Tuesday, May 7, 2013

SweetH20 50K

Another 50K in the books a couple weeks ago at the SweetH2O Race just outside Atlanta GA.  Again, I was using this as a good training run with over 40 miles already on the legs, more hill repeats, and a long run just 5 days prior to this event.  I wanted tired legs going into this, and that I had.  I have never done this race before, and it looked of moderate difficulty although I read somewhere this was in the top 10 of difficult 50K (not).  It was a 16 mile repeat loop with river crossings and a series of short steep demanding power line hills.  
Power Line Section
 The weather was perfect with clear skies and unseasonal cool temps in the 60s.  Most of the course is very runnable with a few sections a little more technical due to the steepness and rocks.  I would consider this course a great first ultra for someone to cut their teeth on.  The course was well marked, support at AS was amazing (except none had ice), and the RD put on a well organized race.

Over halfway there
The first loop I held my pace back, and enjoyed talking with other runners around me.  Within the first few miles, a spillway near the lake was a choke point as runners gingerly used the ropes to slide down the bank to the ankle deep water for about a hundred yards of feet soaking fun.  Then it was back up the other side with ropes again, which was slow going.  The next section was very runnable as we made our way to AS #2.  The section between AS #2 and AS #3 was known as Power line with the short steep series of hill repeats.  I actually found this section to be most enjoyable as other runners were using some adult language.  I was laughing a little on the inside, and opted to run halfway up before succumbing to a power hike.  This was to be repeated again for the second loop, which I equally enjoyed.  After the first loop, I met my wife at the river crossing AS and she said I looked way to fresh. 
River Crossing
 I told her I felt good but the legs a little heavy from the hard training runs earlier in the week.  Nevertheless, I did have a slight low point just before the next AS, but knew this was not unusual for me around the 18 mile mark.  After conquering the power line section again, and passing a lot of miserable runners, I topped my bottle off, took a shot of Coke, and hit a good running pace.  These two younger runners in front of me were trying hard to keep me from passing them.  As I closed the gap between us, they would pick their pace up.  This went on for a couple of miles until we hit the last of the power line hills and I noticed them starting to struggle some.  I had enough of this and dropped the hammer and powered right past them on the uphill and never looked back.  The last AS was only 3 miles from the end of the race and took only a few shots of Mountain Dew for fuel.  I was feeling really good again and really stepped the pace up and started to pass several runners.  Overall, I was pleased with my performance, but could have taken a lot of time off my finishing time if I had tapered and not lingered in some of the AS talking to people I knew.  I was not planning on a PR, just a fun training run, and had a beautiful day and course to run on.  The kids enjoyed the day at 6 Flags, and we ate at one of my favorite restaurant.  

 I have one more 50K race in the foothills of SC before heading back to OH for the Mohican.


Big Daddy Diesel said...

Congrats on another successful race. I have my first trail race this Sunday

Thomas Bussiere said...

Go get them BDD. Enjoy the trails and make a memory.

Char said...

Sounds like your fitness is great and your legs are strong. If you can do that race on tired legs and still feel pretty good at the end your training's going well.

Giorgio said...

It's easy to see that you are in good shape. Congrats on a great challenge, Thomas!
I really enjoyed reading your beautiful race report. Good job with the two younger runners.

Have a nice weekend,