Way Too Cool 50K – 2004

March 13, 2004

This is my 3rd Way Too Cool (in 3 years).  This has been a great opportunity for me to run a fantastic trail race… and also to visit my very favorite college friends on (or around) my birthday weekend.  Last Sunday was my 33rd birthday, and I ran part of the LA Marathon with some of my AREC friends (but did not plan to run the race as I had Cool this weekend).

Normally, at the start of Cool, you have this expectation that it will be about 40 degrees at the start, and then it will warm up to about 60 or 65 at the hottest part of the day.  I like to be able to see my breath at the start, because then I know that the level of coldness is just about right.  I can’t see my breath, and I don’t even feel cold.  That could be a bad omen for having a cool day at Cool.

I feel like I am doing pretty well in the beginning.  My calves and quads feel OK, no tightness, and pace is around 11:30/mile.

At mile 15 (near the first time through the large water crossing aid station), I started to feel a bit overheated.  By about 11am, the temperature had soared to about 77 degrees.  While this is not a super-hot temperature, it is hot enough when you are trying to complete a 31-mile race.

I was worried about finishing, so I took it fairly easy to the end, walking all of the flats and uphills (but walking briskly).

On Ball Bearing Hill (700′ gain, 0.7 mile distance), I still managed about 15 minutes (which is fast for NOT running).

Despite a number of good results in my 10Ks and 5Ks this year, I did not improve upon my Cool course best of 6:24:35 in 2002; I ran 6:44:55.

For me, the great result at this year’s event, was not getting any cramps.  Getting through a race without suffering any cramps is almost better than achieving a personal best.  I am also happy with my time and physical prowess given that my weekly mileage preceding Way Too Cool was 28.6 miles.  The total of 59.6 miles for the week was my 2nd highest total ever.

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