In just two short weeks I will be running my first 50 mile race. It's called Autumn Leaves at Champoeg State Park on November 3 at 6am. I ran a 50k there last year, and am looking forward to this race. The daunting task of running 50 miles is made even more of a challenge because it's made up of ten, five mile laps.
Of course, when looking to run a distance longer then you have in the past, you MUST train for it. In August I ran my first double (two marathons in two days), in training for that I ran two 20 mile runs on back to back days, and also ran two marathons in five days. In order to do a 50 miler. I figure I have to do lots of longer runs, and also have to get used to running repetitive loops.
On September 29, I ran a short 1.59 mile loop near my house, ten times. On October 7, I ran the Portland Marathon. On October 13, I ran a 50k route that went through Beaverton, Aloha and Hillsboro. Finally, yesterday I ran a five mile loop, eight times totaling 40 miles. So here is how it went:
First off, Autumn Leaves has very unpredictable weather. Last year it was overcast and cool, in 2005 it was pouring down rain, in 2004 it was cool, overcast, and foggy, in 2003 it was 35° and clear. So I must prepared. Yesterday was overcast, and raining.
I had a cold, so I was very unsure about running 40 miles, but I had to give it a shot. I took three Ibuprofen and a decongestant. Got up at 6am and left the house at 7am. Drove down to the park which would be the start and end of each loop. I had a trunk with water, chips, candy, and many other foods, and of course dry clothes.
I started at 7:10, it was pouring. I had my Maniacs hat to keep my head dry, and a fleece jacket to try to stay dry. But my problem was the rain made my fleece very heavy. So after one lap I took the fleece off, and put a garbage bag on me, which I ran in also the whole way.
It rained for two straight hours, then stopped for about an hour and then picked bag up later. It must have rained for about five of the seven hours, I was running. The temperature was very cool, at the start it was 47° and at the end 52°. But if felt so much colder with the rain.
First half went real well, and then took a ten minute break, before going back out there. I then ran two more laps and took a five minute break, then finished the last two laps. Overall I was very happy with the run, and realized how hard running 40-50 miles is. The last ten miles were so hard and I just have to realize it's going to be a grunt at Autumn Leaves. Here were my splits:
1 - 52:23
2 - 49:13
3 - 49:37
4 - 47:01
5 - 49:00
6 - 48:04
7 - 51:37
8 - 49:57
It took me about 7 hours to run this 40 miles which is about a 10:15 pace. If I can keep that pace for Autumn Leaves then I will run it in 8½ hours. My goal is 9 to 10 hours. So I should be in good shape. Now it's time to taper for the next two weeks.