Saturday, December 17, 2011

Pullman 50k

The sun slowly ascended and finally peeked over the horizon when I arrived in Pullman this morning. I had signed up to run the Pullman 50k hosted by Scott McMurtry and Sadie the ultra dog. The cold wind had me shaking as I signed in. I quickly put on my running pants, jacket, hat and gloves to help stay warm as we waited for the start. The run follows a 7.75-mile loop which passed by the parking lot we started at so our vehicles could be our food/drink stops. Eric, a friend and longtime cycling commuter, was also there. He and I ran together for the first lap. While the pace felt comfortable enough, I suspected I was going faster than I intended. Since there were no mile markers we had no idea what our pace was until we finished the lap. 67 minutes. I was planning on 80 so I needed to back off a bit.

The route followed a bike path that was frosted for almost the entire way. The frost kept pace with the shade, receding to the edge of the asphalt path as the warming sun rose. I shed my running pants, hat and gloves after the first lap and traded my jacket for another shirt. I wore the second shirt during the parts of the course where the headwind was the worst. When I didn't need it I tucked it through my belt.

I let Eric go on ahead during the second lap and yet I still finished it in 73 minutes. For a change of pace and scenery, I ran the course in the opposite direction for the third lap. I got to say hi to all the 25k runners who started at 10:00 as well as see how all the other 50k runners were doing. A little over half way I developed a cramp in my left arch so I slowed down and tried to relax. It eased off after a couple of miles but then I started having sharp pains in my lower abdomen. It was strange because although it was in the area where I had a hernia repaired a year ago, I don't have a hernia. I finished the third lap in 80 minutes which was right on the pace I wanted.

Then I headed out for lap number four. I wasn't feeling well so I took it real easy and slow, waiting to see if the pain would go away. It didn't so after a mile I decided I would not enjoy another six-plus miles of that and turned back around. My total for the day was a little over 25 miles, well shy of the planned 31 but I'm happy with the decision I made.

I signed out and wrote down my time for three laps and headed over to the Palouse Falls Brewing Company for pizza and beer with the other runners. While there I got to meet Scott and several others, some of whom are with the running club sponsored by the brewery--the Beer Chasers. A very friendly and welcoming group. And the beer was great which made me feel even better about my decision to stop. I might do this one again. It's worth it alone for the beer and company.

50k runners just before their hours of suffering begin.


gp1970 said...

Great job Hank! Who could argue with 25 miles followed by beer?

Hank Greer said...

Thanks, Greg. No argument there at all.