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Undertrained Yet Overjoyed: Bulldog 50k Post Race Thoughts/Review

I thought I was being realistic about a top 10 finish even considering my weekly mileage leading up to the race was minimal, but I was wrong. I ended up running a 4:44:09, 13th overall. After I crossed the finish line I was just glad to have ran without injuring myself and having run a race I was proud of.

Bulldog Garmin Race Profile

Before the race I made the decision to put myself in a position to compete for a podium spot by running with the lead pack for the first loop. This was a crazy strategy, but made a lot of sense at the time. I figured one never knows when it may be the day for a breakout performance until you put yourself in the position to do great things. Can’t be scared about running up front! (Note that this strategy only works with proper training:-)

The first few miles were spent waking up the legs to get ready for the climb ahead. This course is great because the first three or so miles are relatively flat so there’s ample time to prepare the body for the heavy climb and steep descent.

I managed to consistently run 4th-6th place for the first lap. I ran a personal record of 1:56:xx for the first lap (previous PR was 2:02:xx at Malibu Creek 25k race). I was just starting to feel some cramping after stopping to refill my water bottles and tried to hang on for a mile before having to walk. At this point I decided I wouldn’t be able to maintain any kind of competitive pace and decided finishing healthy would be the best thing to do. New strategy: power walk the climbs and controlled running downhill. The new strategy led to a 2:46:xx lap. My lungs were fine, but the legs just couldn’t hang. Now I’m excited to race Bulldog next year and run to my potential.

What’s next? Lots of slower miles and lots of climbing. Simple, but effective for me.

Major thanks to:
My wife Cristina and sister Pureza for coming out and cheering me on. Nancy Shura-Dervin for putting on a festive and very well organized race. Nuun for adding some pizzaz to my water. Mark from Mizuno for the pair of Wave Kazans. The Kazan enabled me safely bomb the fire roads down without fear of slipping and with firmer cushioning under-foot to help dissipate shock. A Runner’s Circle for their support of my running. Very lucky to be working for a company that understands my passion and enables me to spread my love of running to others.

Finally, pictures! (Thanks to Rony Sanche, Becky Galland, and Deo)
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February 11 – February 17, 2013 Weekly Recap

Bowerman and ChoyMiles: 52.59
Time on feet: 9:20:31
Long run mileage: 23.06
Elevation gain: 5,459 ft.
Number of activities: 4

I spent more time at Morgan Monroe running the Low Gap trail. I find the single track technical trails fun and challenging. Running midweek also meant having the trails to myself. Indiana trails are different from the Angeles trails I got used to in that they are more rugged. The Angeles Forest trails are hard packed and pretty much very well maintained. The trails I’ve been running lately are hard to follow and vary in terrain. One section can be covered in leaves and another will be rocky with roots popping out. There’s lots of opportunities to do the Killian jump because of steep downhills that suddenly end creek side. Snow and rain can make the same trail seem like something completely different. One run this week was sunny and in the 40s and two days later I experienced snowfall and temperatures in the high teens.

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Fumbling my way downhill on the Low Gap trail.

I don’t remember why I didn’t get in a fifth day of running, but I bet it was weather related. I’m fine with the time-on-my-feet being less than 10 hours and running less than the planned mileage. I put out two good efforts without feeling completely spent. The only injury I have is from hitting my big toe on a chair at home. Better that than falling off a cliff or being impaled on a low lying branch.

“5” Hour Morgan Monroe trail run Garmin Profile.