Friday, September 6, 2013

50 Milers Never Felt Better!!!---Virgil Crest Ultra Build-up

We are now into the month of September and it is time for the leaves to fall, for us to get ourselves ready for football, nachos and cheese, and our fall selection of races! 
My first race coming up will be the Virgil Crest Ultra 50 Miler.  This race holds a special place in my heart as I have run and trained through the trails that will be run in the race numerous times.  This is my hometown ultra race. It is really cool to be representing Mammut, Acidotic Racing, Fits Socks, Dion Snowshoes, and of course Karhu/Craft at this season's races.  The race has 10 thousand feet of elevation gain and loss on the tough Finger Lakes Trail which has a signature "toughness" to it.  Ontop of that, runner will swing to the top of a couple summits of Greek Peak Ski Resort around miles 15-18. The infamous "Alpine Loop" looks like it will be a sure challenge! Running up 25% grades seems like something I have encountered a bunch in my training for this event and I am excited to finally get out there and race an ultra again.  I have not run an ultra since June and I think that it is time for me to put my best effort out there.

My Trusty Mammut MTR 201 Shoes!!!  And My Fits Trail Socks (Cushioned)

Training:  Simulation Run Through Greek Peak

The run had me start a wet humid day at the Adventure center at Greek Peak.  I started the run by sprinting up the steep Hercules lift section up to the peak of the ski hill.  I then slogged through the mud and proceeded to run on seasonal maintenance trails through the top of the mountain and towards the connection with the Finger Lakes Trail. 

The mist was wild and crazy as I was still amongst the clouds.  I continued to push the pace as I made my way through the steep, slippery and technical trail sections and headed towards the Rock Pile.  The pace was not quick because of the muddy sections but I managed a solid effort.  Once I had crossed near Daisy Hollow, the turn-around point in the VCU 50 mile, I headed back on the trail.  The heat of the day was creeping on myself.  It was getting hot and my handheld was about 5 ounces from being drained.  I bathed myself in every creek crossing  I could find to cool myself off in the humid mid 80 degree morning by 11am.  On the way back, I had entered a rhythm where I was running smooth and strong.  I hit the top of the ski slopes again only to find myself with the sun out and above the clouds. I flew down the slopes back to my car.  It was a lovely training effort and great simulation for the race in a few weeks.  I enjoyed being able to run through all the high creeks, and mud that slowed my pace down a great amount.  I hope for race-day that I will not be running through muck for 50 miles like in the Cayuga Trails 50.  I feel very fit and I look forward to testing my strength with climbing some of the steep course that makes the Virgil Crest the hardest ultra on the East!  Below are the photos I snapped of the occurrence.

Top of the slope looking down into the clouds

Fresh layer of clouds

Reminds me of a jungle

Finished a nice hot run.  25 miles in 3:47
I am wearing my Mammut MTR race shirt, my Acidotic Race Visor, and a Nathan HPL # 28 Minimalist  Vest.

After the Virgil Crest Ultra, I have about 3.5 weeks to rest and taper for the Can Lake 50. This race is an ultra road race where a 6:19 course record stands between myself and history. I will be racing in my Craft apparel and the new GREEN Karhu Flow Trainer pictured below.  If Virgil Crest goes well, I feel that I will have no problem racing the Can-lake.  From what I have been told, I will probably be out running alone with myself, the course and the lake.  I look forward to finding that peace with the lake and to enjoy a 6 hour running experience!  Some of the new Karhu footwear looks great and I am excited about wearing the shoes for the Can-Lake Race!

Can Lake 50 Race Projections and Racing in Karhu/Craft!

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