Post Oak Triple 2019 Race Report

This last weekend I did the Post Oak Triple Challenge. This is a Friday, Saturday, Sunday set of three races where you get to pick your distance for each race. The options are 10K, Quarter, Half, 25K, Full, 50K with Friday and Sunday being the ‘mile’ distances and Saturday being the ‘metric’ options.

I’d signed up for this last March to take advantage of the price discounts and had chosen the Half, 25K, Half as my triple option. Frankly I didn’t know where I’d be in my ability to run long and at the time 42 miles in one weekend seemed like a decent challenge.

Because the races are ‘heavy’, i.e. they’re all longer than the standard distance it was actually closer to 44 miles for me.

Bunny because she doesn’t sign up early for races because Life gets in the way too often for her ended up last minute only doing the Full on Sunday.

I’d of loved to have done it with her but by Sunday morning I made the decision it was too much as there is a 24 Hour run coming up in 3 weeks that I wanted to be in decent shape for. As a result she now has a trail marathon up on me.

The course is a roller coaster type course with at least for my courses about 1500′ of gain over the half distances and 2000′ of gain over the 25K. The vertical wasn’t enough to be super significant under normal racing conditions but as with last year as I understand it, the course was about 75% inches deep mud. This made for very unstable footing for me and forced me to slow down to an almost crawl at times. Buried in the mud were also just enough rocks to make thoughts of tripping and smashing ones face in a thing.

The race was very well done especially given the circumstances of having so many different races and distances all occurring at the same time over the same base set of trails. The aid stations were well staffed with friendly people with what I’d call an okay selection of offerings. But you have to remember the longest race was a 50k so having a full buffet at every AS was simply not necessary.

The mud was fun…. the first 20 miles.

On Friday I maintained not a bad pace for me, especially under the circumstances of the mud but something odd around mile eight happened and it felt like my left calf had torn with some level 7 or 8 pain punching in with each step, especially the climbs. I hauled out my Paria poles and used those to help take some of the pressure off with each step. It was bad enough that I really questioned if I was going to be a DNS for the next day or at least if it would be the ‘smart’ thing to do. But while I’m pretty smart, I’m not always wise.

Friday’s ending was the oddest ending I’ve had in a race so far. We get to the finish line, technically about 100 yards away and we’re stopped and asked what distance we have. I had been wondering as I had 12.4 miles at this point and the race was billed as a 13.7 heavy half. We’re directed to basically ‘head out that way and do some laps until you get the distance’.

All righty then. I ended up doing 14 miles because I didn’t want to get back and get sent out again for being short. 🙂

Saturday with little sleep had me at the start line for the 25K. The route that had been fun the day before was just now a comedy of entertaining slips and slides with 2 falls, one of them left feeling like I was a hair away from popping my arm out of its socket due to the way I landed trying to catch myself. This pace took a big nose dive. The trail was just torn up from the day before with even the good parts now slippy and slidey.

Running on a slippery surface works all the muscles in your legs, your arms and shoulders tense up as you use them to balance yourself and it’s mentally fatiguing. I.E. it’s a really good workout / training and if it doesn’t’ kill you it makes you stronger.

There was no funny business with the end of this race, nor Sunday’s. There was the ‘Hill from Hell’ but honestly it’s a lot scarier sounding than reality is. I was expecting some 2000′ 60 degree slope or something but while it does have some slope to it it’s just not that long or that high.

On Sunday we basically did a kind of combination of the Friday and Saturday routes except part of it was backwards so no surprises. And thanks to there having been no rain for the last 24 hours the track wasn’t worse than it had been the day before for the most part. First couple of miles the mud was still half frozen from the sub freezing temps overnight but the sun came out and fixed that, turning it all back into mush again.

I was feeling the exertion by this time, the mud, the balancing act going up and down slippery slopes and general lack of sleep, not unusual for me but it certainly doesn’t help and while the pace was a little better than Saturday it wasn’t much better. And by this time I was tired of mud running after almost 30 miles of it going into Sunday.

So I was pretty happy to finally come around the ‘victory lap’ and cross over the finish line ending my Triple challenge.

We missed Bunny’s first lap finish by about 15 minutes, the full’s had a 30 minute head start on us so I went home, washed 20lbs of mud off my legs then went back out to wait on her to cross the finish line to put her medal around her neck.

Week 3 Road to 50 Status

This is the end of Week 3 of our Run Salty 50 Plan.   Our runs this week were

  • Monday – Core/Rest
  • Tuesday – 2K Double which is a 2K warm up, 2K sprint, 1K recover, 2K sprint, 1K recover, 2K cooldown (10K total)
  • Wednesday – 6K Slow
  • Thursday – 10K Hill Repeats (we did repeats for 70 minutes and then had to bail due to commitments) on Lipbuster at Turkey Mountain
  • Friday – Core/Rest
  • Saturday – 15K Easy
  • Sunday – 25K Easy
  • Total 37 Miles, less than scheduled due to the Hill Repeats on Thursday getting cut short.

I was doing okay up until today, Sunday.   I’ve been trying to run continuously lately even though we race Run/Walk style in varying schedules.  Today for whatever reason was pretty brutal.  The first 15K went okayish but the last 10K and especially the last 5K everything fell apart.   Blame it on dieting while trying to train, removing all but a smidge of carbs from diet, the heat and the last 10K being in full sun, or something else but whatever the cause it was just bad for me out there.

So we ran 40K this weekend, just shy of a marathon.

On the way home, like usual, I stopped to pick up some iced tea for myself and my non-running wife and a doughnut for my kids, just something I do after a long Sunday run.   While waiting in line I was hit with a bad case of nausea and almost lost the contents of my stomach, not that there was anything in it but water and possibly whatever remained of the 2 tablespoons of peanut butter I had around mile 7.   But a few deep breaths and frankly iron clad willpower to not throw up inside a store I escaped without making an ass of myself and kept things tightly wrapped till the feeling passed.

I also made the mistake today of assuming things were going to go well and didn’t bring any cold frozen water and out of ALL the public water fountains on our entire ‘street running turf’ which is comprised of about 20 miles of Riverside Trail and Creek Turnpike Trail, there is a single water fountain that is remotely cool and we didn’t reach it today.  All the rest are low pressure, ambient air temperature at best.   I’ll try to make that mistake less often.

This coming up week 4 is is a light week and I’m considering dropping the 6K on Wednesday to add some more recovery time in there.   Every 4th week I scaled back the mileage to be in the low 20’s.   Each week the mileage goes up by roughly 7-10% other than off weeks.

Right now I couldn’t walk a 50K much less run/walk one.   My Paradigm 3.0’s are just about shot and I’m only ‘okay’ with the Paradigm 4.0’s I’ve got.   They’re nothing special or earthshaking in terms for me personally.  My Lone Peak 3.5’s are still doing okay for trail and I have a pair of Altra Olympus 4’s coming in size 13 to replace the size 14’s that were just too big.   Once again you just can’t tell what size Altra to get until you’ve put them on your feet.  Some I’m a 13, some I’m a 14.

I’m hoping training gets better as the heat goes down and we have some down time next week.  Assuming the heat goes down.

But to say I’m not at least a little concerned about DFL / DNF on our scheduled 50’s would be a lie.  50K in Nov, 50M in February, 50K in April and somewhere in there I’ve already entered a triple, back to back to back Halves race that I forgot about.  Early registration and the discounts can result in some schedule chaos.

Lake McMurtry Trail Run 2018

Last weekend my #runningwife and I drove down to Stillwater Oklahoma in the crazy dark hours of the morning to do the 25K race at Lake McMurtry.   We left early as there was a chance of ice and snow on the trip and during the race but as it turned out we missed all that weather.  At least one person didn’t though as their car was covered with frozen moisture.

The 25K started later than we thought as well so bottom line is we spent a fair amount of time sitting around waiting for the race to start.  But at least we didn’t show up late?   #silverlining

The race went off without a hitch really at the race level.  The course was with only a single exception marked well.  There was one place where if you didn’t remember how you got somewhere, on the way back you could get confused as there was a lady in front of us who did exactly that but we kept her on track.

It was a double ‘lollipop’ race with us going out about 6-7 miles on one route which was pretty flat for the most part then returning to the start point and going out on the other route for the remainder 15 miles the route.  My Stryd measured right at 15.67 miles overall and we took a side trek for a pit stop when we got back after loop 1 which added that little bit extra so overall the course was spot on IMO.  The week before on a Half on a certified street course my Stryd measured 13.1x so I’m fairly confident the McMurtry race folks had their course measured right down to the foot.

The second loop introduced a little more elevation change but nothing life altering.  None of the route was technical to any degree and the trails were almost all single track dirt with a minimum of tripping hazards.   If you’ve run the Snake Run aka Pink Trail at Turkey Mountain reserve in Tulsa then it’s about that like that.   Easy route to set your brain on 50% and coast.

Each route had a very short section, 2 to 4 hundred yards of road surface, one gravel and one asphalt.

The weather was brisk for this year’s run “coldest we’ve ever had” as one of the race folks put it.  But thanks to all the trees the wind wasn’t an issue and I can run in pretty cold weather as long as it’s not super windy.

The scenery wasn’t awe inspiring if you grew up in Oklahoma, the usual mixed trees and shrubs with some open grass fields.  The route didn’t get to the lake as close as I would have thought, only a couple of places were we near the water and only a few could you see the lake.

Being it was so cold it seems like most of the folks who braved the weather were the more experience (i.e. good) runners which honestly has been my experience with Trail Running so far.  At least in a street race I end up usually in the top 50%, occasionally in the top 25% in terms of finishing times.  For trail runs I’m a back of the packer for sure of the crowds and races I’ve run finishing in the bottom 10% for all but the 3 Hour Snake run where I came in 3rd in my age group.

I believe trail running draws in dedicated runners, street running draws in a more casual crowd and as a result my #notarunner status shows up far more in trail running.

Overall we had a good time I believe on this run, I did anyway and I think if you’re a newer trail runner like myself and my #runningwife then this is certainly a good fit for you.