Monday, February 5, 2018

Sean O'Brien 100km Race Report

Race Report: Sean O'Brien 100k is one tough course that was made even tougher by the SoCal hot weather (high of 86F). My training for this race wasn't optimal - the smoke from Thomas fire in December forced me to curtail my mileage for several weeks. In addition to the fires, my hamstrings went through some "turbulent times" through out the training cycle, which started at the end of October after the Ventura Marathon. The good thing is that I know exactly what I need to do to keep my hamstring issues under control (lots of lunges, squats, and core work).

Sadie really wanted to run this race with me!
Climb, climb, climb!
Heating up out there.

The GOOD: In spite of this being my slowest 100km race ever, I am happy about many things that went well. My nutrition was super solid the whole day. I made a concerted effort to eat real food at every aid station (lesson learned from NOT doing that at AC100 in August). Real food supplemented with simple carbs (sports drink and chews/gels) kept my brain in the game all day long and I was able to keep a positive mindset all day in spite of the legs not being super cooperative. Heat: while it was hot for February, I felt that I was able to manage it well with the ice bandana and even though the exposed climbs in the middle of race were pretty miserable, the heat never got me to a point where the digestive system turned off. Hydration went well and I was able to keep the fluids running through me all day long. FEET: in spite of a stream crossing at mile 2, I had zero hot spots all day long (low humidity helped dry them out fairly quickly). Hamstrings: my hamstrings stayed healthy all day (thanks to a steady diet of lunges during the month January).
Sunset and heading downhill to the finish!

The BAD: I totally underestimated the difficulty of this course, especially the first 50k (over 8k feet of climbing in 1st 50k!). Given what I knew about my training leading up to the race, I should have ran the first 50km much more conservatively. Oops! This course will chew you up and spit you out if you aren't conservative early on, especially on a hot day. The final good thing about this race was that I got my 2019 Western States 100 qualifier out of the way!

The UGLY: At around mile 27 my left calf started cramping on me. This was the first sign that I had gone out too fast. The only time I cramp is when I go out too fast! Fortunately, I was prepared for cramps and took my HotShot anti-cramp juice and was able to keep the cramps at bay the rest of the day.