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 Ridgecrest 50k
Rustyboy

LA, CA
Joined: 14 Dec 2004
Posts: 225

Ridgecrest 50k Posted: Fri Dec 01, 2006 5:42 pm 

I'm heading off tomorrow for Sunday morning's 50k in Ridgecrest, north of Los Angeles. The course is supposed to be fast (the record is 3:23-ish), but I'm running it as a training run for my January 50 miler. Expect a slow, paced RR and photos (if I can figure out how to post on here) after the weekend.

Anyone else racing this weekend?


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

Re: Ridgecrest 50k Posted: Sun Dec 03, 2006 7:47 pm 

Belated good luck wishes! How did it go?

Rustyboy

LA, CA
Joined: 14 Dec 2004
Posts: 225

Re: Ridgecrest 50k Posted: Mon Dec 04, 2006 8:07 am 

Thanks, Rickshaw! The race went SO WELL. Below, ye olde race report:

This past weekend, I ran the Ridgecrest 50k, about 200 miles north of Los Angeles, as part of my training for the upcoming 50 miler I'm running on Catalina Island in January.

The galfriend, Ann, and I, headed through the deserts north of the City of Angels towards (what seems like the end of planet Earth) the tiny, military town Saturday afternoon, hitting the booming villa at sunset. A massive moon hung in the skies, which seemed to span from the eastern seaboard to China from where we stood, and winds were calm, the air dry and cool, all combining to form a perfect pre-race eve.

My pal Bud (see previous posts where I talk about an insane 59 year old who has been running ultras for 20+ years) met up with us, we picked up our race packets and hit a local restaurant for dinner and a couple of beers. I was feeling really good, since my training has me pushing 60 miles/week, with back-to-back long runs on Sat and Sunday that have topped off around 19 on Saturdays and 26 on Sundays. 31 miles? Piece of cake (rrrrrriiiiiight). As I've learned: Always respect the distance.

Crashing out around 11:00, the alarm rang out in the darkness around 5:20 AM, and we popped out of bed, Ann excited to see who in the hell else would volunteer to do this to themselves in the name of a good time, me, thrilled to get my @ss out on the hills and terrain. Bud met us at the lobby and we caravaned the 8 mns to the start.

Ridgecrest is the last big 50k of the year, so it's registration usually breaks 300, and at the start, the RD announced that this year, it hovered in the 350 mark. And hell, I believed it: The crowds were HUGE (for an ultra, where you're usually toeing the line with 80-100 others), everyone shivering in the 30 degree, sunless morning, but as it rose to expose the desert day, the gorgeous mountain peaks around us shimmered with awesome, pink, snowcapped tops, and before we knew it, the RD's husband issued a short prayer, and off we trotted!

Bud and I estimated finishing in 5:15-5:30, since we were "taking this as an easy training run" (remember that phrase) and the course is relatively fast, with a lot of gentle, long uphills and downhills; nothing too severe. The first 8 miles flew by, and before we knew it, we were clipping along to aid station 4 at the 13.9 mile marker, where Ann, a brilliant photographer, by the way, stood, snapping photos like crazy (I'll post when they come). Bud and I were having a blast, and hitting beyond the 1/2 marathon marker in 2:06 shocked the hell out of us. Ann seemed shocked herself: "You guys look like you're having the BEST time!" she yelled as we stopped to refill our bottles and grab PB and Js. And we were: We both were feeling strong, able to converse the entire run thus far, and somehow in the top 1/3 of the pack.

Bud told me having Ann at my first 100 miler next fall would come in handy, as she could take pics at the aid stations and tell me to "Get the hell moving, Candyass,", a phrase his wife coined years ago to get him out of the comfort of the aid stops. Sounded good to me - motivation can come in the strangest forms when you're exhausted and delirious and have 60 miles to go.

Running off, we continued with the agreement that if one of us was feeling particularly good, he should take off. I knew the pace was far below what was comfortable for me, so around mile 16, I started getting itchy ("Remember: THIS IS A TRAINING RUN," I kept reminding myself). Ann was at the next aid station, again snapping away, and as I hugged her, came to realize that my warnings about the "goat smell" were fairly accurate, if not spot-on.

Bud and I tromped uphill and rolled downhill, which, at mile 18, is when it all changed. He had to take an "extended bathroom break" and yelled to me over his shoulder, "Go for it!", and that's when the switch in my brain clicked. I checked my watch and began to reliaze that, not only was 5:15 totally possible, but close to 5 hours was not out of the question, and I've always dreamed of breaking 5 hours in a 50k.

"Okay," I chattered aloud, "you can push it, but this is a TRAINING R-," and before I could finish, my legs were pumping faster and faster. I began to cut the tangents on the turns and curves, saving a few yards here and there, and as I checked my watch, realized I was now running 8-8:30/mile, 20 miles into a race, and feeling freaking GREAT. As i hit the next aid station and checked in, I told the workers to tell #123 (Bud's number) to "get the hell moving, Candyass!" when he pulled in as I downed cookies and more PB and Js.

The following miles were stunning, and, as I am wont to do, I began to get emotional over the grandeur of the gift that nature has given us, and how as a trail runner, I get to be wholly immersed in it (what can I say: I'm a cry-baby). I passed through the aid station at the marathon mark and checked my time: Holy crap, I could break 5 hours without a problem!

Hauling @ss, I began to overtake...and overtake...and overtake, probably chasing down and passing 20 rabbits ahead of me, and as I blew through the final aid station at mile 29.9 (poor guys - I bet NO ONE stopped there), I further picked it up and in my estimations, ran a final 1 1/2 miles at a 7 mn/mile pace...UPHILL, and hitting the parking lot where the finish was located, I kicked it even harder, passing into the chutes at 4 hours, 55 mns!

I. Was. DONE. I couldn't breath. My guts were churning and my legs were on fire. "THIS IS A TRAINING RUN!" echoed in my drained brain.

Ann and I waited at the chutes, and 30 minutes later, a beaming Bud was heading towards us, and as his feet hit the finish, yelled, "CANDYASS, huhn?!"

I guess my message got to him.

All in all, what a fantastic weekend and a run well run. I finished 43rd overall, behind the first place finisher of 3:27(!!!), and beers were poured, a hot shower heartily enjoyed, and the gift of a lovely, desert sunset-lighted drive back to Los Angeles appreciated.

Training run. RIGHT.


mfox

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

Re: Ridgecrest 50k Posted: Mon Dec 04, 2006 4:37 pm 

Great job Rustyboy, great RR. Sounds like you had a great "training run." Having done several loong training runs myself I must say that the fact you felt so good throughout the race and were able to pick up the pace at the end indicates you're in great shape for your upcoming 50 miler on 1/13. I can't wait to see some pics...the more the better.

You still have another week or two to fine tune your fitness (another back to back long run weekend?) before you go into your taper.

Are you doing the "Run with the Buffalos" 50 mile run? The elevation profile of that course looks pretty wicked. But something tells me you're not going to have much of a problem.

Good going and good luck on Catalina.


Rustyboy

LA, CA
Joined: 14 Dec 2004
Posts: 225

Re: Ridgecrest 50k Posted: Mon Dec 04, 2006 7:55 pm 

mfox wrote:
You still have another week or two to fine tune your fitness (another back to back long run weekend?) before you go into your taper.


Yep, I actually have a few more back to backs coming: 2 more big ones, and then the hard taper begins, right around the hildays...thank god.

mfox wrote:
Are you doing the "Run with the Buffalos" 50 mile run? The elevation profile of that course looks pretty wicked. But something tells me you're not going to have much of a problem..


It is the Run with the Buffalo run. The elevation changes, from what everyone I know from the area tells me, are quite the same as what I train on - 1 or 2 big climbs and a lot of rolling stuff. Meh, I'll take it easy when I have to and run it when I feel it.

I am FEELING the results of pushing it for so hard today: No aches or soreness, but man, the exhaustion is something else. That must be why this martini tastes so damned good.


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

Re: Ridgecrest 50k Posted: Mon Dec 04, 2006 9:36 pm 

Wow, fantastic! That sounds like a dream race. Congratulations on the spectacular finish, sub-5:00, and all-around ass kicking run!

And 19 milers on Saturdays followed by 26 on Sunday... I am very impressed.

Now rest up and have a great race in January!


Rustyboy

LA, CA
Joined: 14 Dec 2004
Posts: 225

Re: Ridgecrest 50k Posted: Mon Dec 11, 2006 6:48 pm 

Some pics from the 50k last weekend: Before, during, and after.

No, I didn't puke in the 2nd to last shot, but I *did* reach the point where I wished I could.

http://i14.tinypic.com/4fugkeg.jpg

http://i10.tinypic.com/4grhpqs.jpg

http://i10.tinypic.com/308zdch.jpg

http://i13.tinypic.com/2zovs6v.jpg

http://i11.tinypic.com/2aiohf8.jpg


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