4:40 or Bust aka The Silver Comet Ultra (50K version)

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    • #2268

      The short and sweet version is at the bottom!

      Well This weekend was pretty good. I got into town on Friday afternoon. I found the race start and finish fine and I only had to double back once to find the hotel. I had been so keen on finding the start/finish of the race that I didn’t notice that I had passed the hotel. I finally got settled in. After sitting around for awhile I headed to dinner in the SMALL town of Rockmart. I knew I was in trouble when I went into a restaurant to get some spaghetti and they didn’t have beer or wine on the menu. After eating a plate and a half of spaghetti I drove around this small town looking for a place to have a beer or two before heading to bed. Well after 20 minutes of driving and no luck, I headed back to the hotel. I opened the phone book and I only see 5 bars listed (can you see where my priorities are??). None of the street names look familiar. I then look at restaurants and all the big chains are listed for Rome, which is north (but I am not sure how far) of Rockmart. I head across the street to the gas/convenience station and get a 6-pack. I drink a beer and go to bed.

      That night I deal with 2 trains coming through town (apparently right outside the hotel!!!) and the fact that Mrs. Boiler is not next to me and I am in a strange bed makes for a tough night of sleep.. Finally 5 am rolls around so I get up and get ready to run. I pack my truck and find out it is 30 degrees and still dark out. I join the other racers milling around trying to stay warm. Finally at about 7:35 after about 1 minute of introductions and instruction the Race director shouts, “GO”! I head off at what Think is my goal pace of 28 minute 5K, which should give me a 4:40 for 40K. I go through the first 5K in 24:26, which I chalk up to the race start surge. I drop into a pace that I think is comfortable and follow a group of people. Luckily since the 100K people had different color race numbers than the 50K that made it easy to see whom I was chasing. I got through the first station and the 10K mark still ahead of schedule. The 5K markers made it kind of easy to keep track of where I needed to be.

      I continued to chug along feeling good and enjoying the scenery and the gorgeous weather. I see the markers and I take my splits and I try and do the math in my head and I think I am still ahead of schedule. I hit the second rest area at 18K and I still feel good. I don’t look at my split and I head out again after a short stop. The next thing I know I see the 20K marker. When I look at my watch I see that I am at 1:40 for 20K. That makes doing the math easy and I see that I am still running about a 25 minute 5K pace.

      As I am doing the math in my head I come up to the 25K turnaround I hear that my time is 2:03 and after I hit my split on the way out, after taking a break for Gatorade and water I look down and see that I have 2:05 on my watch. I know I am well ahead of schedule. Surprisingly I am not nervous about it. I head south and I pass the 30K mark and I still feel good. I don’t mess with trying to figure out the pace. All I want to do is maintain my pace. I hit the #2/#3 rest area and I still feel good. Finally I hit the 35K mark and I realize I only have the Gate River Run 15K to go. I try and figure out how much time I have left. I try and do the math in my head I know I have about 9 miles or 90 minutes to go. I keep heading south. I pass and get passed by 1 lady doing the 100K.

      I pass the 40K mark and I hit my watch but I don’t look at my time. All I want to do is finish. I know the distance is short but I keep losing track of where I was at time wise and when I think I will finish. I hit rest stop number #1/#4 and I take a little longer break. I know I only have about 8K to go but I am getting tired. I try and look at my watch but since I don’t remember what distance this rest stop was at, I get confused.

      All I can do is trudge along until I see another distance marker. Finally after what seems an hour I come across the 45K marker. I hit my watch and concentrate on trying to maintain my pace. I know I have slowed down, but I have clue how much. I trudge along and the lady doing the 100K passes me. Then another lady that was doing the 50K passes me for a final time. She offers me some words of encouragement. All I can do now is trudge along. The course is looking familiar but I don’t the distances. The runners doing the 100K are heading back out on the course and I try and say good luck. My feet are dragging. I am tired, 2 times I think I need stop and hurl. I fight the urge to stop. I walk once for 3 steps and realize that if I keep on walking I might not run again. I drop back into a shuffle. I don’t think I am running. All I want to do is finish. One couple that is watching the race let me know I have one down hill, 1 uphill and 1 curve to go. All I can say is, “Thank God!” I finally recognize the cemetery (what a pleasant thought when you feel like keeling over to die) and I see the fields. I turn the bend and see the clock. I have no energy to sprint.

      I shuffle in and cross the line. I look at the clock. I grab my place card. All I can think of is that how the hell do they expect me to write after running a 50K. I shuffle across the parking lot and I get hit by a wave of emotions. I have just crushed my PR for a 50K (so what if it is only my second!)

      I feel like I need to just sit and cry but I know I need to stay upright.

      I walk on to the pavilion; hand in my card and the volunteer offers to fill it out. I give her my name, age, number and time. I did it. I ran a 4:25:17. I had just taken almost 40 minutes off my time from a year ago. I end up in 11th overall, 9 in the men’s division and I am not sure what my age group place is.

      As I had been finishing up my race this year, I told myself never again. There is no way I could go farther. People have asked if I want to try longer distances and I tell them I am interested. But if you ever ask me right after the race I will tell you Hell No!!! Even today (Sunday) I really don’t know if I want to run another 50K. I am still on cloud nine as I recover from the race and I am looking forward to 3 days of no running and maybe another week of recovery runs before I crank up the miles to get ready for Gate.

      The Short and sweet version (I hope this cut and paste from excel works)

      Marker Goal Split Note Running TIme

      5 0:28:00 24:26.0

      8 0:44:48 15:27.0 Rest#2 0:39:53

      10 0:56:00 09:33.0 0:49:26

      15 1:24:00 24:58.0 1:14:24

      18.3 1:42:29 16:59.0 Rest#3 1:31:23

      20 1:52:00 08:44.0 1:40:07

      25 2:20:00 25:46.0 Turnaround 2:05:53

      30 2:48:00 25:36.0 2:31:29

      31.7 2:57:31 09:07.0 Rest#3 2:40:36

      35 3:16:00 17:42.0 2:58:18

      40 3:44:00 28:25.0 3:26:43

      42 3:55:12 10:42.0 Rest#2 3:37:25

      45 4:12:00 18:01.0 3:55:26

      50 4:40:00 29:50.0 4:25:16

      Thanks again to my friends, and family for all the support in the past 6 months of training.

      I hope you all find your mountain and conquer it.

    • #17827

      Nice job FB! So that explains your recent absence from RR… 😉 I just joined a few days ago…

    • #17828

      As I said in email, you amaze me. And you’re so not invited for my 50K debut in December.

      Rock on, my friend. I see awesome things coming your way this year.

    • #17829
      Ed 1

      Congratulations on the PR and enjoy the well earned rest/recovery. My mountain is still well ahead of me but base camp is this spring.

    • #17830


      Way to go!!! We’ve got PRs dropping all over this board.

      I don’t suppose you happened to run into “Double” did you? I’m curious how his 100k went. I looked for results but their website said they’d be updated once the webmaster got back from Mexico. I thought that was funny. I know you ultra guys are a different breed, but I didn’t know it applied to the webmasters too.

    • #17831
      Zeke wrote:

      Way to go!!! We’ve got PRs dropping all over this board.

      I don’t suppose you happened to run into “Double” did you? I’m curious how his 100k went. I looked for results but their website said they’d be updated once the webmaster got back from Mexico. I thought that was funny. I know you ultra guys are a different breed, but I didn’t know it applied to the webmasters too.

      I didn’t know there was a guy from here running the 100. I am trying to get into the ultra listserv so I will try and and cut and paste the full results here.

    • #17832

      “Double” posted on the “Spring Races” thread that he was doing the 100k…


      He made the last World’s team, so I’m eager to hear the results.

    • #17833

      congrats… great PR and impressive report… very inspirational… 40 minutes… YIKES… what a great way to ‘start’ the year, or is that the end of your season?

      the question of the day (actually I think it was fromm a couple weeks ago)… to what do you credit this GREAT run… I think we’re all looking for the magic, seems you found a chunk of it…


    • #17834
      Ed 1

      If anyone has some magic – please send a chunk my way 😆

    • #17835

      I think most of my “magic was being able to get in 1000 miles of training for this race. Plus for me the weather was perfect. It was 30 degrees at the start and around 55 by the time I finished. I have found in the past that as the temps go up my times increase exponentially.

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