The results came up today on the Frozen Sasquatch. The official finish time was 5:15:51.6 which made my average mile time 10:11 min/mile. It wasn't a fast race, but then again, I was also off of running for 10 days, so I'm definitely pleased with myself. However, one thing that I know needs improvement is once again my nutrition. During my runs, it's important to rehydrate and replenish what you lose. Running the 50 miler, I was always lacking the energy at around mile 30 and would have to gut through the next 20 miles to get to the finish. Now if I'm at that point for the 50 miler... what would it be like for a 100 miles? I think I need a little more training, and also study a little more about nutrition.
After running the 50k, I went in to the lodge nearby and met with those that finished ahead of me. One of the runners and I talked about running and I mentioned that I had signed up for my first 100 miler, he started talking to me about his experience with the 100 milers he's run. Being older, he's had his fair share of 100 milers, and me as a newbie... well I learned from him. According to him, the most important thing about running the 100 miler is that you need to make sure to get the food in before you run out of water or nutrients. The thing is, when you run out of one of those things, you are going to lose (according to my new friend) about 20 miles trying to get back at where you were suppose to be at. I totally understand what he's saying and I do realize the importance of balancing your diet during the run because you need both of those things because during the run... you're going through a lot of nutrients and a lot of water. He also mentioned the importance of understanding that you're going to hit several walls. Much like the wall you would hit in a marathon when you're running so hard, hitting the wall in a hundred mile occurs multiple times. According to my new friend, you would hit the walls at approximately 30 miles in, 50 miles in, and 70 miles in. However, if you push yourself hard enough, you would be able to get through and continue on.
After learning from an experienced runner, I'm both horrified and excited about what I've embarked on. My next race is going to be a 50k in Charlotte, so I'll have to train about a month in order to improve my speed as well as my nutrition planning. Knowing what I'm getting into (and hopefully not getting sick), I will be able to improve my time and have a good race. I'm planning on taking things step by step and improving my ability to run longer distance races. Pacing is important... but I'm going to be working on properly preparing myself nutritionally. Hopefully, as I experience more races, I'll be able to understand what I need and what I can do. Looking at my past experiences, I can see that I'm getting used to stopping and walking during races, so I'll have to make sure that this upcoming 50k, I'll make sure to not stop to walk. The only reason I can attempt to do this is because this race doesn't have as many hills according to the elevation map and the competition is a fast paced group (according to last year's time). The out and back will give me a good idea of how everyone else is doing, and it'll be a good game of tag. We'll see what happens.
Experience is important, and the more experience you get, the more you can improve yourself.