Sunday, December 16, 2012

12/16/12: MGM 50K

This was 4 years straight at the Magnus Gluteus Maximus 50K, a race I have really come to love.  I have been fortunate to run better each year and ran 4:37 this time, which was good for a PR and 1st place. 

I followed my new perfect pre-race routine that consists of carbo-loading with beer, zero planning, and nearly missing the race start.  I had a work happy hour the night before the race and then met up with one of my best friend's from college who was in town for the weekend.  Dinner consisted a large amount of delicious fried food.  Perfect pre-race prep.

I was much less than excited to wake up at 6am and get to the race.  I slowly got my things together and chugged some coffee to wake up.  I was already running late, which was made worse when I realized I went to the wrong trailhead, which was a good 25 minutes out of the way.  Woops.

I rolled up at 7:50 and made it to the start line just in time to be a bit late for the official start.  I quickly caught up to the lead pack and finally started to relax.  My stomach was growling at me from dinner the night before, but the legs were feeling good, and I was rolling along.

Two first-timers were running up front and asked how hard it would be to navigate the Do-Loop by themselves.  I said it would be "pretty impossible" but then amended my statement to "just plain impossible."  They did not heed my warning and shot off on their own.

I ran on my own for a bit until another first-timer caught up with me.  He was a really nice guy and asked if I would mind him tagging along for the Do-Loop.  This sounded a bit like the blind leading the blind since I still don't really know the Do-Loop very well, but I made him sign a waiver absolving me of any blame and said I would do my best.

We came off the Bull Run trail at mile 12 in 1:42, and I felt great.  Apparently the two guys who shot off in the front got lost in the parking lot and did not make it even one foot into the Do-Loop.  The guy behind me scooped them up while they were wandering around the parking lot and took them through the loop.  Just goes to show - don't mess with the Do-Loop.

I took it a bit easier in the first part of the loop to make sure we didn't get lost.  Fortunately they actually had a few streamers marking a couple of key turns.  Boy I just felt spoiled.  It was still tricky, but we made it through just fine.  On the way back out I started picking it up and moving well.

I came back onto the Bull Run trail 1:04 later.  I didn't know for sure what happened to the two guys in front, but I was fairly sure I was out in front at this point.  The first 6 miles back on the Bull Run trail weren't too bad.  I was fading on the uphills with tired legs, but I was still moving really well on the flats and downhills. 

The last 6 miles were a grind, but I managed to hold a decent pace.  At the last aid station 5.5 miles out, I grabbed some Coke and  Fig Newtwon, which perked me up a bit.  I kept counting down the miles and knew I would break 4:40 as long as I didn't fall in the river (hey, you never know).

Just over a mile from the finish, I ran past a husband / wife out hiking on the trail and soon after tripped on a rock.  I caught myself and fell relatively gracefully, but my calf cramped up as I was falling.  They looked back to see if I was ok, and there I was rolling around on the ground trying to unlock my calf.  I think they thought I having some kind of seizure, so I yelled out "I'm good ... calf cramped up ...  carry on, I'll be fine."  I hauled myself up and immediately started running to the finish, I'm sure leaving this couple wondering what kind of crazy pills I was taking.

I turned off the trail for the climb up to the Hemlock lodge and saw somebody not too far back on the trail.  I finished in 4:37 just a couple of minutes ahead of 2nd place. 

It was a great day and a great run.  I look forward to hopefully keeping the MGM tradition alive!


frechols said...

Will, this sounds like so much fun! Maybe I can participate next year. . . :)

Fabrice said...

Hey Will,

Thanks for dragging me along through the loop. I appreciate you driving the pace. Though I don't know if I can say you were "fading on the uphills". You were chugging along pretty good when you dusted me!

Will said...

Fabrice, it was great running with you. You rocked it for your first 50K! Good luck at Promise Land this spring.

Ros, you should definitely come down for the race next year!