Wow! What a weekend! It's not too often that there is a chance to run back-to-back 50k's. But to do it in back-to-back months is even more amazing. Tim and I ran back-to-back 50k's this weekend, and was it tough!
Last month Tim and I drove to Seattle where we ran the Pigtails 50k on Saturday January 26. Then we joined about a dozen runners to do the Yours Truly 50k on the Cedar River trail on January 27. It was a lot of fun and enjoyed the experience.
This year, I plan on running most of the races in the Oregon Trail Ulramarathon Series. The Hagg Lake 50k being the first of the series, and being that it's just 25 miles from my home is a must run. So I registered for this a few months ago. But looking at the race calendar, I had to at least consider a Yours Truly 50k on February 24.
Last month Brian Pendleton put together a very nice run on the Cedar River trail. But being in the Portland area, it just won't work out to drive up for that this month. So not wanting to give up the chance to run another 50k, I began to think about crazy ideas for running a 50k. The only rules for Yours Truly is that it must be 50k, and must be done between midnight and midnight. I narrowed it down to a track run or a treadmill run. When proposed to Tim, he wanted to do the treadmill, so I was a go.
So on Saturday morning, I woke up early at 5am. I had my daily devotions, and got ready for the day. I left at 6:30am and pickup Tim we then drove to Hagg Lake. We got there at about 7:20. I was so excited. One thing I should mention is that Hagg Lake is famous for its mud. Last year we had heavy rain and it was very muddy. But this year, the weather was very dry leading up to the race, which in my mind weans it would be a dry, mud less run.
We got our packets and chatted with Olga, Jess, Bret, and few other marathon friends that were there. Tim being the crazy guy he is, decided to run in a skirt (which is something that people do each year). He wore a nice skirt, but was not the most wild of them.
The race started with clear skies and a temperature of 35 degrees. The course is technical and if with a week of dry weather still had muddy spots. The first out-and-back of 3 miles was a hard up hill, but then we started in on the 14 mile loop (twice). In the first loop I was running smooth. At each aid station there was someone volunteering that I knew, which made it nice.
When I got back to the start after the first loop and I was tired, but knew I had to just keep going. In the second loop and just took my time and ran a nice pace. I ended up finishing with a time of 5:42, which was slower then I thought, but I have not been running on trails this winter, so I was happy. Tim finished with a time of 6:00. We stuck around a while talking with Hippo, Sean, Bret and others.
We left at about 3pm and drove home. That night, I just relaxed and got a good night sleep.
On Sunday, I got up about 7am, had my daily devotions, and then got ready for church. To make the day a little easier, Tim joined me at my church (Southwest Bible Church). We went to the 8:30 service and then went to the college/young adults group. I got home from church about 11:15am. I got dressed and got some food/water ready and picked Tim up at 11:50am.
We arrived at 24 Hour Fitness at about noon; we had to wait a few minutes in order to have two treadmills next to each other. We started about 12:15; the treadmills will only go for one hour. So that meant we had to restart the machine each hour. To make it easier I wanted to stop in a mile or half mile mark. So in the first hour I ran 6 miles in 59 minutes a pace of 9:50. In the next three segments/hours, I ran 5.5 miles in each hour. But after 22.5 miles and very tired legs I had to slow it down and in the fifth segment I ran just 5 miles. At that point I had run a total of 27.5 miles needed just 3.57 miles more and pushed the pace a bit, and got it done in just 38.5 minutes.
At the start of the run, I jumped ahead of Tim by about 3/4 mile, but as I slowed down, he kept going and beat me in the final 5 minutes. This is fine, because I beat him on Saturday. :)
So you might be asking, what was it like? My first thought was it was dreadful. But after much thought, with better preparation, it would be made much better. First off, make sure you bring food and take breaks to eat it. We didn't take breaks like you would in a normal race, partly due to the fact that we wanted to keep the treadmills. In the future we should properly get the treadmills reserved by the staff. Secondly, make sure that you stay cool. There was no circulation of the air and it got very hot. Thirdly, make sure that you keep your mind of the repetition of the treadmill. I had an iPod and was able to keep my mind on the music. Finally, make sure you don't run a 50k the day before. We had to, but not a great idea.
When I got home, I felt a little sick, but had no food or liquids in my system. I took a shower and rested. I then ate some blueberries and a sandwich.
Now, two days later I feel so much better, and had a blast over the weekend. The treadmill can be a fast run. But you must plan it right. But let's be honest, I wouldn't do it again, unless I can count it in my marathon totals. Next up is a six hour race in SeaTac on Saturday March 1. I will then spend the night in Seattle and attend Mars Hill Church on Sunday.
Check out my splits and statistics: