Thursday, January 23, 2014
It’s a new year and already a lot has happened. About two weeks ago, I received an email from Nike asking if I’d like to be a part of their Nike Elite Trail Team. I said yes without hesitation. It’s a chance to run on the same team as some really, really good runners and I’m honored to be a part of it. I always hoped something like this would happen, but never really gave it much thought as it didn’t seem like it had a high probability of happening. So about a week later, their shiny new kit arrived in the mail and I took it out for a spin in my first race of the year this past Saturday, the Steep Ravine 50k.
The goal of the race was to simply treat it as a long run. I want to become more familiar with the 50k distance for a couple of reason. First, I want to be better prepared for the faster course at Way to Cool and second, I want to use it as a stepping stone to longer distances, as I’m planning on running the Squamish 50 mile in August. Heading into this race, I’d only run 3 50k’s. I was completely spent at the end of both and wanted to run one without dipping too deep into the well. So I picked this one because it was on local trails and because I figured I could talk some friends into running parts of it with me.
The 50k was 2 25k loops and it turned out that my friend Sam was running the 25k, so I just ran with him for the first of my 2 loops. We ran the first loop in well under the previous course record, so I was really happy that he got the new record when he took off with about 2 miles to go (as I’d told him I hoped he would). It was a great help to have him there, as we kept it under control and talked pretty much the whole time. Before I knew it, I was headed back up to Pantoll and Cardiac, where Mark and Lucas were waiting for me. They took me back down Coastal and Heather Cutoff, along Redwood, and up a good portion of Deer Park fire road before I got back up to Cardiac where Zak (who had already run the 10k from Stinson to Cardiac and back down and set another course record in the process) was waiting to accompany me down to Stinson (he climbed back up to Cardiac to run with me back down). The end result was that I think I was alone for 7-8 miles tops and finished tired but definitely not spent. It was a good effort, at 3:54:38 with 6700ft of climbing and I’m really happy with the way the recovery went, as I was back on the track on Tuesday night running 400s at 5k and 10k pace. I think my legs are adapting to the longer stuff well and my fueling seemed to be pretty on point, with the Osmo pre-race formula playing a key part in my race preparations once again (and also after the race).
The only snag came at the halfway point, where the Gu’s I had left prior to the start had disappeared from behind the tree where I left them. A volunteer claims that a bird took them, but I’m rather skeptical of that, and would just like to say that if you ever find yourself needing food during a race, don’t take someone else’s. It’s your own damn fault you weren’t prepared. Don’t make someone who came ready pay for your mistake.
Next up (officially) is the Rodeo Beach 50k in just over 2 weeks. The goal again is to run it as a quality long run without going into the well. After that, Cool beckons. I’m getting excited.