Monday, March 29, 2010

Hell's Hills 50K/50M Preview

Maybe I'm just delirious after working all weekend in the ER, but let me put a little pressure on myself.

I don't know who plans on showing up on Saturday. But they had better bring their A game, if they want to keep up with me. I feel fast and rested. I have run a marathon or farther in practice three times this winter, every time finishing by running sub-6 minute miles for the last few miles. My recent 10K in 34:50 off of no speedwork felt good.

The course recors is 3:50, which sounds slow. However, the route is hilly and technical, so the record may be pretty legitimate. Well, I googled the guy who holds the record (and has run within minutes of this time twice). He is a little slower than me in a marathon and much slower in a half-marathon. That may not mean much, but, honestly, I am hoping to break the CR.

Strategy and tactics, you ask? Me sticking with the lead group for the first half or so, then turning on the iPod and taking off. If someone starts out really fast, I will have to let him go, since I plan on using the first few miles to warm up. If it's super slow, I could decide to go it alone before the halfway mark.

If someone feels faster than me, I'm going to hang on for dear life. Lt me make it official: no sandbagging this time. I shall go down figthing!

In case it's not apparent, I'm PUMPED!

The Girl is running the 50 miler and her race is going to be exciting to watch from the sidelines. She starts an hour before me, so I'll probably pass her and get a chance to see where her competition is at. In the last few weeks, a few fast women have signed up. I forget the name of the female winner at Rocky Raccoon, but she will be there as a clear favorite.

However, the edge-of-your-seat showdown will be the Girl vs Juliet Morgan of California.

Juliet beat the Girl at Angel Island 50K two summers ago in a way the Girl will never forget. The Girl was leading by 10 minutes at the halway point and famously stated that it felt super easy and that she wa going to win. It sure looked like it, too, but the Girl forgot to eat and completely blew up. Aftr some 35K, she looked like she was going to pass out and moved more sideways than forward. She had to walk the last few loops and got passed by a wiser, more experienced Juliet Morgan.

Honestly, though, if the Girl doesn't do something stupid this time around, she should win this contest hands down. Then there is Olga (I would link but everyone knows Olga), whose coach is having her do speedwork and take easy days. She recently won a 50 miler, sleep-deprived and hallucinating. That contest may be close. I expect the Girl to build a healthy lead, but Olga may catch up with her famous Russian power-walking towards the end.

Of course there may be other women there, who could be faster than the ladies mentioned above.

Race report should be up on Sunday - expect lots of pictures!

6 comments:

Danni said...

Good luck!

olga said...

Thanks for heads up on Juliet - had no clue who that was. Liza Howard is the girl who will gung for even potential overall win, forget female (she doesn't race female, not here anyway - and we're talking about her training run right now). For your guys information, apparently I learnt that the course has neither much elevation change nor technicality, so the Girl should fly easily. Some roots, some loose rocks, but nothing to be feared of. Some sharp turns. Pretty flat, what is NOT my cup of tea, at all. No out-power-walking at the end:) And no other women to speak of, unless we both missed on names.
As for 50k guys - unfortunately, I am no help, it's too short of a distance for me to keep track with folks' results. They come from marathon background, and I don't know those. I can predict 50M line-up pretty close though:)

SteveQ said...

My money's on Liza, too.

Best of luck in the 50K. If a race called Hell's Hills is actually flat, as Olga says, you should get that CR.

SteveQ said...

Okay, since you asked, I'll post on what to eat during an ultra, though I go against what everyone else does and I'm not exactly successful.

SteveQ said...

Just heard... Hell's Hills is a TOUGH course.

For what it's worth, I posted on fueling during ultras.

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