Friday, August 17, 2012

Psycho Psummer Pscorcher 50k Review

Well, I picked a winner as usual.  I recently ran my first official 50k and I managed to pick one of the hottest days of the year and the hilliest damn course to do it on.

I have run 50k on a few training runs in the past so I wasn't too concerned on finishing.  I was hoping for a better time but learning how many people actually dropped back to the 20 miler made me feel a little better.  To top this off, I did this in my usual "fly by the seat of my pants" fashion and had no real training plan leading up to the race.  During the few weeks leading up to the race I had increased my mileage and I was actively "looking" for a race to make it official.  All the pieces of the puzzle fell into place but the race was only a couple days away.  I went ahead and pulled the trigger and signed up (two days prior to the race).

Since the race was just a couple days away I didn't really taper a lot.  I had been recovering from a 50k training run a few weeks prior to the race so my downtime was already a couple weeks.  I was confident in my ability but not in the weather.

The weather leading up to the race was hot to say the least.  We had been breaking records and a serious drought was taking place. The forecast high for the day was low 100s and it was right on the money. It was a cool 101 on my way home.

The course started out on the up hill and that was a pretty good indication of what was to come. There was a large open area to start which was nice to allow people to spread out and find their place in the crowd.  Just after a long gradual up hill we turned off to a trail into the woods and narrowed down to single file.  At this point it was fairly rocky but nothing unusual. The next few miles were nothing difficult or different compared to the trails I was used to running. There were a few steep uphills and quite a few rocks but nothing out of the ordinary.  At one point we ran up the back of the dam which was a bit foreboding and hot but also a nice change of scenery. Shortly after this things started to get a bit more hilly.  Near the end of the 10 mile loop there are 3 large hills that could be called just about anything in the book.  They are long and steep. And in the 100 degree heat I used about every name you could think of. Shortly after these lovely hills was a quick little jaunt to the finish line.

After the first loop I felt great. I was ready plow ahead and knock this baby out. Next thing I knew, I was dehydrated and bent over in the bathroom trying to pee.  I toughed it out and started drinking more with more S-Caps as well. After the debilitating second lap in which I walked quite a bit, I strapped on my hydration pack, filled it with ice and headed out. I was quickly hydrated and rolling along just fine. I never was really sore or worn out, just dehydrated. I finished the last lap right at 8 hours; much longer than I expected but I still had fuel in the tank which is what I had hoped to accomplish.

Next up is the Trailhawk 50 miler in September. I think I'll go ahead and start out with the hydration pack this time. It seems to keep me drinking more often and even though it won't be as important with the cooler temperatures, it will be imperative to finishing 50 miles.

Over all the Psycho Psummer 50k was a great race. The sponsor was wonderful as usual and all the aid stations were motivating and stocked with supplies. I can't say enough good things about the Trail Nerds. They always put on a great race.