Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Greenland 50K - Race Report

Don't let them fool you! I signed up for the Greenland 50K to get in some "easy" miles. I know some of you may be rolling your eyes and saying: "there's nothing easy about running 31 miles". And I get it. I have never underestimated a marathon, let alone a 50k. But sometimes I need some company to run these long runs and count them as training. I chose the Greenland 50K since they market themselves as a "beginner" course. Let me tell you: it is not.

The trails are actually non-technical, which may be why they say it's beginner-friendly. But the course is hard since out of the 7.5 mile loops, 5.2 miles are uphill. Literally. The 5.2 miles of uphill are followed by a steep downhill, then a traverse and another steep hill. All in all, the effort you put into maintaining your pace on the uphills DO NOT pay off on the way down. So my suggestion is, that if you're good with uphills, but you'd like to get into trail running, this is the race to be at.

Plenty uphills
I went for a "warm-up" run the day before with Linds and Kelly. Seemed like something I ate that morning was not making me feel so good, so I took it easy. I had a pretty rough night and couldn't figure out why my stomach was hurting so much. The next morning, on my way down to Castle Rock it seemed to feel ok, but it took 5 minutes of running to realize it was still a little queezy. Great. I hadn't even hit mile 1 and I was already having stomach issues.

I had a goal in mind, which on these training runs, it tends to be pretty conservative... and I was wondering how I'd do with this stomachache. I tried to maintain a slow yet steady pace. I was still sticking to nutrition as always and I got to the end of the first loop with a few minutes to spare. I walked while drinking water and as soon as I was done I started my jog again.

Roughly mile 6 of the loop. Gorgeous views. 
I was able to again, stick to a mellow pace on lap 2, but once I got to the highest point of the course (mile 5.2 of the loop) and started running down, my stomach couldn't take it! It was HORRIBLE. I had to WALK the downhills due to severe stomachache. I guess my tummy does bounce a tad more when going downhill, huh? When I arrived at the turn around point, I stopped to chat with Chuck and told him My stomach wasn't happy and I needed to finish it off gracefully. While "chatting" with my hubby for a few minutes a quarter of a mile before the finish "wasted" some time, I still managed to finish the 16 miles slightly faster than what my goal pace had been.

So, boo hoo for not running 31 miles, but I can never say running 16 miles was mediocre either. On to the next.

Have you had a race when you'd rather call if off sooner to finish with your head held up high versus suffer for extended hours?