Monday, September 5, 2011

Soaring Eagle Trail Marathon

NW Passage Trail at Soaring Eagle
I need another long run.  Actually the plan called for a long run followed by a 10 mile trail run the next day.  Problem is that I want a run-free day for the holiday weekend.  And the long run would end up being in-city.  Sometimes an in-city run on a glorious summer day is torture for me and I really felt like i needed some more trail running before the event in just two weeks.

A quick search revealed Northwest Trail Runs was putting on a trail run at Soaring Eagle.  Yes my favorite place to run trails and it was supposed to be gorgeous and there was a 10 mile or marathon distance.  OK! So how to approach this then?  Run a few on friday and then run about 4 hours on Saturday paying attention to fueling and hydration and make sure not to beat up the legs.  I signed up for the trail marathon.  Not only are NW trail runs on great trails but they are inexpensive too.  I love that they do trail maintenance and trim back the vegetation on courses as well. 

I always forget how much slower the Soaring Eagle trails are.  It's deceptive because overall they are much more runnable than Cougar or Tiger because nothing is as steep. BUT they are constantly turning and winding and slight ups and downs with some rocks and roots to keep it interesting.  An easy pace on these trails is a couple minutes over my normal road pace at least.

I got over there easily and was immediately annoyed because it turns out there was an early start allowed but there was no mention of this on the website.  I would've been happy to start earlier because it was going to be a long day.  oh well.  But then the pre-race briefing didn't start until about 8:30 when the race was supposed to start.  They were trying out a new timing system and it was having a few glitches I suspect.  So 15 minutes late we start.  Actually that was amusing.  The race director said "Go!" and no one wanted to move forward.  Haha!  I was one of those standing towards the front and no way I wanted to get out in the front.  I was just out for a run remember?

Anyway, after listening carefully to the race directions, we were back at the start after a 1.2 mile loop (hey i thought we were supposed to do the 5 mile loop first?), i went back out to start the 10 mile loop and got lost with a bunch of other people as well.  No, we weren't lost but we skipped a portion of the course.  I realized this pretty soon and decided that it really was a good thing for me.  Instead of having to decide about finishing the race as intended or not, I could just run for time as long as I felt good.

The new plan based on chatting with coach was just to run about 4 hours.  I could go longer as long as I didn't feel beat up.  Turns out that wasn't an issue at all.  By about 2 hours, I was feeling beat up and by 2.5, I was stumbling.  Yeah no.  No reason to continue with this and I cut out across trails to get back to the start sooner and turned in my chip. I had just run over 13 miles so pretty slow but that also includes closely questioning the race directors during hte middle of the race about where I was supposed to go, some general group consults with fellow runners and figuring my way across the trail system when I decided I was done.  Trail running always has some of this! 

I guess I should've had a clue when I went out for my run the day before and made it 3/4s of a mile before I turned around.  I was just not in the mood to run and feeling off.  I felt fine enough trail running and got into a good rhythm at times. 

I figured out what I'd eaten during the race and it was just barely enough per general guidelines for carb consumption during endurance events (40-60 g of carbohydrates is recommended).  I thought i was eating enough but evidently not.  Here's my intake over the almost three hours:

food calories carbs (g)
fig newton 45 11
potato piece 30 3
potato chips (about 3) 32 3
mike n ike (5) 28 5
mint choc gu 100 20
coke (1/4 cup) 24 7
accel gel choc 100 20
1.5 my energy bars 221 33
580 102

Mike and Ike's candies don't count nearly enough carbs considering they take a bit of time to eat! The potato piece dipped in salt tasted really good but I just had a little piece so I'll have to try more of that.  It's also that time of the month so I often need more food not to mention that general malaise.  Oh well. I enjoy the mix of foods offered at these long trail events but probably just need to supplement gels/my energy bars instead of grazing instead of eating my planned food like I did.  I never felt hungry but the stumbling I was doing towards the end indicates low fuel.  If I figure out what I'd had up until around 2 hours15, it was quite low for what it should've been and I started having trouble directly after that.  I felt rather wiped from the effort the rest of the day but perked up by the evening and felt fine the next day so that's good news.

And like usual, any day running on trails is always good! 


Dusty said...

Fun run even if it was confusing to follow the course.

I guess I've got to try harder to eat. I probably eat less than that during a 50 and I'm S-L-O-W.

Great picture of the bloody knee!! LOVE IT!


PuddleThumper said...

I think it might've been user error with the trail. I really need a visual clue of a map rather than verbal directions. Verbal directions fly out of my head in about half a mile! :D

40 - 50 g of carbs is 2 gels per hour which for an example is 2 gels per hour. But everyone is different. I tend to really lose steam and feel very cranky often and coach really wants me to up carbs to see if it helps. if i could do it properly ever, i'd know! :D