Monday, July 21, 2008

BT50K - Aftermath

I woke up on Sunday with pain in every muscle and tendon in my legs! From hip to toes. Clearly my quads were hurting, but also my hips and my lower foot. What a difference from last year!

Last year I ran the BT50K and I was fine the next day. A few months later I ran the Towpath Marathon and then I was in pain for a week. So I concluded that a Marathon is much harder on the body than a 50K. Others agreed, and different theories were proposed to explain this: The 50K is run at a slower pace, with walking breaks (“It is not the distance but the speed that kills”.) There is a variety of terrain, leading to a variety of muscle work, which is much better for the body than the monotonous constant pounding of the pavement during the Marathon.

All this sounds good, but how do you explain what happened this year? My Cleveland Marathon was a piece of cake. I was ready to resume running the next day. And now, 2 days after the 50K, I can barely walk. With great pain (and lots of swearing) I can get down the stairs. I am suffering!

This leads me to believe that it is all relative. I was well prepared for the 50K last year and the Cleveland Marathon this year. I was under-prepared for the Towpath marathon and the 50K this year, and I tried hard in these two races. The 50K felt harder this year because I put (a lot) more effort to it. And now I am paying for it. It is that simple.

<- This picture (of me finishing) was taken by LloydT. My wife is in the back holding a camera (click to enlarge). Thanks Lloyd!

Photos and reports on the BT50K are coming in… The unofficial results are posted with 25K splits (new this year). There is some interesting information from the 25K times.

First, it appears that there are only two negative splits (someone actually did the math and posted the info in Vertical Runner's discussion list). You must make a special effort to go very slow in the first half, in order to have a negative split (run the 2nd half faster than the first). I think Vince mentioned that last year Jeff Hirt had a negative split. Maybe he was running with friends in the first half and then decided to go ahead alone. But this year, looking at the first page of the results it looks like the closest to an even split is a 4 minute difference. 2nd half times are from 4 minutes to over an hour slower. This from just looking at the first page. (Correction: finisher #84 Roy Heger who finished in 5:42 actually has a negative split: 2:55/2:47)

My 25K split is 2:33, so I ran the 2nd half 15 minutes slower than the first. No surprises here. I knew this was going to happen and I did not care. I thought I would be much worse than others, but, looking at the results, it appears that my second half was better than most.

Another good piece of information from the 25K splits is how many runners passed me and how many runners I passed during the 2nd half. Everyone who finished ahead of me had a faster 25K time, which means that no one passed me in the 2nd half. From the 9 people who finished after me, 7 had a faster 25K split, which means that I passed these 7 runners in the way back. That makes me feel good. :)

Since this is only my 2nd Summer BT50K, I am trying to figure out how I did, compared to last year. My time this year (5:21) is 7 minutes slower than last year (5:14), but my placement is better (19th vs. 28th). I see that Kam Lee ran 15 minutes slower this year. If I reduce my time by 15 minutes, my placement is about the same in both years, so I conclude that 15 minutes will account for the weather difference between the two years.

I am now looking forward to the next 50K race!


Sensationally Red said...

I've never been able to figure it out..why I am in such pain for some races and not others. I was very sore after the Winter Buckeye 50k, but like you said I trained not so great for that one, but put forth tremendous effort. I was hardly sore at all this time around, but better trained and ran slower. So, maybe you are right. Maybe there's no figuring it out.

Brett S. said...

Nice to find your blog. Attribute some of Kam's slower pace to not being pushed as hard as he was by Godale last year. The female finisher set a course record this year and E-speed set a PR as well but on average I would agree the conditions this year attributed to slower average times. You did great and it's always surprising when people who indicate they were not ready for the 50k do so well

Brett S. said...

I believe I passed you on the road yesterday. Running up Snowville towards Rt21 at around 5:15PM?

I work off snowville and drive that way every day. Sometimes I actually run the area at lunch and afterwork.