Monday, March 19, 2012


   Arrived back home a few days ago feeling suprisingly NOT tired. 12000 miles plus the race all in a weekend....I think I need to slow down a bit.
     It was a great experience and now when people talk about the big races in America....I've done one. The Way to Cool 50k is traditionally known as the season opener in the U.S. so I guess I am now, officially, up and running. I was lucky in some respects in that the course was very dry and it was a lovely soft surface not like the rocks that I normally run on.
     My stats for the race were a mixed bag:- I did it in 7 hours and 5 mins (ie 7 k per hour) which was okay. I don't know if my first 30 k was too fast (10k per hour) and whether that affected my quads or not. Should I have paced myself better? I don't know. If I'd kept that pace up it would have been 5 hours but with the big climbs in the second part of the race that was never going to happen, but I do feel if my quads had held up longer then I could have done it much quicker. 704 people started the race and I came 605 th and in my age range (50-59) there were 151 runners and I came in at 120. There were 23 people who were 57 years old and I came 9th in this group. (The last person in the race came in at 8 hours and 47 mins !)  And of the 704, an amazing 278 were girls which is highly unusual  for me because in France you hardly ever see girls running ultra's and certainly not this many. They were also very good; I once read the reason for this is that they can take the pain because of  their experience of there you go. As I have said before I was not tired in any way, it was just the pain in my legs. From now until the next race most of my training will be all hill work so as to strengthen my quads
    The weather was perfect and the support and organisation, superb. The enthusiasm the Americans bring to these things is incredible, its very impressive even though its a bit odd to a Brit like me. I guess we are quite reserved as a nation but as I was the only international runner I thought it only right to join in with the general 'Let's rock' kind of attitude.
     Another thrill for me was meeting Gordy Ainsleigh; Who he? I hear you ask. Well, this is the guy who in 1974 pretty much invented modern day ultra running. Basically he was in a 100 mile horse race, 'The Tevis Cup', and just before the start his horse fell lame and so he decided to run the 100 mile course instead........and thats how it all began. And he ran the WTC 50 this year....and I beat him. Okay, to be fair he is 67 years old!
     Now to put things into perspective the guy who won, Gary Gellin,  did it in 3 hours and 27 minutes which is 14 k per hour (twice my speed). No, I can't get my head around it either. Imagine sprinting at the fastest speed you can go and then doing that speed non stop for 50 kilometres whilst climbing 6000 feet.........Not a lot to say really is there?
     During the week I went to see Helen so she could check me out. She gave my quads a bit of slightly painful physio but it did the trick and so I did a 12k cycle and a Tabata sprint the next day before attending Steve's funeral on Friday in England.
    Its fair to say that when I got back I was both mentally, physically and emotionally shattered. It had been a long week in every sense.
    On Sunday I decided to venture out and see how I was recovering. I did a one hour, 8 k run whilst climbing 1700 feet and all felt good apart from the odd twinge here and there. It can take anything from 2 to 4 weeks for your endocrine system to recover so I'll take it easy and have every other day off and/or mix it with some cross training.
    A girl on the plane asked me how much weight I'd lost during my run; when I told her that I didn't lose any and didn't expect to, she was shocked. I must repeat this mantra at least a few times per week but for those who don't know :- You have to do targeted exercise to burn fat and develop lean muscle mass but the best way to lose weight is in your eating choices. Again, its not how much you eat but what you eat.
     Having returned from America and England I am staggered by how FAT some people are. Sometimes it felt like I was walking through a dream haze unseen as I observed the food choices that people were making on a minute by minute basis. I know I'm on my soapbox here but it really isn't that difficult, it just takes a bit of discipline and a bit of knowledge. I probably eat 2 to 3 times what I used to and NO, I DON'T BURN IT OFF WHILST RUNNING, its just healthy, good, tasty, nutritious the odd croissant, which I think I can get away with, ( as long as I open up my Glut-4 receptors)
    No doubt I'll get a few angry emails saying the usual, 'Its easy for you because blah, blah, blah.' Oh well, whatever. I posted two video's from the race . If you can't view them here, then you can watch them on the right hand side of the page along with other vids. Toodleoo...

1 comment:

  1. Nice one, Phil,

    Good that you met the horse guy. Keep at it!