Sunday, May 29, 2016

Sulphur Springs 25k and 100 Mile Crewing

Well.  This was a hot weekend.  The weather got up to ~33C, 38C with humidity on Saturday.

We knew going in it would be a tough ask.  I was there to crew for Joe, but he was saying that he wanted to practice self-reliance, so I wasn't going to have much to do.  So I registered for the 25k so that I'd have something to do, and to motivate me to run some more.

Neither Joe or I had great training going into this, but at least I was only running 25k!  Joe was running 100 miles!

Looking at my Garmin Connect, since April 1st (the race was May 28) I had run 11 times, all 5ks except for one 14k in April and one 14.79k the Sunday before the race on the Sulphur course to check that I'd actually be able to complete the 25k.  It went well, if slow, so I was set.

I got to bed later than I wanted Friday night (after 9:30) for a 3:30 wake up - I was at Joe's before 4 am and we hit the road for Ancaster.  They were paving the QEW and we ended up behind a truck going 40k/hour!  But eventually that cleared.

I may not have slept much, but I slept more than Joe, who went to bed at 11 and got up at 3 am!  Yikes!  He said he slept well though.

We got to the race site and Joe got set up in the 100 miler tent:

Before I knew it it was 6 am and the 50 mile and 100 mile start had happened - memories of 2013!

Mom came out for the 25k race which started at 7:30 am along with the 50k.  It was really nice to have her support.  Kelly B was running the 25k too and Kelly W and Barb were running the 50k.  I also saw Gord before his 50 miler start.  Don was there with Kelly W as well so it was great to see him.

And I ran into Margaret from work, who was running the 25k for the second year in a row!  We would see each other on course and high five, it was really nice, and it was great to see Kelly B on course too.

The first part of the 25k went fine, faster than expected, though I was fairly comfortable.  I was eating and taking an S!Cap every 3k, so a bit over 30 minutes, but close enough I figured.  I don't think I was drinking enough though, I drank to thirst but in those sorts of temps with that sweat rate I needed to do more.

Heading out onto the 20k loop after the initial 5k spur I ran with Jessica for a bit, this was her first trail race.  I said it was a good first one as Sulphur isn't that technical, she found technical - just imagine what she'd think of some other courses!!!!  She was very nice.  After she went ahead I ran with Cynthia for a bit who was also a lovely lady.  Saw Gord who was lapping me on his 50 miler!

The trail was really well marked, this was Tim and Andrea's first years as race directors and they did a great job.  Was really impressed with it.  Unlike when I ran the 50k in 2014 the race marshals were at the initial turn (in 2014 we all hemmed and hawed).  They'd also put up reflective strips for night running for the 100 milers which was really really smart.

I had to pee at 6k, so I figured I was well hydrated, though I felt a bit nauseous.  In retrospect, I wasn't drinking enough, as eventually I began to feel very chilled and shivery - I immediately took another S!Cap and drank some more, but.  I probably drank just over 2L - MAYBE 2.5L by the time I took water from course - which for the race in that heat I don't think was enough.  I was soaked through with sweat.

I could feel my glutes get bother-y.  Something about this course does it for me.  I really need to work on strengthening my glutes if I'm going to run 100 miles here next year.  I slowed down some because of this and even walked some downhills!

Heading back out of the Gatehouse onto the road section I heard my name from the course marshall and hey!  It's Byron!  Nice!  Eventually got to the Headwaters lollipop loop (after stopping to go the washroom but not pee at the 12k aid station...wth, I'd already pooped twice that day) and tried to keep the pace easy - walked lots because of my glute, I was just waiting for my IT band to go - but I did end up running a fair bit of the downhill.

I wasn't too worried about pace.  After last Sunday I'd hoped my fat out of shape ass could do it in 3.5 hours, but with the heat, I figured anything under 4 hours I'd be happy with.  But I knew I wasn't going to be close to 3.5 hours after all, so - I relaxed.  Heading off the lollipop I saw Joe heading the other way on his second loop for the 100 miler and was happy to see him pacing conservatively - gave him a big high five.

Back up Martin Road and the evil hill and I was done!  Nice to have some more water and get changed.  I was 3:33:46 final time.  Oh well.  If I were thinner I'd be upset with that time, but I'm not, so given that and the heat and how little I trained I'll take it.

Mom headed out, I cheered in Margaret and chatted with Kelly B and her, then went over to the shade by the start/finish and hung out with Helen, Don, and Veronique.  Helen was dogsitting so brought Teddy - so cute!  Byron was there too and eventually after their run so were April and Mel, so we all hung out and had a great time.

Helen and I even saw a fox when we took Teddy for a little walk down the hill onto the course to look for people.  We got to cheer in the runners which was great.

Joe came in from his second loop (40k) in 5:50 which was behind pace but I told him in the heat not to worry about it.  He was still running good.  He took just over 4 hours for his third loop, so slowed down a lot.

I went to see him and he wanted to DNF (quit).  I convinced him to rest, then he said he wanted to lie down.  April, Mel and Byron all said not to let him sleep more than 15 minutes, so I then woke him up, and told him he needed to get going or he was in danger of timing out.  Joe said he wanted to sleep for another 30 minutes and he'd just time out.  I discussed it with him but he was adamant.

Went to back to April, Mel and Byron who said 'No, you have to get him moving!' But what am I supposed to do.  So I went back and told him April and Mel thought he should get up and get going, and THEN he did.  Ha!  The magic words!

As it turns out, he took 3 hours to do the next loop - 2 hours of running and 1 hour of sleeping on the trail.  Not the best pacing unfortunately.  But he came in charged up and said he felt great, that he was back.  Yay!

He did the next loop in over 4 hours - he ran the first 10k in about an hour, then slowly walked the rest.  When he came in for 100k it was 17 hours 48 minutes on the clock, and he said he was done.  I said 'No, you have time, you just have to keep steady and you've got this, get back out there!' and he said he was exhausted, had terrible chafing (which was raw and which he'd put duct tape over, oh oww oww oww) plus he has a 24 hour treadmill run in 3 weeks that he's raised money for.  So, because of the chafing, and because he had committed to other people for the 24 hour run, I let him DNF.  Feel bad about it, but the chafing seemed pretty awful and he was in a lot of pain.

Goodbye Sulphur....

Joe was both philosophical and down.  I'm supposed to pace him at the Haliburton 100 and he said he didn't want to run it.  I told him he should wait a week or two before making any decisions, and see Sulphur as a long training run for the 24 hour run and Hali.  Speaking to Joe today, he's back on track for Hali and in a better frame of mind.  He's going to recommit to his training.

Perhaps the most incredible thing of the day was that the 100 mile record got broken, in 38C heat - 15:33:34.  Here's a video of the winner coming in so fast I could barely catch him!

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