Monday, June 9, 2008

Buckeye 50K – Training Run #1

<- The first leg of the Buckeye 50K race, Oak Grove in Brecksville to Snowville Road. See my house off Snowville Road.

Sunday we had the first Training Run for the Buckeye 50K race in July. We met at Oak Grove in Brecksville and run to Snowville Road and back, a total 12 (6+6) miles. I am familiar with this leg of the trail because I try to run it after our fitness classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

About 40 runners showed up on Sunday 7 am. Vince talked briefly and then we started. I learned something new: The trail is marked with blue squares in the trees (I knew that) but I did not know that when there are two squares, one higher than the other, you are supposed to turn towards the side that is higher. That’s a useful tip for someone like me who gets easily lost in these trails!

My quads were hurting from yesterday so the first couple of miles felt a bit rough. I made an effort to stay with the front runners. I was following Bob Clark and Jamie Carr. We were walking the uphills, while Tracy, just ahead of us was running them. The trail was mostly dry since it has not rained for a couple of days. When we reached towards Snowville, there is a very steep downhill and I took off. Tracy said “you’ll break a knee”. I am of course very careful but I like to run the downhills fast. I then caught up with Vince in the front.

As Snowville Road I had left a cooler with cold water and an energy drink. The temperature was over 80F (maybe 90F) and it was humid, so the cold water was needed. Many people use insect repellants but I don’t feel I need them. After the water break Vince and company decided to go forward, while the rest of us headed back. The way back felt fine. I led the way for parts of it. I did not collapse in the end like I did last year, mainly because this year I carry water and I am properly hydrated.

I finished the run in almost exactly 2 hours. The pace was about 10 min/mile. Mile splits: 9:36 8:43 8:55 10:42 10:50 9:21 10:15 10:18 11:10 10:51 9:22 8:49. The first 3 miles are fast because the ground is mostly flat. Miles 4 and 5 have a lot of uphills. Mile 6 is fast because of the downhill and flat areas.

I am trying to figure out how fast can I run in these trails and what a good goal for the 50K race is. It all depends of course in the weather. If the weather is cool and dry and the trails are dry then I go faster. If the trails are muddy, I go slower and expend more energy. My times in the training runs and races, from last year:

Training Run 2007 2008
1 10:10 10:00
2 10:03
3 9:55
4 9:41
5 10:41
Summer Race 10:09
Winter Race 10:42

I cannot compare the training runs in 2007 and 2008 because the route is different, but this table gives me an idea of how fast I run these runs. A good goal for the training runs is 9:30 to 10:00 pace and a good goal for the 2008 race is 10:00 pace or better.

By the way, the Buckeye 50K registration is already closed. See the web site for a list of Entrants: It is really amazing that the registration closed before the first training run! Last year, I waited until the last training run to register and there was still time. This means that trail running is getting more and more popular every year.

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