Saturday, June 14, 2008

Lake Youngs Ultra 50K - Renton WA

This race traverses the 9.6 mile loop surrounding Lake Youngs in Renton, WA three times. It's almost all trail and there are nice rolling hills most of the way for about 900 feet of climb. One unfortunate feature is that you never actually get to see the lake. Its run around a fence on the outside of Lake Youngs. Participants who want to can add another 2.3 miles at the end running back to a marked spot on the course and back. I did the race last year and just ran two loops, tweaking my ankle and having to stop.

This year when I showed up race morning Arthur Martineau said "Hey Adam I didn't think you were coming. You need to register and give some money". Wow, why was I listed on the entrants list then I wondered? (I had checked the race site yesterday to see if I was signed up or not) "Oh, I saw that you listed this race as planned on the Marathon Maniacs site so I saved you a spot." Amazing - now there's a useful aspect of the Marathon Maniacs organization!

This year I had ran the Kettle Moraine 100K the week before in biblically extreme conditions (heat, thunderstorms). And then done a lot of long training runs this week. So, I had no lofty goals for today's race. I figured I would run three 1:20 splits of the 9.6 mile loops with a couple minutes for refuels and then tack on 20 minutes or so after the 28.8 to do the 50K. This would put me right around my 50K PR of 4:24 but not much less. The approximate 8 minute mile pace seemed reasonable since there is supposedly 900 feet of climbing on each loop. My primary goal was just to run even splits and keep a consistent pace.

But out on the first loop I felt great and settled into a 7:30 pace instead. I got back to the start at 1:12:04. I had to take a bathroom break after the first loop (these woods are not deep enough as they skirt the fence) and I stopped to drink a Red Bull and eat potato chips (co-race director Jennifer Martin said "huh? why would we have potatoes?") and headed back out onto the trail at 1:18.

The second loop I was shooting for being 1:18 again. I ran slowly at first eating my chips (man I miss those potatoes). I fell in alongside Roger Chou and Cindy Bigglestone. This was apparently Roger's second trail run. His first being PCTR Forest Park from a couple weeks earlier. Otherwise it appears we like to do the same races as he also did Vegas and Boston. Shortly afterwards Cindy and I sped up and moved ahead. Cindy is a hardcore triathletes venturing out onto the trail for run training - this was her first trail race. She asked about other good local trail races and I regaled her with my Seattle area favorites. She also told me about her training for Ironman Canada in August. I haven't done any multisport events since last year so I enjoyed hearing about it. I'm going to go to her spin class in Redmond, but only if its raining out! (the only excuse for indoor cycling in my opinion)

We came back in at 2:33:12. Cindy stopped after this loop. I took two minutes to drink and eat and headed back out at 2:36. On the third loop I still felt good and felt like I had actually sped up. But instead I noticed that I was approaching the finish around 3:55:40. I headed back out and kicked it in gear for the final two miles to the 50K finishing in 4:11:08 - my new PR. However I think that 50K mark was just set up at one mile though (i.e. not quite enough for 2.3 miles additional), since I felt like I was doing 7 minute miles at the end not 6:30 miles. I think with some tapering this would be a good race to try for a sub 4 hour 50K some day.

Feeling great about the PR, I hung around eating delicious barbecued burgers and chatting with Marathon Maniacs president Steve Yee (he's good luck, my previous PR of 4:24 was set at Mount Si 50K where we ran together as well), Francis Agboton (we had run together last year here and at White River), and Roger. After eating my fill I headed out to pick up the kids and begin a weekend of constructive laziness, milking Father's Day and race recovery to the fullest.


Blogger Baldwyn said...

Hey, congrats on a great race, and a new PR!! A sub 4 hour 50k goal sounds awesome and attainable. Also, happy father's day. Sounds like it was a great one!

5:00 PM  
Blogger Jean Pommier said...

Good job on this PR, Adam, you are in top shape! Will be fun to run with you to the Auburn track in 12 days.

Farther Faster

5:38 PM  

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