Running 40.48 miles in 8 hours isn't too bad, but it's not very good either. We had great weather for this event. Mostly overcast, and a high of only 80 degrees. There was some humidity in the air, but it could have been much worse. This was a potential high mileage year. Unfortunately, I wasn't ready. I should have been able to run 45+ miles. Maybe even break my personal record of 47 miles. Why did I barely break 40 miles instead of pushing close to 50? I didn't do the long runs. They matter. Let me repeat this important fact. Long runs really do matter. If you plan on running an ultramarathon, you must get in the long runs. My last long run was 8 weeks before the race. And it was only 13 miles long. No runs longer than 8 miles in the last 8 weeks. I needed multiple 15-20 mile runs in that time period. Oh well. Considering how under-trained I was, I'm proud of my effort. Knocked off 40 miles with most training runs in the 5-7 mile range.
So what happened during the 8-hour race? I ran well for about 4 hours, then things fell apart. I started having pain in my left foot and knee. My left calf was tight. I ran out of energy. Basically, I reached my limit, based on training. Poor training will only get you so far. For me, that was around 4 hours and about 23 miles. By the time I hit 5 hours, I was walking a lot. Whenever I tried to run, pain came back and lack of energy took over. It was a slow and sad last 3 hours. Still, walking will get you a lot of miles. Keep moving and you keep accumulating miles. I wanted to stop several times. Especially when I finished 10 loops (32.9 miles). In past years, when I felt bad and walked, I recovered. Not this year. Walking did not revive me. 6 hours, still bad. 7 hours, still bad. 8 hours, done. My only sense of pride is that I didn't give up. I went for the full 8 hours. No DNF for me! Also, at least I met my "B Goal" for this race. It would have been worse if I quit.
Positive take-aways from this year's race:
- No chaffing
- No blisters
- No quitting
- More long runs before the race
- More calories during the event
Updated statistics on my 13 Howl at the Moon races:
Total race mileage: 551.31
Average mileage: 42.41
Lowest mileage: 33.9 (2010)
Highest mileage: 47.06 (2006, 2008)
Best placing: 12th (2005)
Worst placing: 99th (2010)