Health & Fitness.

Dizzy Round Two

Saturday is my second go at the Dizzy 50s 50K. This was my first 50K last year and I chose it for two main reasons:

1) Loops that circle back to the same place where you can set up your own aid
2) Only a few technical/unrunable parts.

The graphic above shows the basic course when we do THREE TIMES. We do a small 2’ish mile loop at the beginning to bring the total to 5K, but it’s basically that Figure 8 three times allowing for stops at the pavilion every hour or so. This means you can bring your own fuel/fluids (even though they do have stuff at the pavilion for you) and you barely have to carry a water bottle. There’s even a real bathroom at the pavilion. This is a GREAT 50K for first-timers on the mountain as it uses the simplest trails and allows you to bring your own aid and not have to rely on what the race provides.

Training last year I hated the North Loop because the steep downhill scared the shit out of me and the steep uphill seemed SOOOO long and I couldn’t run any of it. I loved the South Loop because it was easy! I could run the whole thing!

Then came the day of the race and on that second South Loop? My feelings changed DRASTICALLY. It’s SOOOOOO boring. There’s parts of the bike trail that just zig-zag back and forth and you feel like you’re doing the same trail over and over again. The gravel road seems like it’s at least 5 miles long. I hit rock bottom on that loop and all I could think was Shit. And I have to do it ONE MORE TIME before I’m done.

Partly due to that experience and partly due to my EXTREME improvement running downhill, I have switched my views entirely this year. I now love the North Loop. I still can’t run much of the uphill, but I’m killing Cold Springs which is the downhill part of the course. And the in-between parts aren’t too bad, giving enough turns/surface changes that you can keep your mind moving forward without thinking about the miles.

But that South Loop? OH MY GOD. That 2.5-3 miles of bike trail feels like a marathon every time. Most people complain more about the gravel road part. And don’t get me wrong…I hate that part too…but I hate the Bucca Bike Trail MUCH more.

So. Saturday is the big day. Again. I’m hoping to be more prepared mentally so that I can brace myself for that crash in the middle. I’m in a tiny bit better shape because I was coming off my 6 week hiatus last year from my pregnancy-uterine blood clot-miscarriage-D&C fiasco. I still trained well last year, but I only did 2 20-milers and this year I did 2 and then one marathon as well. I also know a little bit more this year about how to manage it all.

I did it in 7:40 last year and my biggest issue was the aid stops. I would be SO happy to see people (especially friends) that I would stop and talk while I was getting my aid together. Maybe I was pouring Gatorade into my water bottle, maybe I was pouring water. Maybe I was opening an Uncrustable, maybe getting a Honey Stinger Chew. Either way, while I got my aid I would chat it up with other racers/spectators. This probably added a good 15 minutes on to my total time because you hit that pavilion 6 times. So, this time I’m going to have several bottles already pre-mixed, snacks ready to go, so I don’t have to stop forward motion. I can just grab and go.

I will also save some time being able to run Cold Springs. One of my running idols here, a 70-year old trail runner, KILLED the downhills last year. I watched him in envy. He would joke, “Don’t worry, you’ll catch me on the uphills…” and I sort of did, but he still beat me overall. I’m hoping if I can run the downhills and keep my aid stops shorter, that I can improve on my 7:40 time. If I hit close to 7 hours? I’ll be a happy girl.

So! That’s what I’m doing Saturday! Running 31 miles on Uncrustables and Gatorade. What are your plans?

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