Back to the title, this was a new event for me. I had heard about MadCity 100K a couple of years ago and was intrigued by such a city weird enough to call itself... mad! As I was working on the logistic and planning for 2015, I learned that this was Madison in Wisconsin. I must admit that, not being born in the US, I'm still quite far behind with my US geography, although I have probably visited more places, cities and states in the US than most average American. Anyway, I had also heard about amazing performance ran on this course so I was excited to see how fast I could run 100K on a course flatter than our local Ruth Anderson loop at Lake Merced in San Francisco (the race is next week!).
After 110 ultra races since 2006, my goals have evolved:
- Finish? Indeed, there was a time where just finishing was the main goal but not anymore. At some point, I even made a point of not DNF'ing, like when I walked 2/3 of the course at American River 2008 with severe exercise-induced asthma, but, although I still don't like their bitterness, I learned to accept DNFs since then (6 so far). So, no, I didn't come to MadCity just to finish.
- Winning a national title? That was really cool when I got my first one last year (Caumsett 2014) but I learned since then that many of these events aren't so well attended by the elite so it's not much of a benchmark, especially with the many 5-year age groups above 40.
- Running a PR on that distance? 7 of the 10 100K I ran so far have been Miwok which is a very hilly course. My PR is 7:51:08 at Ruth Anderson which is a rolling course and I was pretty certain I could do better than that.
- Winning the Master division? That was a surprise at the Caumsett 50K Championships last month but, no, that wasn't a goal, I knew Kevin Grabowski, a local runner whom I met at Desert Solstice in December, would take care of that (he is 46).
- Bill Dodson, the Chair of our Pacific Association Ultra Grand Prix. Bill turned 80 at Caumsett and was here to set a new Age Group record, lowering the current 17 hours and 39 (he had a healthy 10-hour buffer compared the AG record I was after...)
- Kevin Grabowski (see above)
- and Mike Bialick whom I had also met at the invitational Desert Solstice in December. Mike was shooting for 100 miles under 13 hours and passed us quite a few times on the track!
7:04 but one more lap to go for me (photo credit Karl Leas):
Now, with such a slow time (7:57:05) there wasn't much glory in all this. Most of the 100K elite weren't here because they had either already qualified at the World last year (team win), racing at the World 24-hour Championship in Torino, Italy, this weekend, or Lake Sonoma 50-mile in California this Saturday, to name a few events and excuses. But I was still quite pleased with the hardware from the USATF folks as well as Tomi and his team, in particular the sumptuous crystal vase:
- No cramps this time! Seems like American River 50 provided some good training! I also doubled on my Magnesium supplement on race morning in case.
- No trace of injury! Seems like the 3-week rest in March took care of that, short of getting enough training miles.
- Still quite an accomplishment! Another ultra finish, breaking 8 hours for 100K, a good training and learning experience for another attempt, 5th Men, 1st Masters, a 4th national title out of 5 championship participations, a very nice crystal vase, some prize money, perfect weather, ... what to complain about, really??!!
- Completely missed my goal
- GI issue I need to better understand to prevent
- Lack of sleep
- Too much nervousness (I'm getting better at controlling it, but still...)
- Irritation (hotel noise) as a derailment factor
- Slightly too fast pace (6 to 8 seconds/mile)
- Lost time with refills (no crew/crewless or screwed as Mark Tanaka says)
- Insufficient water intake (20 oz/30 miles instead of 15 miles, and it was hot my mid day)
- Overall, likely too much assurance and self-confidence going into the race