Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Glasshouse 50K's 17th May

With a field of close to 50 in the 50K event at Glasshouse i was almost destined to feel crowded after the previous weeks run.
Whilst i really think 50 Miles is my best distance, starting a race at 3AM and needing a headlight the first few hours just doesn't do it for me, so was happy to front up at 6AM for the 50K's, still meant an early start seeing that i like my breakfast at least 2 Hours before.
Once the sun was up, it was looking a great day, no strong winds like last year, just a nice still day with a prospect of warmth later.
Michael Page and Keith McKay took off fast and i was quite content just to follow, leaving the others behind, after a few K's i ran with them for a bit, but at this point was trying to get a good rhythm going and they were just a little faster than i was comfortable with. I was a little worried about my calf, stupidly on the Friday i'd done a session of hills around Elanora and around 3 Hours in decided i'd do one more, not a good idea as i was a little fatigued and it seemed just one hill too many, so was deliberately taking it easy.
Different course this year as i was surprised to see the lead two (as well as numerous 50 Milers) coming back towards me when i was approaching the first manned checkpoint. Ann Raftery and Di Schott were there and had beautiful chocolate slices, not really a distance requiring food but those things are irresistible !, turned around and then i could place where the next two runners were. All was good until then as the trails were relatively good underfoot but it was soon to change with the dreaded "Powerlines", Ian had found a new track onto them so that we would be having trail bike issues and ultimately this was an easier course but seemingly went on for ever, it seemed much longer. I was now beginning to have problems as i was needing to use the legs (and hence putting pressure on the calf) to go up and down dried mudslides, definitely not having fun, was passed by Arnstein and Ross the next two runners who were doing it much easier.
Finally off the Powerlines and the strained muscles (calf muscles connected to hamstrings ultimately to stomach) meant i wasn't feeling great at all, at least i knew exactly what was ahead of me. Ran down from checkpoint 8, and saw a number of the 50 Milers coming back towards me, quick chat and off, by now i realised i really needed to empty my stomach, so headed off trail as i was approaching a group walking the course as Kokoda Training, did what i needed to do and felt so much better for it, maybe now i could make up some ground. Loop 8A, seemed longer to me, but simple fact was i had no one within sight so possibly wasn't running that hard, back up to the Checkpoint and then a loop of 8B and that damned hill, best part downhill to the Checkpoint again.
By now was in good shape and i picked up Arnstein and Ross between there and the next checkpoint, and kept on passing people in other events, certainly keeping me motivated. Ultimately i was just over 4 minutes behind second placed Keith in 5:02:44 but a long way behind Michael. Pretty happy with the run, but wary of the calf, a dip in the Woodford Pool at the end pretty much being the equivalent of icing it.
Lots of socialising post race as i knew there would be many people i wouldn't see again till September.

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