Sunday, May 15, 2011

A Big Horse's day at Ice Age 50

I was really looking forward to Ice Age 50 miler - It was a great chance to enjoy the day on good trails, followed by great beer with friends.  Friday started off nicely as I got to the hotel early enough to drive over to packet pickup and have dinner with my friend Jen for Chicago.

I came into Ice Age in decent shape, but with my weight @ 220# I thought I was in 7:45 to 8:00 shape.  The morning temp was 50F with overcast skies.  The air was heavy with moisture, with the constant threat of rain.    It was a great chance to practice eating a lot of calories while running for my 24 hour race training.  My goal was 500 calories per hour.  I did not use drop bags, so I carried 7 baggies of endurox R4 at 300 calories per bag, 17 powerbar gels + 20 s-caps.  I wore a 70 ounce camelback and carried a handheld to mix the endurox into.  My plan was to try and go out a little more aggressive and see how I felt after the 1st 10 miles.

From the start I was running with a couple of friends (Mike & Joe) from  I was going the pace I wanted, but it I knew it was way too fast.  By mile # 12 my legs were burning and I knew I would pay the price the rest of the race.  By mile #13 I decided to put it in cruise control to recover while I ran and was just shooting for a sub 8:00.  This part of the race would have been a grind, but I ran with Mike until the 37 mile aide station, so time moved quickly.  He has such a quiet stride, many times I forgot hew wa there until he said something.  When we hit mile # 37 Robert Wehner (RD for Glacial 50) yelled out something about 13 miles and how much time I had to break 8 (I think).  I love Robert as he is always positive and supportive.  This snapped me off cruise control, Mike stopped for his drop bag and I increased my effort level and was soon running alone. 

At the mile 40 turnaround I felt the best I had felt all day.  I knew sub 8 was in the bag and it was hammer time.  I love the last 10 miles of a 50 when you have taken care of you legs (Sort of) nutrition, hydration and electrolytes and you get to attack the course.  The last 10 miles were a blur and I was in 1-1 breathing the whole way.  I ended up under 90 minutes (9:00 pace) for the 9.8 miles - but the sensation was more like a 6 minute mile tempo run.

I ended up with 7:47 for 12 OA and 2nd in the 40-44 age group.  Mike had went a bit of course, but still managed his 1st ultra in 8:10 - Nice work Mike.  If I had run 4-5 minutes slower the 1st 10 miles, I think I could have matched my 7:37 from 2008, but could of, should of, didn't!  All in all I had a great time.

I had a near perfect day of consuming calories and ended up with 500 each hour.  1 S-Cap every 30 minutes.  I drank 130 ounces of water and another100+ ounces of water with the endurox.

Post race was a blast and I easily met my beer goal for the day.  Hanging out with new and old friends drinking good beer - I really love this race (and post race)!


  1. Congrats DB. Thanks for the write-up.

  2. You really held me in suspense regarding the beer goal through this entire report!
    Congrats on a great day on the trail, and a great last 10 miles!

  3. Congrats Mike on a successful race by all accounts

  4. Thanks Andy, Nwgdc and Richard

    I learned I am not in great shape or bad shape - I went out 4-5 minutes too fast in the 1st 9 miles - But I wanted to try and be a bit more agrressive. I would guess that cost me 15-20 minutes the next 30 miles.

    It is just nice to do a race - Next up Grandmas

  5. Great race! You didn't have to worry about slipping to 3rd in your age group because that was me, and I was 37 minutes behind you! Congrats!

    And, yes, the beer was good indeed :-)

  6. Yes the real prize was the beer and fun after the race. Congrats on the AG award!


  7. Nice race Mike! In fine form as usual. This one I'll have to do.

  8. Thanks Craig - I will be back in 2011 unless I am still looking for a 24 hour qualifying distance ... Then I will ne in New Jersey that weekend.