actual event. I am very excited for each one of them. Go Team.

Thanks for all those that came out. Thanks for Mr. Freeyaki for giving me a plan to follow. It's always nice to see 3 of your 6 Angeles Crest 100 crew at your first Trail Race in 2013 =)

Staying Focus On Our Training Goal
We all want to be fast and furious on the trail but things do get in the way sometime.  You may have a deadline at work, you may be sick, you may lose your motivation, you maybe stress.  Whatever it is, take the next training opportunity to work on something that will maximize the work out.

If you are sick, focus on recovery.  You don't have to worry about missing a workout or two.  Getting better is part of the training.

If you are burnt out, a big accomplishment is to just show up at the next training.  That's a win right there.

If you 'feel like shit' during a workout.  Ask yourself if you are really not feeling well or if this is something that you can work on to get out of the situation.  Sometime I turned around, sometime I kept going forward to fix myself.  Focus on fixing yourself, not pushing yourself. This can be dangerous.

If everyone seem to make a lot of progress but you, let it be.  You are getting better. You just didn't know it.


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