Saturday, June 20, 2015

San Francisco 50 Mile (by Coastal Trail Runs) 2015 Race Report

Having recently picked up my first DNF at the Canyons 100K (ugh) and with my focus on the Tahoe Rim Trail 100 mile (woohoo!) I wanted to run the San Francisco 50 miler pretty hard but still conservatively. I have never broken 10 hrs in a 50M before and I was thinking it may be possible here.

Going into the race, I was feeling strong and knew I was getting into pretty good shape. The DNF at the Canyons woke me up. I took hard look at my life, training and what I wanted to do running-wise this year vs fitting it into my life. I knew I was taking the TRT100 too lightly up until that point. I ultimately decided to bear down, work more vert into my training and get after that "hundo"! 

The San Francisco 50 Miler is in my backyard so I was able to get a good night sleep in my own bed and make my way to the race casually in the morning. Although, i might have been a bit too casual as I missed the start by about 1:30! Ha! Coastal Trail Runs are pretty relaxed so it wasn't a big deal and it actually was a nice feeling to start the race in last place and just focus on running based on effort. 

I settled into a comfortable pace for the first 7-10ish miles. I know this course very well so I had a pretty clear picture of where/when I wanted to crank down or let up on the pace. I caught up with a bunch of people pretty quickly and settled into the middle of the pack by mile 7. I started to push a little harder running down Marincello into Tennessee Valley but kept in mind the long way we still had to go. I was hoping to hang around this pace until the turn around at Stinson Beach.

From Tennessee Valley to Stinson Beach I caught quite a few people and felt great on the downhills. I was running based on effort which was still a comfortable push. I was a little discouraged at a few points just before descending Steep Ravine to Stinson Beach because I seemed to be on 10hr pace and I didn't think I would be able to speed up and remain comfortable.

My plan for the second half was to remain in control but push consistently harder than the first half. I noticed that my downhill running has greatly improved this year and I was able to push the pace a bit on all the downhills all the way into the finish. After the first big descent of the second half I was on sub 10 hour pace and feeling strong. I cruised into Muir Beach aid station ready for the steep climb and the awesome single track of Coastal! The climb up the stairs just past Pirate's Cove is always a grind but I was sure to keep pressing forward while conserving energy for the last very-runnable 8 or 9 miles. I was steadily picking people off until the finish and ended up in 12th in 9:37 (*interesting to see in the Strava deets below that I wasted 20 min+ in aid stations and 1 bathroom stop, i'll have to work on that!). A 50 mile PR!! I was running in Altra Lone Peak which are my favorite shoes (especially the 2.5's). I fueled mainly on GU Roctane Lemonade flavor, some Thermolyte MetaSalt tabs and a steadily-half-full hydration pack w h2o only. I also used a few bottles of Skratch in the bottle I carried along.

me at the finish...

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