LooseCrew-JeffO: Silver Rush 50


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

Monday, July 21, 2008

Silver Rush 50

The Saturday before the SR50, I helped out several runners who decided to do a 50M training run from Winfield to Leadville. Harry Harcrow, who came in 2nd in the LT100 last year, was going to do all the support, but I offered to help. I wouldn't have been much use, but he had some mechanical problems with his van. So it was a good thing I was pitching in.
It was also good to see Theresa Do and the others again.

The Silver Rush 50 was the first running of Silver Rush, which used to be only a mountain bike race. The Mtn bikers raced Saturday, and the runners raced Sunday. Some did both, and some tried to do both but couldn't manage. Between the bike race and many who've been racing/training too much, it seemed like half the runners were slacking like me.

Even though I didn't do the bike race, my body has been stressed to the max.
I'm tired of hacking up both lungs after races, throwing up from convulsions, wondering if I should go to the emergency room for oxygen because the foam in my lungs is choking me.
The fall during the Leadville Marathon did a tiny bit more harm than I knew. My elbow is more sensitive to touch than the day I fell. Obviously some bone injury involved - a crack or chip.
My left knee is intermittently hurting. I need to be more diligent stretching.
My left big toe knuckle has been bothering me for a month, and the swelling during Hard Rock was apparently from some dried grass jabbing into my foot and causing a mild infection - which swelled badly during the 48 miles of pacing I did.

So... I wasn't feeling motivated to kick butt at the SR50.

The race started straight up a steep, gopher-holed slope. The first male and female runners won a troy-ounce of silver. That was cool.
But of course, I wasn't going to try for that!
The entire first half, I didn't try at all! I was in coasting-mode. I made sure there was no stress on my lungs.
We went south out of Leadville into some terrain I've never seen. Then we headed east towards Mt. Sherman.
The course has some rocky and steep sections, but overall not very hard on the feet.
It does eventually hook up on the marathon course. There weren't very many miles of course in common, but much of it close, since the old mining areas are so criss-crossed with trails and roads you could get lost if you weren't familiar.
At the half-way aid station, I decided to start trying a little - but not much. I began passing people.
It wasn't long before sharp pains began in my metatarsals. I just ignored the pain and prayed to stay in one piece for 20 more miles.
During the race, I had to head into the bushes twice - so I lost enough extra time to really, really lose any competitive propensities. But I did try not to slack-off when I was running. Power-walk uphill had to be done with elbows bent and maximizing form. I didn't force myself to run fast, but I did demand that I ran everything that was slightly uphill, flat, or downhill on the return.
I passed a guy, Jesse, heading up the pass east of Ball Mountain. I'd never met him before. I actually got very far ahead of him without trying, but he caught me miles later going down. He remembered me from the marathon and wanted to catch and pass me. He'd only run three marathons in his life - all the Leadville Marathon the past three years in a row. This was his first ultra, and man, he wasn't hurtin'! He did GREAT! We both were hoping for sub-10hr finish. Starting out, neither of us had a clue what goal to choose. But 90 minutes from the finish, I noticed that I had gotten to that spot 90 minutes into the race - mostly uphill - so even tired and sore, I ought to be able to get sub-10hr.
Jesse soon took off and I had to head into the weeds for my 2nd potty-break.
I thought I was lost, because I didn't remember the road section that followed, so I waited until the really slow guy I passed a while before finally caught up. Then I was off running again.
I kept looking at my watch. I had told Jesse that I hoped it wouldn't be too close to 10hr, because I REALLY didn't want to try today. Then close to the finish, I decided I didn't care to try even if it was close. So glad they didn't send us down the slope they sent us up. That would've taken more effort and time.

Finish = 9:59:03 (last runner under 10hr)
32nd place
Still in one piece.

They had a brat, hot dog, and veggie burger cook-out at the finish. Coors beer (not so bad after 50 miles of heat and scorching high-altitude sun.)

I feel compelled to comment on the official drink for all Leadville events this year: Powerade. I have to choke when referring to it as a "sport drink". Go to the website and see if you can find important info like ... INGREDIENTS!!! This company is all about marketing hype, "joining" teams, and flavors. It's owned by Coca-Cola - what do you expect?!
Most important race-management tasks for a runner during an ultra are hydration/electrolytes. Tell me how much electrolyte in Powerade! There seems to be NO DATA out there! It upsets my stomach - and my stomach is cast-iron, so there's something WRONG with this crap! Does it have ANY electrolytes? I had to suck down 6 e-caps during the race!
There were more people throwing up during the biking and running events than I have ever heard of. The DNF rate was higher than it should have been because people couldn't keep from barfing.
This is what they'll serve during the famed LT100. Holy crap! A serious ultra-event serving Powerade!
This is such a peeve of mine I may not sign up for next year if they keep using Powerade.

End of rant. Back to our regularly-scheduled topic...

The SR50 race is higher than the Collegiate Peaks 50, and seems to have more climbing, but I'm not sure it's harder than CP50. Compared to SJS50 and Jemez, this was a cake-walk.
Wow, was CP50 really only 3 months ago? Seems like it was half a year ago. SR50 was my 4th 50M in 11 weeks, plus 48 miles of pacing at Hard Rock.

Time to drastically alter my mileage. Humpty-Dumpty is fried, and needs to rebuild. It is now too late to improve on my training for the LT100 - but I can screw it all up. Taper begins with no actual loss in miles - just the type of miles. Lower stress, but not at the expense of "quality" (speed), which increases VO2Max and efficiency.
I will spend the next few weeks before the LT100 working on under-10M runs, and going on longer hikes with my son and/or brothers. And lots of stretching and massaging. Diet is really important in these three weeks.


At 8:34 AM, Anonymous David Johnson said...

I think you're better off drinking green tea myself, but the benefits of drinking sport beverages are here: http://faculty.washington.edu/crowther/Misc/RBC/QandA3.shtml and the ingredients of Powerade are here: http://www.bevnet.com/reviews/powerade/facts.asp

At 10:06 AM, Blogger olga said...

Another race for you? Congrats on breaking 10 so close, it is always sweet! Now, how about you carry pouches with a drink (powder) of choice during LT100 and don't rely on what is served? I never do...Good luck!

At 10:20 AM, Blogger Meghan said...

Hi JeffO,

Aw man, there you go again, running well when you say that you're a hurtin' puppy.

Here's the thing, if you can get your body healthy, all this training is going to do you well at Leadville.

Hope you're feeling recovered soon!

At 4:09 PM, Blogger JeffO said...

DJ - I happen to have a keg of powdered green tea sport drink. It's a beta product you won't find on shelves. Tastes decent!

Olga - You betcha! Bags and bottles of sport drink! And Nuun!

Meghan - I feel better already just knowing my schedule isn't loaded with anything soon.


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