Coach Spencer Runs in the Woods

Coach Spencer Runs in the Woods

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

60 Miles in 12 Hours

12 Hour Adventure Trail Race this past Saturday at Prince William Forest Park in VA. 6.62 mile loop you do as many times as you can. I'd wanted to get in 10 loops, but the course was much tougher than expected- scrambling over rocks, steep inclines, etc. Mostly trail with some gravel roads. I'm never a fan of the gravel.

My first 5 laps were almost exactly evenly paced- within 3 minutes. That made me happy. I intentionally eased up a bit for the next 2 & sandbagged on the 8th one just to get in before the cutoff to start my 9th one. Found out my 9th one didn't count because I didn't finish within 12 hours (12:35)! But I did get in right at 60 miles on a pretty tough course, feeling great, with no problems, even at a humid 88 degrees. Actually, my last lap was a minute faster than all the rest! I probably averaged 45 seconds of walking every mile, always in the same spots up hills or places that were unrunnable. My HRM has an altimeter & I climbed for nearly 6,000ft., which over 60 miles, is pretty hilly. I wore the HRM strap for my first 2 laps & I averaged 152 bpm, so I was working fairly hard. I felt like I was putting for 9:00/mile effort and hitting 12:00 miles or so b/c of the terrain. Took my time in aid stations too- fixing blisters, getting enough nutrition, etc.

Had they counted my last lap, I would've finished THIRD out of 36 people (a feat for a large old guy like me!). Instead, I was 10th with 8 laps.

In 26 years of running, doing marathons, Ironman races, high school miles, 50Ks, etc. this may have been my best race ever. Accomplished my goals & felt very strong finishing. I put in some ridiculous training, with 80+ miles/week on just 5-6 runs... 18 hard miles one afternoon with 30 the next morning- stuff like that. I have a road marathon in November. I'm not sure if the 40-50 long runs in the last 6 months will help me or if I'm in the slow & steady mindset now. I haven't run on a road in a long time.

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