Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Antelope Island Buffalo Run 50 Mile

ADD Version: I ran a PR by over 90 minutes finishing in 8:45 and the top 20, while also setting a 50k PR by an hour along the way in warm but pleasant weather with great company.

Disclaimer: At the Behest of Aric Manning I'm adding a new race report to this rarely used blog. This is more for me to look back on and laugh at the naive ideas in my head. Its public only because I read other runners journals and blogs constantly to learn and daydream - maybe their wisdom as filtered through my head along with my mistakes on the path to elevate my running will prove useful or hilarious to someone.

So 2012 has been an experiment for me on applying more rigor and consistency to my running to transcend the slow logarithmic plateau into mediocrity. For me this is defined by putting in a weak effort: I found myself doing only the bare minimum to prepare for races trying only to eek out a couple minute PR over the previous years attempt when I know I could do better. I've only had about 5 rest days since October (as rest/travel days for races) and my usual winter slump has been replaced with regular 60-70 mile weeks. I've had a few twinges of overuse but otherwise its been a huge improvement in how much I enjoy both training and races - no more death marching for me!

The Buffalo run on Saturday was my second test this year and I went in with a brief taper and a nagging IT band and lower back and oddly nervous. Hanging out at the start/20 mile aid station and watching the 100 milers who started the day before was fun but didn't help to calm the butterflies when I watched everyone going through looking totally thrashed by the heat (70 degrees feels hot right now ok!). I made it my focus to do two things: start out easy, and drink more than I want to. I also made my one big mistake of the day which was trying something new: hammer nutrition fizz electrolyte tablets. I've tried them while sitting around the house and they had a nice light flavor, and I've used other effervescent tablets like nuun before without bad effects so I added them to my race plan to help offset the damage I knew the heat would do. Well, within the first few miles I took a nice swig of my now well-shaken fizzy water and spent the next 20 miles burping and dry-heaving up frothy foam like a rabid dog. My stomach bloated out and the cramping started in earnest not long after.

I was right on my pace goal of getting to the fence at 19 at 3 hours, but I had to make an explosive port-o-potty stop to blow out the fizz for good. I switch back to water and started taking S-caps at each aid station (which were AWESOME! especially Jay Aldous bottle valet service). Unfortunately the damage was done and the last 30 miles were just some good ole fashioned ultra fun. I could run at a comfortable 8-10 min/mile but only for about 4-5 minutes before I felt too cramped and overheated and would have to take a walk break. It wasn't the way I wanted to finish the race, but the 100 milers had it a lot worse so I just made it a point to enjoy seeing all my friends on the trail.

As I hit the last loop around the Lakeside trail, I kept expecting some of the quick people behind me to catch up. I knew that Cory was hunting me down because I know how much he enjoys passing me looking like roadkill late in a race. I also bumped into Olaf at the last aid station, and I know he has been through a really tough month and getting a bear hug from him gave me the boost I needed to find a running gear to finish out the race strong with Cory only a couple minutes behind!

The race thoroughly trashed me, but hanging out at the finish and at Jeremiahs the next morning trading stories made it so much more fun than most races where all I can do is slump into the backseat of a car. I'm really happy with the result, the training has definitely been paying off and I hope the trend continues for a while - I have some high expectations for the Speedgoat (time-wise) and the Bear (scenery-wise, as in seeing all 100 miles of it).


Jay said...

Congrats on the PR! You looked great coming through Mtn View AS the second time (mile 44). Best wishes for a great year (with more PR's)...

Stacey said...

Hi Ryan!
I'm looking forward to reading a blog post about your most recent Bear 100. I heard that you finished(!) and in 28 hours(!!) Super cool . . .
My boyfriend Alex and I met your mom this weekend on Sea Island. She spoke highly of you and all your ultra accomplishments. I'm a fellow ultra runner, new to the arena as of a year ago, and hoping to complete a 100 in the near future. I love to meet other ultra runners, and those fans who support the crazed runners. Best of luck in all your endeavors!

Ryan Lauck said...

Hi Stacey, my folks mentioned talking to an ultra runner, nice to hear from you! I hope your first 100 is a success, and if you run one nearby I'd be happy to help out. I'm also a great source of advice on what NOT to do :D