Golden Gate Trail Run 50k

Did it! After eight weeks of training and ramping up the mileage, I spent all day out in the Marin Headlands yesterday at the Coastal Trail Runs Golden Gate Trail Run 50k. Soaking my feet in some ice water as I write this. The important part of being ready for this one is the hills: 6,320 elevation! It really does zap you but the views are absolutely amazing! I didn't take any photos because I just wanted to enjoy the run without stopping. My phone died and I didn't care. I was only focused on finishing the run, which is a great feeling to be so focused and in the moment for a long period of time, which is why I dubbed this, my Run-cation!

There were about 40 of us doing the 50k, and we started with the 30k group. We all got to go and enjoy the killer loop out to Pirate's cove, except the 50kers got to repeat the pink loop again after that. I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to do that, but I just took it easy realizing that I could probably make the cutoff time. I did the 30k loop in around 4:30, and then headed back out for the second long loop. I finished in 8:04. It was really nice to see the finish line! Got 3rd AG but there were only 3 of us so that means I was last. There were no spectators of course but the hikers on the trails were very encouraging.

Fuel: All the aid stations were well stocked and the volunteers were super. All I needed was water, didn't touch any of the sugar-laden buffet of cookies and all that. If you are sugar burner, then this is probably the best time to eat those things: while running an ultra. I decided to stay low carb for the run so the night before I just had cup and a half of sweet potatoes with coconut oil and lots of cinnamon. In the morning I had a bonk-proof coffee, some electrolytes and a small serving of Generation UCAN chocolate protein flavor. For the run, I brought 2 packs of the UCAN and started with a 4 hour flask with that. Every hour, I took a sip of it with some electrolytes (1 each Hammer endurolytes, anti-fatigue and endurance aminos). That's 50 calories, 16.5 carb & 6.5 protein per hour. The electrolyte balance with the Hammer caps was 75mg magnesium, 222mg sodium & 180mg potassium. At hour 5, I had a shot of coconut oil. By then I had reached the peak on Wolf Ridge and had about 3 hours to go. I brought a smaller flask with 1 Perpetuem for the end. This combo seemed to work fine, especially at the low intensity I was going, but I could have also just stuck with the UCAN, maybe find a way to sneak some caffeine in somewhere at the end. No cramping whatsoever. The finish line food was light, but they did have a delicious lentil vegetable soup which was perfect. I had some salty chips with it and had my trail mix (plantain chips, coconut shavings, and almonds) that I brought for snacking on the beach. I always bring a packet of Recoverite also.

The best part was the the finish line was close to the beach, so I dipped my legs in the ocean and it felt really great to walk on the sand and take a nap listening to the waves. Rode my bike to and from the event. There are no bike racks at Rodeo Beach so I had to scrounge. I found a picnic table that fit my ulock somewhere down the road. Traffic was really bad that evening because the tunnel was closed and I was really glad to be biking it! It actually felt good to bike afterward and I think it helped with my recovery. Today felt a little sore in the quads and feet, but the ice is helping and ready for some walking. Instead of doing a high carb day, I'm sticking with the moderate carbs mostly from fruit and vegetables. The high carb day was fun, but I noticed I was really hungry when I switched back to low-carb, and right now I just want to keep the inflammation down. My plan is just to listen to my body and let my appetite dictate the eating naturally.

I went to the doc and had a checkup before the race. Blood pressure was 105/55. I noticed that over the years as a runner these numbers keep getting lower. Instead of gaining weight for a race, I'm down about 5.5 lbs since my last 5k.

The long runs on the trails are the key to improvement. I kind of pushed up the mileage quickly. I just wanted to run my legs off. Looking forward to the next challenge!

Ultra-running magazine: Fat-burning, a how to guide - Good article, I would add in more good fats! I only do a small amount of the complex carbs at night if needed and after the workout.


Yolanda said...

That is awesome!!! I can't even imagine so little of fuel, but I know it all goes with how you trained. Nice job!

claudine said...

Thanks for the recap, Rene! I'm especially fascinated by your fueling... I've been doing the same thing so long that I want to change it up a bit also. Have to remind myself to work at experimenting, especially during the long runs. It's especially impressive that you went into such a quick ramping up/ training cycle!

René said...

Yes, the high-fat low carb diet with lots of veggies was a game changer. It's helping me get past my plateau but even better, less inflammation and better recovery!

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