Posted by: runwithgarrison | October 13, 2013

Dick Collins 50 mile race report

Aloha everyone,

Yesterday I ran the Dick Collins 50 Mile race for the 3rd time. Those of you that read this blog regularly know that I am still recovering from a hamstring injury that greatly limited almost all of my summer running. That being said, when I first started dealing with the injury, I knew that I needed to get in a qualifying run to be eligible for 2014 Western States 100 lottery.

One of my major, unmet goals with my running is to complete the Grand Slam of Ultrarunning. In order to accomplish this goal, I first need to get into the Western States 100 thru their lottery process. In order to qualify for the lottery, I needed to run sub 11 hours for 50 miles or complete a 100 miler under the time cut prior to the December lottery date. I then decided to run the Dick Collins 50 Miler and the Javelina 100 in October to give myself 2 chances to knock out a qualifier. Once I hit a qualifier, I can then focus on getting 100% healthy and train for the HURT (I am currently 5th on the waitlist).

The plan heading into the Dick Collins race was to run to achieve 2 goals.
1) complete the run under 11 hours
2) not injure myself further–feel solid afterwards

In the days prior to the race, Pauline kept reminding me to keep my ego in check early and not go out too fast. Jeff was also sending me a funny series of text messages including Pulp Fiction quotes regarding that little sting and my pride…..

I am very happy to say that I accomplished both goals. I finished up in 10:29 (a bit slower than last year’s 8:08) and I am feeling pretty good today–less than 24 hours post finish. I have some stiffness and soreness behind my right knee but other than that–I feel like I am moving in the right direction.

Dan headed to the race start with me in the morning and I was able to ditch all my sweats/arm warmers/gloves before the start because the temperature was perfect. I set out at a very conservative pace and only used my handheld for my Skratch labs. Spirits were high and we were excited to get the long day started.

From the start, I was determined to follow the chill race plan. All along the way I kept checking myself to make sure I was not running too fast. The last time I ran past 31 miles was at the Dick Collins 50 last year. I knew I just needed to be patient. Starting at the 3rd aid station, I made sure to eat a few big chunks of potato at every opportunity. I also just drank to thirst and I feel like with this strategy I was able to keep my energy levels at a solid level throughout the day.

Blaine arrived on the scene at the first stop thru Steam Trains Aid station and he was with me at every aid station after that. Steam trains is around 22 miles into the race and the last one before the turnaround at Tilden. I hit the turnaround at 4:30 into the race and I was feeling pretty confident that sub 11 hours was in the bag.

Over the course of the day, I walked a lot of the long climbs and kept up a nice pace on the flat and downhills. I figured that was a solid recipe for hitting the time and setting myself up to not dig myself into too big of a hole heading into Javelina in 2 weeks. Every time I saw Blaine, he was checking up to make sure I was feeling solid. Once he decided to join in and pace me home, we almost walked the entire way home. It was great to catch up along the way. Even though my Garmin went dead around 7:30 into the race, I worked out the time calculations and knew that we could walk/jog our way home and make the sub 11 hour mark. In my head, 9 hours was just as useful as 10:59.

Overall, I am happy that we achieved the goals for the day. Of course, it would have been great to run faster and come into the race healthier and fitter…Oh well…The back of my right knee is already starting to feel better and I am already looking forward to a fun trip to Arizona in a few weeks. I have no delusions about running fast at Javelina. I will simply be running to work on my fitness and experience levels as we prepare for a fun 2014.

Pauline will be on site in Arizona to crew and we have locked down a great crew, including 2008 Olympian April Steiner Bennett. I am sure they will send out some entertaining updates as they hang out at Javelina Jeadquarters.

Happy running and I hope to see you on the trails!

Michael

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