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 2006 JFK 50 Mile Ultramathon Race Report
mfox

South Orange, New Jersey
Joined: 19 Dec 2004
Posts: 367

2006 JFK 50 Mile Ultramathon Race Report Posted: Tue Nov 14, 2006 8:04 pm 

Okay, so now my sights are clearly set on the JFK 50 Mile next Saturday (11/18). After completing the NYC Marathon on 11/5 I took two days off. Despite the recent rain which always causes lots of standing water on the trails near my house I went for an easy 6 mile trail run on Wednesday. I wanted to get accustomed to keeping my eyes on the rocky trail and evaluate whether or not I should run the race in my trail shoes. I followed that up with another easy 5 miles on the road on Thursday wearing my trail shoes again.

I took Friday off and then did an easy 13 mile hilly trail run on Saturday in my road shoes. I'm still trying to figure out which shoes will be best (I won't have the luxury of being able to switch shoes in the middle of the race). I also took advantage of this medium long run to try a new energy drink. And I wanted to experiment with walking up the hills and practice my walking technique. I need to get an idea of what my pacing will be when I throw in some walking breaks.

On Sunday I hit the road for an easy 6 miler and was happy to find my legs felt pretty good after Saturday. I ended up running a bit faster than I probably should have. Since it rained much of Sunday I stayed off the trail and stuck to running the roads on Monday. I did an easy 5 mile run on Monday.

I had to skip my morning run today to get to work a little earlier than usual. But I was able to leave early and so as soon as I got home I went for my run before it got too dark. My legs felt really good and I'm not sure why. I don't know if it was just a coincidence, the extra 10 hours of recovery time, or the fact that I experimented with using an analgesic cream on my hips during Monday's run (perhaps another topic of discussion).

I need to start thinking about what I'm going to pack for the race. I think I'm going to wear my cycle jersey to run in and make use of the large back pockets to store some of the things I want to take along with me during the race. I've worn it during some of my training runs and it seems to feel fine.


mfox

South Orange, New Jersey
Joined: 19 Dec 2004
Posts: 367

Re: 2006 JFK 50 Mile Ultramathon Race Report Posted: Wed Nov 15, 2006 12:12 pm 

I did what I think will be my last run this morning before Saturday's race. I did an easy 5 mile run and experiemented with the analgesic cream again on my hips. Since it was such a short run it's hard to know what real affect it might have. I could feel the 'numbing" sensation but that's about it. It's supposed to be about 30% salicylic (a component of asprin). I'm eager to see if it will have any affect on reducing the amount of ache I'll feel in my legs in the later part of the race. I'm going to put it on all up and down my legs on Saturday morning before the race and see how my legs feel at the halfway point. I'll take some with me during the race to reapply if it seems to make a difference.

Has anyone else try any analgesic creams and if so what do you think of them? Please let me know if there are any down sides before I go and use this stuff on Saturday.

My company is administering free flu shots at our office today. I get one every year around this time (they're free). Though I've never had an adverse reaction to the shot I don't want to take a chance on getting even mild flu-like symptoms between now and Saturday. So I've decided to not get the shot today. I'll have another chance to get it in a couple weeks at our other office a few blocks away.

Considering I've run 4 marathons since October 1st and have kept up with much of my training in between I'm feeling pretty good. I plan on taking Thursday and Friday off and focus more on hydration and my diet. I'm hoping that I'll be rearing to go by Saturday morning.


mfox

South Orange, New Jersey
Joined: 19 Dec 2004
Posts: 367

Re: 2006 JFK 50 Mile Ultramathon Race Report Posted: Thu Nov 16, 2006 8:04 pm 

Okay so today was the first of my two rest days before Saturday's race. It was nice to sleep a little later this morning but at work I kept thinking I had to squeeze a run in as soon as I got home. Usually if my body is a little achy on a rest day I don't have any trouble remembering that it's a rest day. Right now I'm feeling pretty rested and I'm starting to feel a little antsy.

I'll be taking the day off work tomorrow and will be heading down to Hagerstown, MD (not too far from the start in Boonsboror, MD) by late morning. Since my wife is a teacher and my daughters have school too I'll be going solo. That's the downside of a race held on a Saturday that I have to travel down to the Friday before. The upside is that I'll have another day to recover before I have to go to work. I'll drive home on Sunday. Sitting and driving in the car isn't much worst than sitting and resting at home after a hard marathon. Better yet, I'll be able to get right back to my hotel room soon after I finish to sit in a nice cold bath (with perhaps some ice) to soak my legs. I wasn't able to do this after the Wine Glass and Marine Corps Marathons because I had to drive home four to five hours right after the race. I swear by this recovery technique. Every time I've been able to do this soon after a long run my legs always feel much better the next day. My technique is to sit in the empty tub with my legs stretched out and let the cold tap water run until it's over my legs. I usually sit there for 10-15 minutes and read something. I wear a sweatshirt to keep my upper body from getting chilly. It's well worth the temporary discomfort to reduce the ache and stiffness the next day. It's probably not a bad idea to do it after all hard workouts (i.e. intervals, repeats, tempos, hills).

I plan to pick up my race packet tomorrow. If I get a chance and there's anything interesting to report I'll post again before the race. Otherwise, I'll try to get my post race report submitted early next week.


Rickshaw
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
San Francisco, CA
Joined: 26 Nov 2004
Posts: 1157

Re: 2006 JFK 50 Mile Ultramathon Race Report Posted: Fri Nov 17, 2006 10:39 pm 

Good luck mfox! Sounds like your restesd and ready to go. I think you made the right call by skipping the flu shot too.

Kick some butt tomorrow!


Rustyboy

LA, CA
Joined: 14 Dec 2004
Posts: 225

Re: 2006 JFK 50 Mile Ultramathon Race Report Posted: Sat Nov 18, 2006 8:55 am 

GO MFOX!!! WOOOHOOO!!!!!

mfox

South Orange, New Jersey
Joined: 19 Dec 2004
Posts: 367

Re: 2006 JFK 50 Mile Ultramathon Race Report Posted: Mon Nov 20, 2006 6:01 pm 

Well I did it...The JFK 50 Mile race (or jog in my case) is history.

Let me warn you, this is a long race report. I have a penchant for long race reports and since this race was twice as long as a normal marathon it stands to reason the race report should be four times as long. RIght? Perhaps someday I'll learn to be more concise...but until then here goes.

The four and a half hour drive down to Hagerstown was uneventful and I got myself checked into my room at the Clarion Hotel as soon as I arrived. Hagerstown is a short 15 minute drive from the start in Boonsboro, MD. The room check in process went smoothly (sort of) except when I opened the door to my hotel room and discovered the couple who had just checked in before me was already in the same room. Can you say awkward? As the husband and I walked back to the front desk together he told me he had called the night before to confirm his reservation and when he went to check in they told him it had been cancelled. Apparently they still didnít get it right. The folks at the front desk apologized profusely and in short time got it straightened out. It turns out this came down from Massachusettes for the JFK 50 Mile racel.

Packet pickup went pretty quick and easy. It consisted of a few tables along the hallway of the Four Points Hotel in Hagerstown. They were selling some JFK 50 Mile logo apparel and so I bought myself a running cap. I can always use a new running cap and decided to wear it for the race the next day. I got directions to the start and with the daylight slipping away I drove about 8 miles down the road to Boonsboro to check it out. I was eager to get a look at the hilly first couple miles and walk a little of the Appalachian Trail to see if it was as rocky as the race reports indicated. But once I got to the start area (an intersection in the middle of Boonsboro) I couldnít figure out which road the start went down and ended up going down the wrong road. It was dark before I was able to do anything about it so I headed back to Hagerstown to get something to eat and check out the shopping mall.

I got back to my room around 9pm and finally started to think about how I was going to manage to carry the various nutrition items I wanted to run with. I knew what I wanted to bring but had to figure out where to put it all. My plan was to wear a pair of triathlon shorts (compression-type) with a pocket on each side, my triathlon jersey with three pockets on the back, and a wastepack that held two bottles and had a large storage compartment between the two bottles.

The waistpack carried two water bottles filled with Hammer Perpetuem energy drink. I used a small plastic Tupperware-type juice bottle to carry extra Perpetuem powder for refueling at aid stations and kept that tucked in the storage pocket at the back of my waistpack. Among the two pockets of my shorts I had four GU Expresso gels (2x caffeine) and supply of Hammer Endurolytes (electrolyte). Between the three back pockets of my jersey I had an extra pair of socks (in case my feet got wet or I felt any hot spots), a supply 12 Glucose tablets, a tube of ďHot and IcyĒ to rub on my legs later in the race, and about 8 other GU gels. I also had a digital camera tucked into a case attached to my waistpack. Iíve been taking photos at all of my marathons this year and I figured it would be much easier (and preferred) to stop for photos at this race than any of the others.

I got to bed about 11pm and was awakened around 12:30 with the loud voices of a bunch of drunk women out in the hallway. Note too self: Cheap hotel rates indicate not only lower quality and fewer ammenitites but also the quality of clientele. I soon felt back to sleep but woke again around 1:40 to the sound of another loud drunk woman's voice talking to someone in the room across the hall about her drunk roommate in the room down the hall. A few minutes later I heard the fire alarm go off, the women's voice stopped abrubtly and the door to the room across the hall slammed shut. I hear the guy in the room next to me come out a minute or two later and I heard him tell his wife that the fire alarm lever in the hallway had been tripped. I thought, "Guess who." I called the front desk and they said the fire department was on their way to reset the alarm. Twenty minutes later and there was finally silence. I fell back to sleep pretty quickly and was no worst for the wear when my alarm clock went off at 5am.

Race start time was 7:00am. There was an earlier 5:00am start time for runners who expressed a need for two extra hours (14 hours total) to complete the event. Those poor folks had to head out in the dark and many of them finished in the dark also. I showered, dressed and had some breakfast and was ready to leave my room by 5:40. I got to the Boonsboro High School gymnasium by 6am and had enough time to hit the port-o-john outside, change out of my warm-up clothes, drop off my bag at the baggage truck (this is a point to point race finishing at the High School in Williamstown, MD), and find a spot on the gym floor to listen to the pre-race briefing. The race director asked some of the veteran JFK 50 Mile runners who had specific finishing time goals in mind (8, 8:30, 9, 9:30, 10 hours, etc.) to stand so that the first timers could spot them and meet them before the start and pace along with them if they wanted. I spotted the guy from the Restin Runners (the local running club that lends a lot of support and runners to this event) who was planning to finish in 10 hours but then I lost him as the crowd made its way to the exit out of the gym and to the start line. Oh well. The walk to the start line was about a mile through the athletic fields at the back of the high school and down one of the main streets in Boonsboro to an intersection in the middle of town.

As I stood around with the crowd at the start I snapped a few photos and listened in on the various conversations around me. I noticed everyone seemed pretty relaxed. Right at 7am I heard a gun shot and a loud cheer. The race was on. No announcements or national anthemÖjust a gun shot and we were off.

My finish goal of 10 hours meant a 12:00 pace. The first two miles were pretty much as advertisedÖslow and up hill. The hill started off very gradual at first but as we approached the two mile mark it got steep and pretty much everyone started walking. If this had been a Boston this would have been "heartbreak" type of hill. The slow pace allowed me to take quite a few photos in the early part of the race.

The atmosphere still seemed pretty relaxed. It seemed like were all just more in a hurry to get to a picnic than running 50 miles. I focused on power walking the early hills. I wanted to get as far ahead of the crowd as I could without pushing too hard. I knew from race reports that the trail section was narrow and technical and it would be difficult to pass anyone once on the trail. So I wanted to get past as many people now while I could so as to minimize any frustrating traffic jams on the trail.

None of the first 15-16 miles were marked so it was tough to know what my pace was early on but I felt I was probably running about a 9:30-10:00 pace over the first couple miles. I knew from race reports that the first 15 miles would be the slowest section of the race.

Around the 3 mile mark we turned into the trailhead for the Appalachian Trail. The crowd of runners (over 1000) had thinned out pretty well by this point and though I could see a long stream of runners ahead of me we all seemed to be running pretty much the same pace. The start of the trail wasnít too bad but it soon became very rocky. Man oh man was it rocky. I thought I had some technical trails near where I live but Iíve never run a trail like this before. I know there are much more technical trails in other ultras but this was something new for me. The trail just seemed like constant rocks and many of them were jagged. You had to step from one to another. It was like trying to play a constant game of hopscotch. Once in a while there would be a short clear section that I took advantage of to accelerate and make up for lost time. But that only lasted for about 5-10 yards and then the jagged rocks would reappear. In many sections it was like a truck came through and just dumped jagged rocks along the trail. Though there was a lot of half buried type of rocks there were many sticking up a foot or more and you had to make a quick decision as to which one looked best to land on. You either picked a top jagged edge, a slanted side, or risked putting you foot between two rocks and getting it pinched. But you know whatÖit was a blast. I passed a number of people and a number of people past me. It was thrilling trying to navigate the trail and not fall. I was amazed to see how fast some runners went past me and how they glided over the rocks. I was even more amazed to see people running fast down the hills and over these rocks. It made my knees hurt just to watch. Every so often Iíd see someone up front go down or Iíd hear the sound of someone crash behind me. There were times when the running was slowed to a point that a line of runners formed one behind the other. You had to decided to either stay with the pace (great idea) or risk going slightly off the trail to pass the guy in front of you and pick up your speed. I did a little of both.

It was fun listening to the conversations of the runners behind me and in front of me. The conversations were a nice mental distraction from the constant focus on the rocks. One guy behind me said something about the awesome view and I got a nice chuckle out of him when I yelled back ďIíll take your word for it Ďcause Iím not about to take my eyes off the trail.Ē

After about four miles of this we crossed a road to the first aid station. I grabbed a cup of Gatorade and headed onward. At this point we ran onto a bike path. This paved path was nice but had some significant inclines, and I did a fair amount of walking on this section. It was another good section to take photos. After about another couple miles we were back on the trail again. The trail started off pretty smooth and flat and just as I was getting my hopes up we hit a long patch of jagged rocks. The trail continued pretty much the same as it had beenÖa few hills and a whole lot of rocks.. A few more miles later we came down out of the trail and crossed a small field to the second aid station around mile 9.3. This was a much larger aid station with lots of people cheering. I had emptied one of my water bottles so I stopped to get more water, mixed in some Perpetuem, downed a couple Endurolytes, grabbed some Gatorade, squeezed down a Gu and took a port-o-john stop. I think I spent about 4 minutes at that stop and the time on my watch said 1:46. I figured I was somewhere close to an 11 minute pace and though I thought I was actually doing better than that I was happy it was below the 12 minute goal pace. Actually, I had been expecting my pace to be a bit slower through this section. But I knew I wasnít through with the trail just yet and was expecting the worst was yet to come. We crossed a road and headed up a hillside onto the trail again.

I think the trail actually got worst in this section. There were definitely more hills and I had to walk a bit more, and there were definitely more jagged rocks, but there were slightly longer stretches of smoother trail that gave my feet a brief reprieve from the jagged rocks. My legs were feeling pretty good but I could tell my ankles were feeling a little stressed and the ball of my left foot felt a tad bit sore. I estimated that it was somewhere around the 14 mile mark that I was getting into a nice groove following a group of guys down an incline. I was getting a bit better at hopping over the rocks and starting to pick up my pace. It was around this time also that I caught my toe on a rock as I was going down a slight incline and went flying head first down the trail. I couldnít believe itÖI didnít smash against any rocks. I got right up, paused for a moment to see which part of my body was going to start screaming in pain and felt nothing. I dusted myself off and started running again. I later discovered a small scrape on the inside of my thumb and a large contusion on my side but none of it had any affect on me. I just kept running like nothing happened. I witnessed several falls before and after that so I didnít feel too embarrassed. Unfortunately, I think this may be the spot where I lost the tube of Hot and Icy. I was able to get some BenGay at one of the Aid stations much farther down the course.

About a half mile later I reached the switchbacks which mark the end of the trail. The switchbacks are pretty tricky and itís impossible to go very fast. A line of runners soon formed and I found myself forced to walk. But fortunately that only lasted for about 5-10 minutes.

As I exited the trail into the third aid station I stopped and mixed up another bottle of my energy drink, downed some more Endurolytes, grabbed a couple cups of Gatorade, a cup of coke, and some pretzel bites. From here it was onto the C&O canal towpath and along the Potomac River. It was nice to get off the trail and onto a flat surface. I looked at my watch and my run time was 3:11, about a 12 minute pace. I felt like I had been moving much faster than that and was a bit disappointed with my time. Though I was right on goal pace I couldnít help thinking that I was on the edge of not reaching my goal. My thoughts vacillated between reminding myself that the next section along the towpath was supposed to be faster and my goal was still in sight and thinking about how much farther I had to go and how I didnít have any time in the bank. I couldnít help thinking ďHoly crap, Iíve been running for over 3 hours and Iím not even close to being half done.Ē I also knew I had to eliminate the negative thinking.

Over the next mile I worked on chewing and swallowing the handful of pretzel bites I had. They really made my mouth dry but that also encouraged me to drink more. One of my other goals for this race was to pay close attention to my nutrition (if you couldnít already tell by the amount of stuff I carried with me). I didnít want to get dehydrated or not take in enough carbs. I also didnít want to get sick so I was careful about what I consumed and when.

After about a mile on the towpath I realized the ball of both feet were really starting to ache. I didnít feel it during the trail section but now I was starting to pay the toll for all those jagged rocks. The flat towpath wasnít turning out to be much help either. This section of the towpath wasnít made of packed dirt as many reported but rather was either loose or packed GRAVEL. I felt every little stone and stick with the ball of my foot. I tried curling my toes to lift the ball of my foot but that didnít seem to help much. I tried to run on the edge of the path where I thought the ground would be less packed down and softer but that didnít help much either. There were sections where the middle of the path was a strip of grass and that helped but there just wasnít very much of it to give me any real relief. This was starting to remind me of my NYC Marathon two years ago when I ran it with a bad case of Plantar Fasciitis and had to endure four hours of agony. Except in this case I had a good 6-7 hours ahead of me still.

I was finally able to start taking mile splits since there were markers along the towpath. For the next 5-10 miles I was hitting 9:30-10:30 mile splits. Though, as I hit each aid station along the way (3-4 miles apart) I tacked on another 2-3 minutes getting fuel. A couple of port-o-john stops along the way added another 2-3 minutes. As I came out of the aid station around the 27 mile point I had to stop again to take off my shoe to remove a stone. As I got started running again I realized that my right foot felt good again. It was only the ball of my left foot that still ached. When I reached the next aid station around mile 30 I tried removing my left shoe to massage my foot but it didnít really help. The pain subsided a little but it was still enough to keep me from running any faster. This may have been a good thing actually because even up to mile 35 I felt like I had the legs and energy to run faster. But I was afraid to try to go faster because I know from experience how quickly the feeling of fatigue can set in.

I fell in pace with another fist time JFK runner from Long Island who kept me amused and talking. We ran together for about three miles and those were probably the easiest miles I ran all day. He left me at the next aid station when I stopped to hit the port-o-john. While I was stopped I took three Glucose tablets. The brief stop and the Glucose tablets refreshed me and though my pace didnít improve any the effort seemed a little easier. I eventually caught up with the Long Island guy around mile 37 and we ran together again for about a half mile before he dropped back and bid me good luck. At this point Iím not sure what bothered me the most; the ache in my foot or the boredom of this straight and flat towpath. Fortunately though, I had been passing people since I hit the towpath and very few people passed me. I think passing people gives you a good psychological boost and lets you know youíre making good progress.

As I hit the 38 mile mark I knew it was about 3 miles to the next aid station and that Iíd soon be off this awful towpath and onto paved roadway. I was anticipating that my foot would feel better on smooth pavement. I came into the last aid station at the end of the towpath section around the 41+ mile mark. I was handed a reflective vest to wear. After a specific time cutoff they hand out reflective vests to everyone. In the event you walk the rest of the way in itíll be dark by the time you get to the finish line and you will be visible to traffic on the roadway. I took my time getting some potato chips, a little cola, a little Gatorade, a few more Endurolytes, and one last Porto-o-John visit. I was hoping this stop would refresh my legs for the last hilly 8 miles of the course.

Running on the pavement was music to my foot. It felt so much better. I managed to run up the first hill and passed several people. I felt my pace picking on down the other side of the hill and I kept it stead to the next mile mark. At this point each mile point is marked to let you know how many miles are left. As I hit the 8 miles-to-go mark the sun came out and I decided to stop and walk up the hill I was on. Thinking back, I donít think I stopped to walk nearly as much as I expected.. I figured if I could manage 11 minute miles from here on in I could finish in 9:44, well below my 10 hour goal. After walking for 2 minutes I started running again. My legs were stiff but after about fifty yards or so they felt good again. I hit the 7 miles-to-go mark with a split of 10:33. Perfect. I walked for two minutes and then starting running again. At the 6 miles-to-go mark my split was 10:18. Great. I figured if I could keep this up and my splits donít go over 11 minutes then a good sub 10 hours finish is in the bag. I continued this tactic and my splits hovered around 10:15 to 10:45 depending on where the hills were. Though the sun was out it was getting low and the landscape was mostly farms and open fields, and I was starting to get cold.

I came into the last Aid station just short of the 1 mile-to-go point and there were people lined up on both sides to allow me to go between them. As I did they gave me a great big cheer and did the Wave. It was awesome. I hit the 1 mile-to-go mark and felt fantastic. My left foot still ached but not as bad as before, my ankles were a little sore and my hips ached a bit but otherwise my calves and quads felt great. I walked for 2 minutes one last time and then started running. The final mile of the course goes along a major highway and then into the town of Williamsport to the high school. It was getting very cold. The thought crossed my mind that if I had to be out here for another hour in these conditions I would definitely begin to suffer from Hypothermia.

As I got closer to town I started seeing more spectators. My pace was picking up and my legs, though tired, felt pretty good. I heard one of the spectators comment about how good my form looked. I continued to pass people as I crested the last small hill and headed for what appeared to be the finish line. I could hear a voice on a loud speaker, a lot of crowd noise, and I could see a large banner. There was only about a hundred yards to go and there was only one person in well up in front of me no one even close behind me. As I came into the finish line I was pumping my fists and the crowd let out a nice loud cheer and I knew it was all for me. I crossed the finish line with a nice big smile on my face.

I forgot to hit stop by watch after crossing the finish line until I had picked discarded my reflective vest, received my finisherís medal and up something to drink. The unofficial race results say I finished in 9:39:39, 314th place out of 1012 finishers, and 104th of 253 in my age group. Not too shabby, I guess, for a Clydesdale.

I loved everything about this course up until the towpath. Though the trails were rocky and difficult to runÖthey were runable and the challenge is what made the trail section so much fun. I think my foot problem was more due to the shoes I wore not being the best brand/model (Teva) for these trails. I later discovered the soles of my shoes (with less than 100 miles on them) were tearing away. I pitched them in the garbage as soon as I got home and have made a vow never to buy that brand again. Perhaps the towpath would have seemed better if my foot had not been so sore. But running for 26+ miles on a flat surface without really much to look at (the Potomac was is not particularly pretty in that area) made that section pretty boring.

The course support/volunteers were top notch and each aid station had a lot to offer. They even had gels and Endurolyte tablets. If I had known I would not have brought my own. None of the race material described exactly what to expect at each aid station. They gave some general guidelines but each aid station was a little different. They certainly didnít have the energy drink I prefer and I know better than to expect to get far on just Gatorade and cola. The post race food was provided inside the warm gymnasium of the Williamsport High School and included Pizza, Bananas, Oranges, Twinkies, Ho Hos, cookies, cola, Gatorade, and water. The locker rooms were open for post race showers and bus service was provided to those who needed to get back to their cars at the start area. I donít have any other experience with ultras to compare this one to but compared to other marathons Iíve done this one goes near the top of my list.


Rustyboy

LA, CA
Joined: 14 Dec 2004
Posts: 225

Re: 2006 JFK 50 Mile Ultramathon Race Report Posted: Mon Nov 20, 2006 7:59 pm 

YES!!!! I've been waiting for your report since yesterday. Firstly: Congratulations! What a fantastic report of a race WELL run. Under 10 hours at JFK is absolutely admirable. Secondly: When's your first 100 gonna be? : )

I have heard time and again about that wretched towpath and how painfully boring it can be, and yes, everyone prefers the rocks and jagged edges to that monotonous 26 miles. It's a good thing you got your first race face-plant out of the way. Mine was a doozy, and you really feel uninitiated until you've spit dirt and rocks in front of other runners.

Nicely done, sir. My next 50 miler is in January, and you've gotten me all reved up for it.


mfox

South Orange, New Jersey
Joined: 19 Dec 2004
Posts: 367

Re: 2006 JFK 50 Mile Ultramathon Race Report Posted: Tue Nov 21, 2006 6:04 am 

Thanks Rustyboy. I'm not sure about a 100 miler. I plan to do at least one sometime but I think I want to get a few more shorter races in before then. I've read that 50 milers require more physical fortitude than mental but the 100 milers are just the opposite. So I hope to do a few more 50+ mile races first, to develop more mental toughness. That is, minimize the tendancy to look at the clock and think about how much more time there is to go.

Believe it or not I'm actually considering doing the Knickerbocker 60K this weekend. I probably won't do it mainly because I'm afraid of getting injured without having more time to recover from this past weekend. But the fact that I'm even considering it is a good sign that this past weekend didn't overwhelm me. I would love to do another one in a month or so but I don't think there are any near by without having to make another major road trip. Also, with the weather getting colder and the chance of ice or snow increasing it could make a trail run a lot more difficult than what I'm ready for.

My big focus for next year is going to be Ironman Wisconsin (9/9/07), so my running is going to be dictated by the training I have to do for that event. My training will have to get very focused beginning around March when I start a 24 week training schedule. But I hope to work in a few long events to get myself mentally prepared for a long day in Madison, WI.

So Rustyboy, which 50 miler are you doing in January and how are you preparing?


Rustyboy

LA, CA
Joined: 14 Dec 2004
Posts: 225

Re: 2006 JFK 50 Mile Ultramathon Race Report Posted: Tue Nov 21, 2006 5:08 pm 

I agree: The more 100 mile runners that I meet, the more tell me that the first 50 are all body and the final 50 is all mental.

My 50 miler is on Catalina Island, off the coast of LA, which I hear is unbelievable (wild Bison!) on January 13th. There isn't too much elevation gain/loss (I think somewhere in teh neighborhood of 10,000 feet total), so I'm hoping to land somewhere in the 10 hour range, but who knows?

Let us know if you do the 60k and how it goes if you do it!


Rickshaw
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
San Francisco, CA
Joined: 26 Nov 2004
Posts: 1157

Re: 2006 JFK 50 Mile Ultramathon Race Report Posted: Tue Nov 21, 2006 8:15 pm 

WOOOOOOOOOT!!! Congratulations mfox, you did it! Not that I ever had any doubt of course. Excellent job, nicely paced, and under your time goal. I agree with Rustyboy: your report has got me excited to go out and race some more myself. Maybe I'll following in your JFK footsteps one of these days.

I'm amazed you took the late night drunken revelers and fire alarms in such good humor. I think I would have cracked.

I'm sincerely impressed. 50 miles is one amazing accomplishment, and while I'm sure it was anything but easy, you made it look like a walk in the park. If you were keeping around a 10:30 mile pace near the end while walking 2 minutes every mile, then you were keeping a mighty impressive pace indeed!

I'd say you were crazy for even thinking about a 60K this weekend, but I guess it's "only" 37 miles. You've been running a marathon practically every two weeks recently, so why not? :-)


Rustyboy

LA, CA
Joined: 14 Dec 2004
Posts: 225

Re: 2006 JFK 50 Mile Ultramathon Race Report Posted: Tue Nov 21, 2006 9:40 pm 

Oh, and my 50 mile training is comprised of 23 miles during the week mixed with 2 back to back long runs on weekends, varying anywhere between 2 hours to 5. I figure I'm hitting about 60 hilly miles/week, or around 10 hours, give or take.

And no, I can't stop eating.


mfox

South Orange, New Jersey
Joined: 19 Dec 2004
Posts: 367

Re: 2006 JFK 50 Mile Ultramathon Race Report Posted: Wed Nov 22, 2006 5:14 pm 

I'm definitely doing the JFK 50 again next year. It was very well organized and supported and I'm eager to improve my time. I think if I can eliminate the problem I had with the ball of my foot I can maintain a better pace (better shoes for the trail section). I'll also be better prepared to spend less time at the aid stations. So I think I can easily trim another 15 minutes of my time without too much effort. And with some speed work (of which I've done none this year) I might be able to drop my pace (average moving time).

So...anyone think they want to meet up with me next year???


Rustyboy

LA, CA
Joined: 14 Dec 2004
Posts: 225

Re: 2006 JFK 50 Mile Ultramathon Race Report Posted: Thu Nov 23, 2006 2:32 pm 

Yeah, those aid stations stops can add up. I figured out that I spent 12 mns during my January 50k at the stations. I mean, I *enjoyed* that time, but that is a big no-no if you want to keep motivated and moving.

I'd run JFK next year fo' sho', but I'm planning on doing my first 100 about 6 weeks prior. I don't think my body would be very happy if I pushed it so close.

Or....would it? Hmmm....


mfox

South Orange, New Jersey
Joined: 19 Dec 2004
Posts: 367

Re: 2006 JFK 50 Mile Ultramathon Race Report Posted: Thu Nov 23, 2006 2:49 pm 

Having never done a 100 miler I can't say if 6 weeks is long enough to recover before doing a 50 mile race, but I have read about plenty of people who have done more in even less time so it "seems" humanely possibly. You could always pencil it in and have your mind geared up for it and then wait to register about 4 weeks before ((I think it filled up about 2-3 weeks before, but could be a bit sooner next year).

I expect to have complete Ironman Wisconsin about 6 weeks prior to next years JFK and expect I'll be ready by then. The JFK race organizers claim to cap the event at 1000 runners but they had well over 1200 this year with a record number (1017) finishers. For at least two months prior to the race date they post a new list of entries every week. So you can guage how soon you need to make a committment by keeping an eye on the entry list.

I overheard a converstation on the trail this year about how so many ultras are filled so soon. The ultra races appear to becoming more and more popular and fill up early just like many of the popular marathons. So you have to really plan out your season well ahead of time if you want to run in any of the popular ultras.


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