Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Interview Answers- Re LBL 50

So I was just email by TrailRunner! It made my day...They were asking about the LBL race and alerting me about my Trophy Series overall standing....

Here are my interview answers....

What was the course and scenery like?

The course at Land Between the Lakes is relatively mild for a trail race. It's all high quality singletrack, groomed for mountain bikes so the terrain is pretty smooth. There are many mileage options at the LBL trail runs, so the fact that the races are all run on the same 11 mile loop is cool. The course only has 4000' elevation gain over the 50 miler, so it is conducive to a fast race. With lakes Kentucky and Barkley on either side of the course, we had a great view and a gentle breeze. The scene is peaceful and quiet almost! The first half of the loop is flat, and I was tend to lost Zach Gingerich on that section as he was faster on the flats. the second half of the 11 mile loop is hilly, and that's when i would catch Zach, only to be passed on the flats again. It was cat and mouse! The weather this year was perfect too, No foot of snow to run through, no mud, etc! It was about 70 and sunny with minimal mud.

What was your training like for this race?

This was my 4th ultra in 5 months, and I felt like I was peaking well for this race. I was shooting hard for two goals; 1. win the race 2. set a new course record. LBL is about 3 hours away and I drove down on weekends to do training laps on the course, trying to beat the old record. My training laps had me running under a 6:40 50 mile time, (the old course record by Zach Gingerich), so I was hopeful to set a new course record. I also tried to balance this with the fact that LBL was not my "A" race for the season. I was running the Umstead 100 only 3 weeks after LBL, so I didn't want to cook myself at LBL. I was coming off of a win at a very hilly race in Louisville called Lovin' the Hills 50K, which has 14K' of elevation change and my mileage in the 4 weeks inbetween Lovin' the Hills in February and LBL in March held the biggest mileage of any month I have ran.

Were there any high or low points during the race that are particularly memorable for you?

High points definitely include catching Zach Gingerich and passing him. I obviously revered Zach from his past performances and was elated to be running with someone of his caliber, (and maybe even pushing him a tiny bit)! I was extatic to follow my splits each lap on my Garmin and see that i was 7 minutes faster than goal pace each lap for the first half. I really put myself through the ringer and slowed down the last lap, but only by a few minutes. At the end of the race there is an out and back and i saw Zach was only minutes ahead, (a close margin in a 50), and although I knew he would beat me, I killed myself to just "get as close as I could". -Doing that enabled me to break 6:30, which I didn't think I was capable of, even on a perfect day. I was unsure of how I felt about the race for a long time. I now know that I truly ran a good race and maybe the best race I've run to date. (I paid for it at Umstead though!) I pushed it pretty hard @ LBL and maybe was a little strung out from it. I felt good while racing, just not full of emotion...I usually like to be the one encouraging cheering on my fellow racers, and this race I did that, but not as much...I was a little more down to business...The emotions weren't overflowing like usual. I set out to just zone out and run as fast as possible? Sounds weird...I know....It just took a while to recover and gather my thoughts appropriately. You can't compare your race to that of another. The thing I love about Ultras is we're all out there doing the same thing, running an amazing distance. The camaraderie at LBL is always special. TO SUM IT UP; The race was much more special in hindsight than immediately after at the finish.

Oh, and Lapping my wife was pretty awesome! hahaha...Because I got to see her, not because I was lapping her! lol

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