2013 Hells Hills 50k

One of my friends, Adam, was planning to run the 50 mi, so as the weeks ticked by with decent training, I increasingly became more interested in running the 50k at Hells Hills.  I have sort of bad history with this race: 2011, I did the 50k and had a decent time thru 20 miles or so, then encountered some sort of foot pain that prevented me from running any more of the race and posting up a 7+ hour finish; then last year, the heat, a *nasty* rolled ankle, and plantar fasciitis (wicked 3 combo, by the way…) caused me to drop at the mile 45 aid station.  But I had decent, consistent training over the previous 6 weeks and didn’t have any real time goals, other than expecting to finish in 6.5 hours, maybe sooner if I got lucky.

 

Weather was nice and chilly at the start.  Kept rolling thru the first loop, probably too fast.  Had a bit of a wardrobe issues on the first loop.  My raceready shorts had my goodies in them, except they are apparently too heavy for my pants.  So, the first loop, my pants would start to sag down pretty quickly every so often, so I had to reposition them.  Again and again…. Ugh.  Nothing too embarrassing, but thankfully there weren’t any runners behind me a couple times….. This problem went away on the second loop — don’t know if I was carrying less items or what.  Kind of strange, since I don’t recall this issue happening before the seabrook marathon, and I KNOW I haven’t lost any weight… if anything I’ve put on a few pounds.  Anyway, back to the running.  I kept running pretty strong the first loop, maybe too fast, completing in ~2:51.  Maybe I can beat 6 hrs?  I knew it would be tough since my PR is 608.

Started on the 2nd loop, and it wasn’t ungodly hot thanks to overcast cloud conditions (and also a lovely, cool breeze). I had a nagging stomach discomfort all morning that hadn’t slowed me down too much, but was getting slowly worse.  And consequently, I couldn’t put down any more calories…which leads to my energy level crashing.  I shuffled it into the next A/S and spent quite a few minutes reloading on food, which helped me rebound nicely the last 5 miles or so.  I was actually running really hard the last 3, but the race was over, and I snuck in under 630, satisfied with my time and effort.  If it weren’t for my bonk around mile 19-25, I would have easily chopped off another 20 minutes (at least).   Ran with another guy briefly who was finishing his first ultra, always fun to see those guys cross the finish line.

Lessons learned:  keep up my hill training.  The treadmill worked wonders for Cactus Rose last year, and I haven’t gotten back into it since I haven’t “needed” it for a race.  But there are times on the 2nd loop where it definitely would have helped hiking up some of the inclines.  Also, I  need to work on my nutrition.  My GU Chomps just weren’t appetizing.  Maybe even liquid calories?  Probably would be easier on the stomach and less time eating too.  I really liked turkey sandwiches a few years ago, which seemed to work well for me… not sure why I stopped bringing them along….

 

Well, onto the next race…. 25k at hogs hunt this weekend? Possum Kingdom 55k?

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