Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Pineland Farms 25k Race Review

Let me start off by saying that the race directors for the Pineland Farms Trail Festival really put on a tremendous event.  They have paid attention to all of the details and really make it one of the "go to" events in New England.  It's about 20-25 minutes north of Portland, Maine.  I absolutely love Portland, but sadly haven't had the chance to get up there for many a year.  So it was a great opportunity to combine the race and the long Memorial Day weekend into a nice mini get away for Laura and I.

It was a beautiful weekend as we went up Saturday.  We had arrived in the area too early to check in so we went right up to the course to register for the race.  Saturday was the race day for the shorter events and the Canicross.  I was totally blown away when I saw that the winner of the Canicross event finished in sub-6 minute pace.  Now I know it's only a 5k, but they're running with a dog on a leash no less!

Anyway, so Sunday comes around and the weather is beautiful.  Low 60's to start but it warms up to mid-70's by race time with not a cloud in the sky.  The 25k goes on a really nice course. Actually the 50k is 2 loops and the 50m is 3 loops with a slightly longer first loop to start.  The course is kind of unrelenting in that the roller coaster hills just dont stop and when out in the fields the side to side slanting makes it a bit tough at times. I set myself up near the back to start as I didnt want to go out to fast as they said the first 5k was downhill. I went out at a good pace and kept checking the garmin to make sure I stayed fairly steady. As I said the weather was beautiful but the sun was really bright when out of the woods.  Being cooler in the start I decided to wear a long sleeve wicking shirt.  In hindsight, maybe the long sleeve wasnt too wise.

About 4 or 5 miles out my right calf started cramping. The rolling hills helped a bit for me to be able to stretch it out, but by the 9 mile mark I realized that I had fallen way behind on staying hydrated. I started drinking what I could (another hindsight mistake was not bringing the hydration vest) and eating anything salty I could get at the aid stations (potatoes/pretzels/pickles) but with only 10k to go, I knew I was doing it to hold me over that I wouldnt be out there long enough to recover completely.

At one point at one of the last aid stations I was getting pretty lightheaded, so I sat for 15 seconds or so til it subsided; as there were just 3 miles to go and I knew I could finish this off. The legs for the most part felt great, and up until that last aid stations my pace was good.  I wasnt winded, I was just having a hard time focusing and at the finish, everything I saw was really bright and twinkling. It was a tough go near the end. Felt really weird when I finished, thank God Laura was around and taking care of me. Sat down for a bit, drank anything and everything I could get my hands on (I have a new love of chocolate muscle milk), and after a while we grabbed something to eat and I eventually felt ok. Chalk it up to a learning experience as I do sweat alot but I have never had issues like this with hydration before.  In the first day or so I was questioning what I should do and if my goals were too optimistic.  But last night and today I really have been realizing that it was a hydration issue, and that I could really have done well had I been able to stay hydrated.  Best to learn this during a shorter controlled environment with Laura around to help me.

So back to the trails I go.  After the next two weeks my basketballcoaching stint is over, and can commit the time needed.  I may pick up a few basketball ref'ing assignments to put a little cash in my pocket.  But I cant wait to lace up the Salomons.  Thanks for reading and Be Well ~ Sank

1 comment:

  1. i agree with you on the slanting fields, the sweating (wow did it get hot!) and not fueling enough. way to finish though!!