LooseCrew-JeffO: Collegiate Peaks 50M


Ramblings of an adventurous guy living in Denver and playing in the mountains.
For my trail adventures, visit my Trail Bum blog

Monday, May 07, 2007

Collegiate Peaks 50M

Well, not so "wahoo", but it was my first 50 miler and there's over 7000' of climbing, and I finished without any worry about cut-offs or DNFs.
10:48:20 - Way off my sub 9:30 hope or my sub-10 demand.
I saw several notable people DNF or convert their 50M to 25M. But Anita passed me! WTF! (LOL). I guess I'm entering her turf now.
Sorry - no photos. Lots of clouds and the views weren't as far as a camera tends to like.
Dave B. and I carpooled. We each bought coffee for the next morning and then ate the pasta feed. I don't remember last-year's pasta being very edible, but this year was FANTASTIC! I ate too much.
Then we grabbed a beer and headed for a spot at about mile 4 on the course. We did the "biv'" on the ground. It sprinkled on us twice or three times during the night, but not enough to get us particularly wet, and the temps never got below freezing even though there were some snowflakes that touched my cheeks periodically.
Breakfast was re-warmed coffee, a cinnamon roll, and Safeway nutrition drink (similar to Ensure).
Since I'm not a morning person, and the race began at 6:30am, we arrived only a few minutes before the start.
Tim F. had the most awesome tights - white skulls on black background. I WANT SOME! (And I want some Dirty-Girl gaiters to match. I might DNF at Leadville, but I want to dress for the occasion.)
I headed out on-pace for a 9.5hr finish, and I held that for 30 miles. I wasn't counting people. I don't know how many people did the 25M, or the 50M, or how many were ahead of me. I can only remember 5 people passing me after the
30-mile mark, but I couldn't have done well.
Last year, 61 people finished. My 10:48 would've earned me about 44th. Unlike many races, though, these stats are skewed by the ability to convert your 50M to 25M. Accurate comparisons would have to take all racers who started
with the intent of running the 50M, and how many DNF'd or converted.
As I was approaching the 25M turn-around, I saw A. D. was about a mile ahead of me. This is about right for me. She's fast, but I've always finished not too far behind her. But as I was heading out, at about 26M/27M, I saw her returning deep in thought like she was asking herself what she did wrong. This was a shock. She's a young local legend. Seeing her turn back, and seeing another legend of LT100-fame who converted, made me wonder.
I was too happy, though. It was a fantastic day. I was grinning from ear-to-ear so much.
At about mile 30, I headed up the looong hill to the highest point on the course. I walked most of that. By the time I'd reached the top, I was wasted. I fell way off my pace after that.
A 24yr old, Joy, passed me on the walk up and we met at the next aid station. She left me but we met again. She had only ever run one marathon before that. We paced each other for several miles.
Thirty-one miles was the furthest I had ever done in one race, so even though I was tired, I was glad to be going further than ever before. But the day I paced Paul G at LT100 in 2005, I had run up and down Grays & Torreys (two 14er's
and 15 miles) and then gone to Leadville to pace for 26 more. So that was 41 miles in less than 24 hours. So it wasn't until I'd passed the 41-mile mark that I truly felt like I was pioneering.
Anita passed me at about 40 miles still looking strong. I was so tired I just used my never-give-up gear and kept mentally nagging myself, "Just rock the hips and swing the arms. Don't worry about your legs - they'll follow. Rock the
hips, swing the arms
A guy named Andy teamed up with me and we paced each other for about 6 miles, but then I couldn't even keep up with him.
The last 9 miles was about a 15-20mph head wind. The last 3 miles was 20-25mph face-wind and the temps dropped like a rock. I was more hypothermic than I ever remember being! But I finished.
Afterwards, I was afraid of going into shock, or cramping, or throwing-up, so I couldn't sit down. I just had to keep moving, stretching, massaging, and eating slowly (they had a turkey sandwich waiting for each of us).

HW285 through South Park was apparently closed (due to the fact that South Park is hell-frozen-over). It must've opened less than an hour before we drove through. It was still blowing pretty hard though. On the drive out in nicer weather, I had felt guilty for still having my studded snow tires on, but they came in handy driving home.

Yesterday, I did chores. I thought I'd be a cripple, but I was only a bit slow at times. Once I'm warmed-up, I can go up and down stairs like normal. Today should be the worst. Maybe tomorrow morning. By tomorrow evening, the pain should be waning.
When I got home, I took a freezing leg-soak, then a hot shower. Fish oil, NutraJoint, pecans, and a good night of sleep had me feeling better. My weight was down 4lbs. I swelled 6lbs. after Greenland, but now I'm underweight? No visible swelling this time. My left knee hurt a tiny bit the entire way but is not one bit worse afterwards.
Last night I massaged my quads for about an hour. That has helped very noticeably. I'll be running again Tuesday evening.

My mantra in past races was, "Them what eats the most wins." So why didn't I follow my own advice? During the race, I had a total of three Accel gels, 6 M&M's, a small cookie, about a dozen mini-pretzels, and a palm-full of potato chips. That's not enough to run 50 miles!! No wonder I ran low on steam! WTF! How many times do I have to learn the same lessons?! Did my calcium suppliments fill my skull full of bone?

Okay, okay - deep breath - calm now. It was still an okay performance. The JFK50 gives you 14 hours, and it's nearly flat at sea level. So 12 hours for over 7000' of climbing and between 7900' and 9400' altitude isn't much time. I still had well over an hour before the cutoff.

The most important thing was having fun. I had plenty of that.


At 7:47 PM, Anonymous Meghan said...


Congrats on completing your first 50 miler! You're tough!

I think you know exactly why you ran out of steam to maintain pace at mile 30 or so... calories, calories, calories!

Recover well!

At 9:19 AM, Blogger JeffO said...

Yep, I stuffed food down my throat at Goblin and did very well. I need to do this every race. If I don't follow the right program at LT100, I'll be dropping at 40M!

CP50 was extremely fun, though. You would've loved it. You would've been done before it got cold, unlike us speed-bump guys.


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