Friday, February 15, 2008

Rocky Raccoon 100 Pacer Report

Gabe's Pacer Mark Stovall. His first time pacing a 100 he did a great job!
KC Trail Nerd A.S. Stacey Amos and Tiff with S.L.U.G. Carey Smith
3rd loop 174 A.S. mile 57 John looking unbreakable
yet another self portrait mile 70ish
4th loop around mile 70
John King 100 Miles 20:48
Nice Brim!!!
Bad Ben
(sleeping off Chafe Fest 2008)

The Big Guy
(the morning after)
Gabe's crew chief and wife Tiff
(the morning after)
Gary Henry
Race Director Joe Prusitis at the awards ceremony
John and his wife Stacey


John and Gabe both had excellent races at RR100 throwing down some fast times. Gabe has come a long way in a short time. His fitness and nutrition discipline was rewarded with an amazing 19:33 PR finish. Mark Stovall and I flew to Dallas then drove 3 hrs to Huntsville State Park. This was Mark's first time pacing a 100 and he was a little nervous. As soon as we got there we quickly changed into running gear and met up with the KC Trail Nerds who had set up their own aid station at the start/finish in support of runners Bad Ben, Kyle Amos, Tony Clark, Gary Henry, Gabe Bevan, and John King.

It turned out that John and Gabe were way ahead of schedule. From the start/finish area we walked about .5 mile to the site 174 aid station (mile 57) to get some pics and see our runners, but Gabe had already gone through so Mark had to sprint back to the start/finish to catch him . John was feeling great at the start of his 4th loop (mile 60) so we set off at a comfortable pace. I have run this race twice and this would be my third time pacing at 100-mile race. I felt confident that if anything went wrong, John and I could manage it. Most of the time I would be in the lead. For most of the fourth loop we would run 20 min and then walk for about 60 seconds. I wanted to keep John somewhat fresh for his final 5th loop. Since John was on a great pace I was anxious to try and catch up with Gabe. When we would get to an aid station I would look up Gabe's time and see if he was slowing down. He never slowed down! Then I saw him on the out-and-back section to Far Side A.S. looking mean and bombproof. "Sorry John were not gonna catch The Big Guy," I said.

LOOP 5

Quick shirt and shoe change and we were off on the final loop. John was starting to feel the miles, but he was still running good. As soon as we would get within sight of an aid station I'd ask John what he needed. When we would get to A.S., I'd grab food, fill his water bottle, and we would take off in seconds. Once I got caught up helping the overloaded volunteers and had to sprint to catch up with John. We were doing 1-mile intervals with about 90 sec of walking mixed in, until we got to the Dam Road A.S., mile 92.7. I looked at him and said "John a 21-hr finish would be a great time , but 20-hr finish is even better. We gotta run hard and we gotta run everything including the hills." I made sure John went through an awesome experience that last 7 miles. We hit the last A.S. Site 174 (97.1) with a marginal cushion of time John was getting more and more fatigued and had an IT band that was acting up. We made the final turn to the long straightaway to the finish line and John took off for a sprint finish 20:48. Outstanding! I'm pretty sure John's got some sled dog in his genetics because he can run his legs off and never complain--and do it all with a smile on his face!

TRAINING-principles of progressive (agressive) overload

As a fitness trainer I know running is about obtaining the necessary skills, stress, recovery, adaption, and building muscle memory through repetition blah, blah... All this is great if you're planning to do a 10k. A 100 challenges you beyond that physiology. Before the race, John and I discussed various goals and strategies. He said he just wanted to finish, but I knew better and said I would push him to a sub-24. His training consisted of many long runs and other "prep" ultras races. Our favorite trainer is the infamous Psycho course--typically 2-3 10-mile loops anywhere from 4-7 hours, depending on how deep the mud and or snow is. Often we would have "push-up day": this run involved completing 50 pushups as fast as possible at each mile interval for 15 miles. This is one of Gabe's favorites, too! This exercise does nothing to increase running ability, but it beats the hell out of you and mimics the upper body fatigue you would feel in the latter stages of a 100 (more of a mental trainer). Many of these runs were in sub-freezing temperatures (Cameron Fat Ass 50k) which was excellent 100 prep.

At the awards ceremony I told John it was luck that helped him through this race, but that was wrong. Luck is just a residual of preparation.



3 comments:

DEANNA STOPPLER said...

i like the recent updates, rick! way to go on your races. the photos rock.

Gabe said...

Nice pacer report. I hope to top that report after Western States. We may need to go up to 100 pushups soon??

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