Training Recap: Jan. 29-Feb. 4, and the Crusty 50k

Start of Crusty 50k (before entering trail)

This week was exciting, and a great building block. I finished the week with 133 miles, which was capped off with a nice training run at the John Dick Memorial Crusty 50k. They have photos up of the event at Running in the USA. I went into the week with the 50k planned as a good spot for an ultramarathon-style workout. I was not sure how my legs would feel after a 13-day stretch of 246 miles total, so I was pleasantly surprised that I felt really smooth the entire way.

I used the 50k as an opportunity to test how well my body has been adapting to fat metabolizing—crucial in ultra racing—so I fueled a lot less than I normally would. While on the course, I took in: 2x5oz cup of Mountain Dew, 2x5oz cup of water and a small handful of pretzels. I am very pleased at how I have been progressing on this front. I am sure that strategically planned training runs and Vespa played a big part in helping my body metabolize fat better.

The course and weather was intriguing, to say the least. It was approximately 40 degrees out, sunny, and there was a bit of wind here and there. The trail was solid ice in some spots, snow in others, and open trail in a few brief spatterings. I had struggled with what shoe to wear for this race because of the conditions. I ended up wearing a 10k track flat. I did this because I have really begun to like racing in a zero drop (or close to it) shoe, a term that refers to the heel-to-toe elevation change. I also knew I would need the extra traction from the spikes to keep me upright. I never did fall, which surprised me because I almost went down a number of times. Had I not been wearing spikes I definitely would have spilled at least once.

The course was five loops of 10 kilometers. The route is hard to describe, so I will generalize and say it mimicked a figure eight. This was so fun because I was able to see every runner on the course a bunch of times! It was great to exchange encouragement with all the great people out there. I loved seeing so many people so excited to be spending a non-traditional February day out on the trails. My finishing time was 3 hours, 33 minutes and 28 seconds (6:52/mi), which I believe was a course record, but not an event record (they have altered the course in previous years due to weather constraints). My pace was pretty consistent throughout, with my 10k splits as follows:

Lap 1 42:00
Lap 2 41:55
Lap 3 41:51
Lap 4 42:18
Lap 5 45:32*

*The last lap was a little longer because the course detoured off the loop to the finish line.

Post race was great as well. They had a large array of food brought by the runners to refuel in the hours after completion. It was great to talk with the other participants, many of whom are Lapham Peak Trail Runners members.

In the six days leading into the race I ran 102 miles, with one fartlek workout. The fartlek was a 10-miler where I alternated 5 minutes easy and 10 minutes hard over about 61 minutes total. Please see below for a detailed look at my week.

Also, if you get a chance please check out Abe Clark's website, Chasing That Elusive Horizon, where he has posted an interview with me.

Sunday 20 mile long run
Monday AM: 10 miles
PM: 10 miles
Tuesday AM: 10 miles
PM: 10 miles
Wednesday AM: 10 mile fartlek (5 min easy/10 min hard)
PM: 10 miles
Thursday 10 miles
Friday 12 miles
Saturday John Dick Memorial Crusty 50k
Total 133 miles