Thursday, July 14, 2011

Rattlesnake 50K, Charelston, WV July 12, 2008

On July 12th, I competed on my 2nd Rattlesnake 50K in WVA. This race has about 5,000 feet of elevation during it's 31 miles. My BIG race goal this summer is the Leadville 100 Trail race in Colorado, and in preparation for that, I decided to do this race. It's got 10 brutal climbs, which is exactly what I needed to get ready for Leadville. And the year I DNFed at Leadville, I also ran this race, and so I was anxious to compare both performances in hope of gathering some more confidence along the way...that is, as long as I was to do better as I expected...i wasn't going to entertain the idea of actually going slower this time!!!

I flew in the night before and stayed with the Tweel's, the parents of a good college buddy. It was great to see them, although time didn't permit much interaction as I had to prepare for the race, and try and get a decent night's sleep.

It was a hot day, about 90 degrees, but since most of the race is under the cover of the forest, it didn't seem so bad to me. I started out slow and steady and quickly got the the 1st climb...and was amazed that I was already passing people on the way to the top. I have never actually passed people before on steep inclines, and I was afraid that my performance at the Mohincan 50 miler might have been a fluke. But I've trained really hard on my climbs and I think it is finally paying off. I had remembered this race from 3 years ago and having the most brutal climbs, and it seemed to take more forever to reach their tops. This time, I was amazed that they didn't seem as long, nor did I have to bend over, almost hyperventilating, trying to catch my breath. I was good and steady and gaining confidence with each step.

It wasn't until about mile 20-some that my stomach started to feel a bit queasy, but I wasn't so worried about it since I knew it wasn't much longer and the fact that this was only a training run. I ended up finishing about 25 minutes faster than my previous attempt, and even though I had hoped to better it by a little larger margin, all and all, given that my stomach REALLY went south towards the end and I stopped drinking much, I was pretty happy with the results!!!

From the time i finished, it was only a couple of hours and I was already back on a plane to home. I was under a very tight schedule, since the very next morning I was flying out to Vegas where I was on the crew of a good friend of mine, Alex Nemet, who was running the famous Badwater Ultra, in Death Valley!!! Little did I know at as i sat on the plane with sore legs, that in about 2 days time, I would start what would add up to be about another 70 miles of running next to Alex!!! WOW!!

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