Those of you who read my stuff will know that I am:
a) A trail runner
b) A lover of the long hilly mountainous course
I stepped out of the comfort zone this last weekend with a very flat and fast paved 50km. No hills of note, and no trail. Two laps of an out and back 12.5 km paved path in downtown Calgary. I had no real expectations, other than to have a decent early season run and go sub-4 in Gord’s Frozen Ass 50k, the first event in the Alberta 2016 ultra series.
To get a quick 50km in the legs early in the season is a real bonus, and one that will hopefully stand me in good stead for this summer’s big test, the Western States 100 - a notoriously ‘quick’ and very competitive hundred.
What a surprise then to have a great day and take the win in a time of 3:32:51, though I was helped by Jacob Puzey going off course whilst leading at around the 23km mark. Fortunately he was out of sight so I didn’t follow him, something I have become quite good at!
I ran scared after the 25km mark after realising I was in the lead, especially with a fired up Jacob, along with Oleg Tabalev and Mevlut Kont chasing hard. Fortunately I was able to hang on, though I really had to dig hard over the last 5km.
I have recovered well this last week, with solid nutrition and some easy short runs, and the hamstrings and calves are finally starting to shut up. I’m really not used to the kind of pounding dished out by 50km of pavement, but very happy with where I’m at in February, and certainly pleased with some early season success; though the problem with success in a new arena is that it feeds a yearning for more....
Gear - Salomon X-Series shoes, Compressport trail shorts and shirt, Salomon buff and jacket.
Pre race nutrition - Vitargo 450 cals and Vespa Junior. Caffeine 200mg tab x 1.
Race nutrition - Vitargo - 300 cals per hour.