Wednesday, July 8, 2009

PowderFace 42: A few days to go...


It's time to be realistic...

PowderFace42 is on tap this coming Saturday - I'm registered for the 42km event and I'm a little nervous...

If you've been tagging along for the past few weeks, you know that I've been struggling with a hamstring/knee injury. After returning from France, I finally got serious and went to see Hugh at Active Motion Physio who immediately found the issue and teamed up with the in-house massage therapist (Scott) to work on the problematic tendons. So far so good...


In an attempt to fast-track my fitness, I've been tentatively ramping up the training and adjusting to my body's ability to recover on a daily basis. On Sunday, I added a long run to the plan and came out smiling! I was pretty psyched to take this step as it meant I was back in action. Yesterday, another big step with my first running intensity since May 23rd...I wish I could squeeze a few more in before the weekend, but this is as good as it's going to get for now.

Is this enough for PF42? Hardly...With over 2,000m of climbing (and descending!), PF is a brute on the body! So why am I doing it? I've used this event as a prep for TR for 2 years now and despite not finishing last year, it's one of the 'fitness gauges' I use to adjust my training over this final month before the big show.

I know what you're thinking...Why not do the 'Half' instead? Simply, if I'm to get ready for TR, I need to get some distance in my legs as soon as possible as I'm already too far behind. I feel I'm ready to run over 4hrs and this race will serve as a good 'training run'. As such, I'm willing to risk my season to be as fit as possible by Aug 23rd - Might seem like an odd perspective, but that's just me.

In order to keep my ego in check and not let it get the best of me on the start line, I've decided to put everything down on 'paper' so I don't kill myself trying to wing it on race day...Here's the plan:

The Course:


Not the best of maps for clarity, but you get the picture...90% of this is on sweet singletrack! A long 16km grind to the high point (2,000+ metres in altitude) kicks things off. Then, it's a steep technical descent followed by another short brute of a climb to the halfway mark (21k). In total, you climb about 1,000m in the first 21 kilometres! The second half is not 'all downhill' as you would think. It's a painfully long series of short steep rollies that take their toll.

The Competition: No clue! Typically, the event draws some strong runners every year but the 150 runner cap fills up quick and leaves many wishing they had committed earlier. Either way, I'll find out the who's who on the start line...

The Record: I ran PF42 two years ago - it was my first trail marathon race. Not knowing how to prepare or how fast to go out, I simply ran...and set the course record at 4:09:33. Temperature aside (it was 36C), the effort just about killed me - I was wrecked for a solid 2 weeks. Last year, I fully intended to break the 4hr-mark as I stood on the line with Chuck Cosman, a Canuck living in Japan...He took off like a 'bat outta hell' and I followed. At 21k, we were sub 2hrs, and on track to go sub-4hr. But, I was pushing my limits to stay with him on the steep descents and my quads paid the price - I dropped out at the 32k mark. Chuck also paid the price for his fast start and slowed down in the second half - he crossed the line in 4:11:15, posting the second fastest time on record...

I have no illusions of setting a new time this year - it's simply not in the cards. Personally, I think a sub-4hr time is very realistic...and it could very well happen on Saturday, it just won't be me!

The Strategy: So here it is...I'm going to 'ease' into the first half and try to maintain a 9km/hr pace for the first half (which won't be super easy as it's mostly uphill) - Not sure if my math is good but either way, I'll reach the 21k mark at 2:10 to 2:15. From there, the plan is to increase to 10 - 11km/hr, and aim to run the second half in a negative split, something like 2:05 to 2:10. Total time goal will be anywhere between 4:20 to 4:30, allowing for some pit-stops, stretching and perhaps a 'hippy moment' or two...

The Nutrition: I've topped up on some supplies for the event: HoneyStinger Chews, Sharkies, Ultima, Macro bars and some Gu Roctane will be on the menu. The plan is to eat lots early...

Breakfast will come bright and early on the road...1.5hrs before start at 6am
- Lots of KHC (coffee)
- 2 egg whites (cooked night before)
- Bagel
- Yogurt

- Maybe a banana...


On the course...
- HS Chews/Sharkies: 1 pack/hr for first 2 hrs
- Gu: 1 per/45min for the first 2hrs, then 1 per/hr
- Macro bar: 1/2 bar at CP1 and 3
- Ultima Replenisher (electrolytes): 1.5L to be sipped every 15min

The Body: There's no negotiating here...The knee WILL hold!

That's it - that's the plan. In the end, all I really (really) want, is for the body to hold up - nothing else matters. I've got therapy and massages line up back to back to help the prep and a few easy runs on the menu. It's all I can do...One of my coaches once told me: "There's no point worrying about what you can't control" - I suppose it's as good a time as any to start listening...

Regardless of the outcome, I'm out for a great long run on Saturday and looking forward to catching up with the PF crowd. See you on the line!

Eyeing up some coke and chips after setting my 4:09 PB two years ago - See the clock still counting behind me...

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

What's a hippy moment?

Phil said...

One of those moments where you just say: "ahhhhhhh...."

Keith Iskiw said...

good luck, can't wait for the report. The race looks awesome just might have to try that one.

brendaontheRun said...

Good luck Phil! It'll be a great day regardless of times.

Derrick said...

Good luck Phil. You've passed a couple of important tests with quality and quantity recently, so I'd bet you'll be fine out there. Sounds like you're going in with a good plan and outlook.

Enjoy the hippy moments, but leave the Burkenstocks at home;)

Tom Craik said...

Go get'em , Phil. Injuries are nothin' to a trail eater like you.