Saturday, September 24, 2011

Germantown 50k mini race report

I'm going to make this a quick one.  Two weeks ago I had no intention of running the Germantown 50k.  I had expected to lay it all on the line at the IAU World 100k Championships — instead I laid an egg (race report here).  The queasiness responsible for my DNF in Winschoten subsided a few days later and my legs recovered quickly since I only ran half the race.  After the 100k, I questioned my fitness even though I had little reason to do so.  I felt like I needed to find another race to renew my confidence and convince myself that I really did just have an off day in the Netherlands.  Only an hour from the house and not too difficult for a trail race, the Germantown 50k was just the race I needed.

I'm going to skip the detailed play-by-play, because there isn't much to say.  I went out hard and ran alone from mile 3 to the finish.  The course was surprisingly tough for only having about 2400ft of climb.  All of that elevation came in the form of frustratingly regular 150ft hills.  If it weren't for the 6 miles of flat pavement, it would have been even slower.  The trail wasn't particularly technical, but a good portion of it was rhythm killing.  Short switchbacks, sharp turns, muddy creek beds and bridges so slippery they might as well have been covered in ice, constantly forced me to speed up and slow down as opposed to just cruising along comfortably.  The weather, however, was nearly perfect.  Mid 50s and overcast the whole morning.

I won the race with a time of 3:36:10.  The course is officially measured at 31.6 miles, so it's about a half mile long.  I felt like my climbing ability really diminished in the last 10 miles, but I ran my last mile on the bike path in 5:48.   That last mile was huge because it was the proof I needed that I am in great shape to run what I trained for this summer — long, flat, road courses.

But that ship has sailed for now, and I am excited to get back on the trails.  Today's race served as a great warmup.  Next weekend I head down to Chattanooga for the StumpJump 50k.  It is much more technical and has significantly more elevation change than today's race, so I expect it to be pretty tough given my current strengths.  I just hope I didn't overdo it this weekend and arrive in Chattanooga with tired legs.  I feel alright several hours after the race, but we'll see how I feel in the morning.

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