36 miles 11.5 hours by foot

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36 miles 11.5 hours by foot

Postby diggingtrail » Mon Jun 21, 2010 5:21 pm

I did it and I finished it. The Rachel Carson Trail Challenge that is.

Surprisingly the day went pretty well. It started when my friend Brian poked his head into the room I was sleeping in at his house and said "wakey, wakey" at 3:56A. I stumbled down the steps and choked down and egg and cheese sandwich (he gave me weird dry barely qualifies as bread "bread") and a cup of coffee. We made it to the start line around 5:45 and headed off. After about a mile our legs were just realized to warm up and we were faced with our first realization that this would be a "fun" day. It was pretty hard not to laugh at the stupidity of what we were doing as we all but slid down the first hill as it was so steep. At the bottom there was maybe ten feet of flat and then back up we went a couple hundred feet. No flat in site. The first section is called the roller coaster b/c of the constant 200-400 foot descents and climbs following one another. Brian and I quickly realized we picked the right year to do this. Each year the direction flip flops and doing this section at the end would blow really large....

The first aid station/check point was right in the middle of the roller coaster and we felt pretty good. In fact we were jogging most of the downhills that were below 20% gradient. :lol: We took in some quick fluids and a little solid food, drained the bladders, changed socks, and headed off to tackle more hills. Check point 2 was at almost the halfway point at 15.2 miles. Still feeling relatively well we again fueled up some, hit the head, changed socks and I put a band aid on two small blisters high up on my ankle. (later to become a mistake, and I knew it would be yet I did it). There was a relatively flat section and we were cruising on this. At the halfway mark we were at almost a 4 mile and hour pace. Nice :mrgreen:

Then another nasty hill came upon us, and another. Somewhere along the way injuries and fatigue began to set in. As we climbed one disgusting little section of trail (think the wall at Rocky Ridge, only steeper and mud instead of rocky soil, and longer by about 20 yds) Brian yelled in pain. Those of you who went to city schools and were in band will get his comment that he said after his yelp "dude I'm doing a Beaverson". Shortly after that I felt a twinge on the top of my foot and some hot spots on the heel of each ankle.

I'm not quite sure when exactly survival instincts started to kick in but it was somewhere around mile 21.2 or the 3rd checkpoint. We were walking on mostly road at this point and were miserable. We both hated it and for some reason I can barely remember this checkpoint. Actually everything starts to become a blur from here on. I do remember that we were playing cat and mouse with two groups of people. One was a husband wife couple that were running some sections, they'd run ahead and then we would catch them on the climbs (even fatigued and sore the climbs are where we felt best, and made the best time on other people) and get into the checkpoints at the same time. We'd leave before them and they'd pass us again only to be caught on another climb. The other group was three college girls that were running w/ no water or food. :o Hardcore. They were taking long breaks at the aid stations and we'd pass them there, only to have them blow by us halfway between the next station/checkpoint.

The last 7 miles were bad. By this time my legs were sore, and my feet were really beginning to hurt. I already had one blister break on my heel and could feel more forming. We had moleskin but nothing to cut it with, dumb dumb dumb. :x The last 1.5 miles for me were a lesson in ignoring pain and working thru it. My feet were on fire. My heels each had two blisters right at the bottom that screamed with each step. Brian pulled ahead in the last mile, as I could not make my feet move any faster due to the pain, but I was able to finish w/in 5 minutes of him.

His watch had us at just about 11.5 hours. Not to bad for my first ultra. I have never done anything like this but now I have the bug and am looking for events to do this year after my feet heal. :D I'm going to start a topic in Other Sports for that though but wanted to post this hear since a lot of you knew I was going to do this event.

A few notes and lessons learned:
1. A long run of 7 miles is not adequate training for a 36 mile hike/run.
2. Two weeks of no running, before the event, in the shoes you will be doing 36 miles in is a big mistake.
3. If you have moleskin make sure you can cut it! Blisters suck!
4. Even though you don't want to eat, you must. I tried it was hard and I didn't get enough and this contributed to some fatigue.

Elevation profile, GPX gps track and Google Earth KML track are attached. They are not mine since I lost my Garmin. I got them from this blog.

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Re: 36 miles 11.5 hours by foot

Postby rmichels » Mon Jun 21, 2010 6:55 pm

Wow, way to go!

Your lessons learned are similar to mine. A few years ago i was training for a marathon (baltimore) which is in October and my long run was about 11 miles in July. I sort of really did not run lots after that. I looked into deferring to the next year but that cost $$$ so I just did it. Prior to that my training regimen was if you are going to get sore training for a run, just do the real thing and get on with it. That works for a 5-10 miler but not a long distance run. Your was much tougher than mine though. I did follow a friends adive of eating and drinking at every aid station.

Having attempted a few long trail run/hikes with serious elevation changes I've decided not to pursue them, unless for some reason I find time to train like crazy. Unless I win the lottery that's not gonna happen!

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Re: 36 miles 11.5 hours by foot

Postby danwalko » Tue Jun 22, 2010 6:50 pm

Nice job Kevin. It seems to me the real accomplishment here is that you finished given that it was your first attempt at it. Sounds like you did very well for the first time out and minimal training. It seems like you learned alot for next time. Congratulations.
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Re: 36 miles 11.5 hours by foot

Postby diggingtrail » Wed Jun 23, 2010 8:04 pm

Thanks Ray and Dan.

Here's my split times:
Harrison Hills Park (0.0 mi) Bull Creek Road (7.3 mi) Agan Park (15.2 mi) Log Cabin Road (21.2 mi) Shaffer Run Road (27.5 mi) North Park (35.7 mi) Elapsed
05:38:08 07:33:18 09:58:44 11:55:39 14:13:20 17:09:37 11:31:28
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