Monday, November 19, 2012

Race Report: Bills Badass 50k

This was a tremendously fun event. There are two aspects to the event that stand out for me.

ONE: Outrun Cancer / No One Fights Alone

One of our Outrun Team members, Mike Shaughnessy was diagnosed with cancer this year. His outlook is good and his attitude is better. His attitude at facing this is not unlike the ultra mentality that he has. As a matter of opinion, I think that the ultra mentality is key. Ultras are tough, they last a long ass time, they hurt, but if you do the work, deal with the ups and downs, you can complete it. His results don't lie, he's a very strong runner which means he is a very strong person. Brooke put together a special order of shirts that became a flood of red on the BBA50k course this weekend. Mike's wife Beth completed her first 50k and there was a reciprocal inspiration going on at the race at many levels.

It was simply outstanding.

Mike in the middle (white montrail hat)


BBA50K run report: I've been battling shoes for a few months now trying to get the right size Altra. I literally picked up my Altra Superior from Fleet Feet on Friday afternoon. They are soft and ready to run out of the box, but I have never just pulled out a pair and at least gone for a short run in new shoes before a race. I played with the cushion in them and ended up with an orange pair of Superfeet insoles.

Anyhow, my goal was to hurt most of the run....try to go out s/w fast and see if I can hang in with the ups & downs and try to push when it was going to hurt. I did think that I was capable of a sub-5 hr 50k if I wanted it bad enough.

The day was gorgeous and from the beginning, I was running behind Brad Polman (in front/black). I just ran my pace, stayed steady on the hills and tried to gain a little time on the downhills. The shoes were working well and I felt good, but a lot can happen in just 31 miles. Somewhere on the second lap, Radames caught up to me and we ran together for quite some time. He was chasing Mike & Beth who had started early. Rad was running strong and had he been running the race to race it, I am sure he would have been top 3. We plugged along at a pretty good pace; I stopped a couple of times to fiddle with my shoelaces until I got them dialed in while Rad crept away from me...I think somewhere around mile 15 at the AS, I must have passed him while he was in the porto but I thought he had decided to race and I was still fighting for 3rd.

Rad & I with leader Brad in the backgound.
Trying to hold him back...

Things were good, I could see the bright green of George Themalis in the close background where he had been for quite some time. George is strong & steady and I knew that I would degrade just hopefully not enough for him to catch me.....He passed me at the AS just before the 5th loop (20-25). I wasn't being slow about it, but he came in, rounded the post and kept running. I had seen Brad on the way in and thought that I still had a chance to catch if they slowed....11 miles to go and I wasn't sure who was behind me, or how Brad & George were feeling.

I maintained relatively well and tried to make sure that I hurt and tried not to relax...My splits were starting to slow slightly but not too bad. 

Somewhere around mile 20.

Laurie Colon was out on the course taking photos (thank you!!) and kept me informed of where George was and if anyone was behind me....all I had to do was hang on, not slow down and I would keep 3rd place. I wasn't going to be sub 5 today, but a good race nonetheless. Coming into the last mile, it's a great feeling knowing that all you have to do is run up a steep hill, grab some candy and bomb down for the finish. As I was about 1/2 way up the hill I heard someone yell "IF YOU RUN FAST, YOU CAN CATCH ZACK!!" I looked down to see someone coming across the road.....sorry, but there was no damn way that I was going to lose my spot after working all day for this....not in the last half mile. I picked up the pace to near vomit level, got my candy and hammered down. It wasn't the time I wanted, but it was what I ran....I was really happy to take 3rd with a 5:19. Brad & George were solid alllllll day and I have still a lot to learn. I think the lesson at the race was that I need to up the pain level for faster results, simple as that. 

Wild Bill & Chef Bill make a VERY entertaining, fun, & challenging race. There were no straight answers, there are many rules referred to but I think they are mostly made up. You're either a candy-ass or a bad-ass, I was the former, now the latter but I think that can change from year to year. We got hand-stamped dog tags at the end which was awesome. I also managed to win a free pair of shoes from Fleet Feet (YES!!!!!).  Big congrats to all the BA's out there....
Founding Badasses: Chef Bill (L), Wild Bill (R)
Chef Bill (top of heads)

Garmin 910 stats

I don't have any more races on the schedule at the moment which is odd for me. There are some snowshoe races that I am planning on running in and directing one. I also plan to do at least one 50k snowshoe event (solo or with peeps) and then the O24 (directing) in April. 

The plans have turned to 2013 and I have some ideas but no actual registrations yet. In the meantime, I've been working on building up a singlespeed mtn bike and doing a lot of insanity/crossfit workouts with running thrown in.

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