Posted by: runwithgarrison | October 2, 2013

Quick Noble Canyon 50k race report

Aloha everyone,

A week and a half ago, Pauline and I headed to San Diego for my 3rd crack at the Noble Canyon 50k. I have always enjoyed this race partially because San Diego is such a cool place and partially because the members of the ultra running community in San Diego are just so cool and friendly. The trip this year was no exception.

The course for this edition of the race changed due to a fire this summer so the race was just an out and back up Noble Canyon. The way out was uphill and relatively cool and the way back was downhill and hot. My training for the weeks heading into the race was pretty much just mileage running with a small bout of a summer cold/sinus infection. My weekly mileage has been living in the 50-65 mpw range and the running has been pretty relaxed with no big workout efforts. I have hit the local trails a few times in an effort to keep familiarizing myself with the HURT 100 trails.

Anyway, I wish I could provide you with some cool elevation and caloric numbers from the race except my Garmin 610 lost all charge after about 45 minutes… Totally not cool since it was fully charged. The good news was that the entire race plan revolved around getting used to my hydration pack again and spending 5-6 hours on the trails. I know I am not in shape enough to really run fast yet, so these 3 Fall ultras are more about fun, training, and experience.

As the race started, I found myself with a really cool little group of local guys and we made our way up the canyon. I was feeling pretty good but I was feeling a little annoyed with the Nathan vest. It still fits great and is super functional, it has just been a while since I used it. Pauline met me at the mile 14/16 aid station. I ran thru all of the aid stations prior to 16 since I had all my fluids on my back and I did not feel any need for food. At the mile 15ish turnaround, I think I was in around 15th place and I was feeling like I was getting a bit of a 2nd wind. I felt like I was still running conservatively but I also felt that I would have an issue keeping up for 31 miles.

As I met Pauline at 16, I swapped the Nathan pack for a hand held bottle with Skratch and I started to feel better. It is always a treat to see her out on the trails :). Over the course of the next 5-6 miles, I started to pass a few people and I got into a pretty solid rhythm. Since the race was an out/back, I got to see all the tough runners still heading to the turnaround. Their toughness and friendliness also gave me a nice lift!

As I worked my way down the canyon, I paired up with one of the awesome locals and he helped keep me on track while I was struggling until around 26 miles or so. Once he broke me off, I really started to struggle and I spent a solid amount of time walking. At the time, I just felt like I was tired but I now think it was a combination of lack of fitness, being tired, and lack of eating. I need to get back in the groove of eating my potatoes at the aid stations to keep a few more calories coming in. I am planning on making this change at the Dick Collins 50 miler next weekend.

I finished up the race just under 5:30 and in 31st place. A bit slower and farther down the standings than in previous years, but coming off my recent hip and hamstring issues, I am ok with the effort. I made it thru the race healthy overall pretty healthy with just a mild chafing issue. I ran in my Hokas and they felt pretty nice.

Most of my training/ racing thoughts are now revolved around the hopes of running the HURT 100 in January (I am now #6 on the wait list) and running the Grand Slam next summer. That being said, the primary goals of the DC50 next weekend and the Javelina 100 2 weeks later are to make sure I finish the 50 under 11 hours and have a nice learning experience at the 100 while completing the run under 24 hours. These will get me my qualifier for the Western States 100 lottery held in December. More on all that later…

Things that I need to focus on the next 4 months…

More long runs and time on the trails
Get back to tantalus to up my toughness
Do a better job listening to my body and resting
Drop some LBs prior to the HURT
I am giving some thought to heading back to Crossfit Oahu and inserting that back into my routine. It has been awhile but I think it could be helpful to up my overall strength.

I hope everyone is well and I look forward to seeing you all out on the trails, roads or at the many aid stations that are in my future

Much Aloha

Michael

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