Saturday, March 17, 2007
Race Report Chuckanut 50K
Had a nice run on Saturday. Of course, it was raining the whole day. They had some mud, but compared to Hagg Lake it was just dirt in water and not real mud. Those of us who slipped an slided around last month were not impressed with that aspect of the run and, in fact, were quite relieved that it wasn't much of an issue (except to get your feet wet...who cares?).
I will admit to one fairly knarly section of steep switchback downhill that was covered in the real slippery stuff and once I got moving, it was impossible to stop or slow down without skating off the trail and into trees/rocks. I whooped, screamed and laughed my whole way down at a speed not anything close to safe, but unable to slow down to that safer speed. The aid station volunteers were at the bottom and could see us and whooped at us all the way down. It was the most fun I had all day.
There were substantial areas too steep for running but it turns out I'm a strong uphill hiker/walker. I've discovered a sideways stepping technique that works on the super steep stuff and it seems pretty easy on my legs.
There's always a mistake to be made, however. Right before the most difficult section I overstuffed my self at the aid station and had so much nausea I could barely run. This was up on a windy high point and down a seriously technical ridge line. There were huge boulders covered with slickness right next to the cliffs. It was cold and windy and I was miserable not being able to go fast. I fell. My friends pulled ahead and I had to stop to release some of the extra ballast. After hurling, I felt much better. So, eating is good, but eating too much is BAD.
The strategy for the day was to stick together (my 2 friends and me) and have a good time. We waited for each other to catch up at each aid station, so collectively spent about 15 extra minutes standing around. At the end I saw a woman I wanted to pass so I had a pretty fast last 1-2 miles and finished a few minutes before "the guys" in 6:58:53. Nothing special in way of a time, though I see the overall winners were about 30 minutes off the record pace this year. It must have been the weather and the "mud."
I'm a bit sore but nothing interesting. Except my arm and shoulder on the right (from the fall). After thelast race it was a left sided fall so at least I'm evening things out.