8/9/03 - 5:59:20 and 6th overall. This was my 7th Ultra and definitely the hardest most technical trail I had raced on. My first entry into my training log was "This was one rocky bitch." You can read all the nastiness about the race here http://www.ultrunr.com/Catoctin/catoctin.html
7/31/10 - 7:17 - I got off course on this one at about the 12 mile mark and ended up meeting up with James Decker at the turnaround where we decided to bring it in together to the finish.
7/30/11 - 6:23:09 - 10th overall. This day saw temperatures creep up to the 100's. I drank over 280oz of water and still couldn't get enough. This was one of the worst days I've had on a trail. I was physically and mentally drained from the 16 mile point onward. The result doesn't speak at all about how bad it was. I'm glad this day was quickly forgotten.
7/27/13 - I'm going to give it another go. I'm in better shape than any of the previous years. I expect a 5:30 or better finish time and top 10 place. We'll see. The plan is to start conservative and stay well ahead of hydration and food and hit the turnaround in the 2:30-2:35 timeframe. The way back is more up hill and is expected to be slower. I have a couple nagging aches but nothing that should be too much of a factor.
7/23/13 - Ran the 6 mile loop in and did a 1.5 mile cool down.
7/24/13 - Ran 4 miles on the trails around Patrick Henry and Fishburn.
7/27/13 - Race Day. I ran with 2 camelback handhelds with podium chill bottles and chose Salomon Speedcross 3's. The weather was mild at the start with a high 60's temperature. The high was low 80's and high humidity.
Well things didn't quite go as planned. I noticed early on that my projected times at the Aid Stations were slower than I had planned for. I just didn't seem to have the leg turnover to keep a good pace on the flat and rolling sections. I hit the turnaround in 2:43 and was feeling pretty good and hoping that my training mileage would afford me a strong return trip to the finish.
At 19.8 miles I caught my right foot on a rock (something I tend to pay extra attention to so that it doesn't happen) and hit the dirt and then again in 3 miles. From here I noticed that I just wasn't picking up my right foot as high as I thought I was. I could feel that I had strained my right hip flexor and continued to catch my foot on rocks. This caused cramping in that muscle and made for slow going and a few sections I had to walk as the muscle cramped up and forbid me from running.
Overall the course seemed more runnable than my previous runs on the course. Of course, this tends to make me want to come back for my 5th attempt to put together a good race on this course. So far it has me beat.
Notes to self;
- Figure out how to taper between races that are a month apart (if possible).
- Some how figure out how to prepare your body for the return. Every year I've done this race I begin to feel cramps on the climb out of the turnaround. I think this has to do with the 4 mile down hill leading to the turn and then trying to get the muscles to switch gears.
- 2 handheld bottles is just right.
- With the return being more uphill, it is still runnable for much of it. Save the quads enough to be able to run the down hills on this return trip.
- Pick your feet up higher than you think you need to.
- Prepare for chafing.
Total for the week; 44.9 miles of running
Next up is the 8/31/13 Iron Mtn. 30 miler.