Monday, July 25, 2016

Psycho Psummer 50K Run

Psycho Psummer 50K Run 

Yes this was my pre-race dinner
If I'm not saying "Hell Yes!" to something, then I"m probably going to say "No”. I had no intentions of doing this PyscoPsummer50K race until about 2 weeks before it. I went to a gathering at Lincoln Running Company where the local greats were speaking about Western States. I was talking to Kaci after the talk and we starting chatting about this race. Instantly I could tell how much she loved the trails and this entire event and I knew it was one of those races that I did not want to miss out on. So I went with a "Hell Yes" and signed up a few days later. Suzi and I packed up and headed east with the dogs after work on Friday. We dropped dogs off with my parents & then then headed down to Kansas City. I grabbed some waffles with butter, syrup and fried chicken strips on top to load up the calories before tomorrow's sweat fest.

And yes my 50k was
fueled by this donut.
After getting to the hotel around midnight; race morning came pretty quickly. It’s never hard for me to get out of bed before a race though. I had a donut and some pre-race coffee and made my way to Wyandotte Lake. I had about an hour to kill before the race started and just tried to stay loose and keep my energy up. With my BQ attempt at the Nebraska State Fair marathon coming up in 4 weeks my plan for this race was to go out and simulate marathon effort for at least the first 26 miles. I wanted to simulate that race day effort and hopefully gain some confidence from being able to do that. There is no way for me, in a solo training run to go out and have a 5 hour, marathon effort run. This is why I mix races like this into my training plan for that added value come race day. Has it backfired before? Yes, maybe once or twice I've overdone it too close to race day, but I'm more careful and knowledgeable of that now.

entering the trails with 2 of the best
Soon it was 8am and warming up outside and I was ready to get in the trees and some shade. I started into the trails with Kaci and Jeremey for the first little bit then they were off. The first few miles of each 10-mile loop was real rocky with some good climbs. I immediately had that feeling of "Yesssssss…this is my element.” The 360 degrees of trees and a little rocky trail winding through them occasionally opening up to views of the lake. The first few miles had me jumping over logs and off rocks and making my way down rocky descents. I came into each aid station on this first loop with tons of energy. I was drinking only water; no electrolyte drinks this time around for me. I have recently switched to this new formula to help with some gut issues of late. What I am doing now is a combination of Hammer Electrolyte pills (2 per 90 minutes) and sprays of BFIT Rapid Electrolyte Spray. All throughout the day the spray seemed to give me the electrolytes needed. I was sweating non-stop in the over 100-degree heat so getting this stuff back in my body was crucial. I had a fun first loop and came through 10.3 miles at 1:30 and I can say my effort on that loop was equal too BQ marathon effort.
Lots of these throughout the day

I quickly headed back out to my 2nd loop at 9:30AM as it was starting to get hot. These first few miles seemed tougher this time around. More elevation and more rocks to deal with this. I knew from my first lap though if you get through these first 3 miles, miles 3 through 8 are some absolutely wonderful running trail. It winds and switches back many times through the trees. It was easy to be completely in a rhythm in this part and just get lost in my own head. I had my Orange Mud handheld bottle with water in it and I would take a drink and dap some on my shoulders and a bit on my face through the entire day. I found out around mile 13 that the only one in front of me was Kaci, this was information that would be repeated to me through the day.
in my element here
one of the climbs at the end of each loop

I understood that but kept trying to fight off the thoughts about leading the men’s part of the race and just be myself because it was still so early. The last 3.5 miles of each loop began with the "Mud Babes" aid station. This was the Oasis of the entire run. I rolled into here hot as can be, as I had been most all the day and saw a sprinkler and made a line straight for it. Drenched my head and hat. Carol continued her ultra-aid-station magic and hooked me up with this towel that they must have got from heaven. Ice cold on my shoulders felt so perfect at that moment. I put more ice in my hat and cooled my temp down here really good. I tried not to stay too long but it was so nice. After this one the next one is quick and then a few big climbs before the loop ends. I feel like I did these climbs good and got to the start/finish in good spirits with a 1:45 minute lap brining me through lap 2 in 3:15 and holding strong. I got 2 of my electrolyte pills here, a little fruit and some more ice and water. Big thank you to Jodi and Suzi as I headed out of here with 1 loop to go feeling pretty good. I was 20 miles through and felt like effort was still on marathon level.
Towards the end of each loop

Lap 3 quickly had me climbing up those first few hills and rocks. It felt harder each time. The descents started bringing out some old ligament pain in my right ankle. Nothing too alarming but annoying as it was using my energy focusing on it. Every A.S. That came and went I did not do a good job of getting what I needed and cooling down. I needed to eat something with some calories, gel or something solid but I kept not doing it. This would end up catching up with me. I was getting more drained by the mile and finding it harder to stay positive. I hit that most runnable section but was fading. I was trying to hold effort but could feel that I was getting slower. My effort felt on point but my miles had dropped over a minute from these same miles on loop 1. I'd been taking punches from the heat all day and it was starting to take its toll on me.

Mud Babes Aid Station!
I finally got to that "Mud Babes" aid station and was so happy to see Carol and that the sprinkler was still on. I immediately ran to it and she ran over and helped me get cooled down, I was about to start back out and immediately turned back and sat down because I got a bit dizzy. I took about a minute or 2 here and the new leader Tim had come in and gave me some encouraging words. That was enough to get me up and back out there. Shortly after here I saw Miguel as well. It was very nice to see him looking strong through these miles. He's a runner with tons of experience and ability and he had some words to help get my mind back in the right place. After he was out of sight I just set my sights on toughening it out from here to the finish for that 3rd male spot. The last 3 miles were tough, lots of trying to talk myself into finding the strength. Lots of shutting up the voices that were trying to discourage me about losing the lead so late in the race and not having been stronger. I spent lots of time working through these type of things in my head. But all experience is good experience, I've grown to know that and learn that each time you are out here dealing with new things you are getting better. There are no bad races or bad days, there is only learning and growing. This was not a bad race though, this was me going out at marathon effort in 100-degree heat index and seeing how long I could hold my body there. Looking back, I'm very please I could hold it as long as I did. I was telling myself in this section to just find that rhythm that I could run in and not need to take a break and walk. Find that rhythm. Find that rhythm. I finally got into it with about 1.5 miles to go. I got the last few tough hills done and could start hearing the music from the finish area party with about a half a mile left. I dialed it in now and pushed to the finish line. I finished lap 3 in 2 hours and 9 minutes. 7 minutes behind the male winner and many minutes behind the amazing Kaci.
Finishing it up

I was happy to be done. I was happy to have come in 3rd male and 4th overall in a pretty big field of runners. I was happy to immediately been greeted by the GOATZ running group at the finish line. I was happy Kaci congratulated me and talked about how great of a run I had. I was happy there was ice water and a hose to cool off under. But most off I was happy I was here, at the finish area. This is my favorite part; connecting with the fellow runners that went on for the next couple of hours as we saw so many running friends come in and met so many new people that had finished up distances from 10 to 31 miles. Some first time ever racing to people who had raced for decades, this gathering is like no other. Connecting and appreciating likeminded people is what it’s all about. Sharing our stories from the ups and downs of the day. This is why I can continue to easily say "Hell Yes!”

These feels

Thank you to all those who were out there cheering, volunteering and running. What a fun day!

Happy trails!