Warning: the following words and images will allow you to vicariously see the world with the eyes of Sultan. Read at your own risk. The name Sultan has many meanings, but derives from the peak Sultan Mountain in Silverton, CO!

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Salem Lake Frosty 50k – 12th Place

Finished 4:07:39 (50k PR)

I woke up at 4:45am, made last minute preparations, ate the best oatmeal breakfast with raspberries, blueberries, bananas, brown sugar, and honey for some fuel later on in the morning. A powerful energy lingered in me from last decade’s adventure on the Art Leob.  The drive up to Winston-Salem took me just over an hour.

Just before the start I met up with Jonathan Savage and the University City Road Runners. I was surprised to see them, as they usually only run asphalt and I rarely see any of them at ultras. Way to come out there and run one for the first time! Jonathan asked, “so are you going run this one fast?” I never come to these races with expectations other than enjoying the day with other like-minded trail runners. “Not sure.” I did have my new Inov8 212’s on, which I have tested out 4 other times while training. They are light, fast, and grip the trail like nothing else.

Photo by: Aaron Ligon

On the drive up, the batmobile gave me a reading of 14 degrees as the outside temperatures. The entire country was literally frozen. Even southern Florida hit record lows and dipped into freezing at night which is very rare. It was going to be a cold day. The forecast did not show that it would go above freezing at all during the time I would be running. We started in 18 degree’s. I was wearing shorts, a white cycling shirt, arm warmers, running glove
s, a hat that covered my ears, and my houdini. I was wearing much less than most people out there, some of which had full down jackets and balaclava’s on.

Photo: Unknown
The 50K course is a flat and scenic, beginning and ending at Salem Lake, 6 plus miles on asphalt Greenway, 25 miles on hard packed frozen dirt around Salem Lake. It is a double out and back. The start, finish and halfway are at the Salem Lake Shelter. So I broke this run down to 4 sections, each of which is just under 8 miles (7.775 to be exact). It seemed reasonable to try and run each section in one hour, but I knew that was below an 8 minute mile, and that my body would not be able to sustain that for too long on trail. But it was sub-freezing, and I had to stay warm, so I busted it out in that pace, and I felt good.

I finished the first section in 58 minutes, second section in 1:58, and third section in 3:01. I was feeling my legs get heavy at this point and slowed my roll just a bit. I ran behind Myron Coulson and put it in cruise control, only to see him get farther and farther away. I reached the aid station where the asphalt met the trail, and loaded up on fluids and calories. It was here I convinced the aid station volunteers to let out a load synchronized coyote howl. This gave me strength and reminded me of my Coyote 2 Moon experience. I started to move faster and knew that if I tried to run hard for the next 8 miles I would PR and set the bar very high for me to PR again at this distance.

It was cold, below freezing, and thoughts of hot yoga in my mind helped me thaw out a little. I sweat when I run fast, and the accumulated sweat around my waist strap froze into solid ice, and some hawaiian shaved ice action. I noticed it, and didn’t think much of it, but later realized the price I would pay, freeze burns around my waist which is extremely painful. I was running on positive energy that I picked up from so many other runners as we continuously passed each other on the out and backs. The University City Road Runners were my little cheerleading squad every time I passed them. After I rounded the last cove I could finally see the finish, and although I wasn’t going to pull this last section in an hour, I ran my hardest to finish in 4:07. What an amazing day with amazing people!

A new course record was set this year by Ethan Coffey of Knoxville, TN. He shaved just over one minute off the previous record to run an amazing time of 3:08:08, almost an hour faster than my time. Mark Lundblad, a Sultan 50k runner this year, came in at second place with a time of 3:24:23. I didn't even recognize him out there! I came in at 12th place with a time of 4:07:39, my fastest 50k to date.


mkirk said...

nicely done!

Anonymous said...

Great job out there flip flop guy!! So glad we ran into you at the porta potty line. You looked so strong all day long. Congrats on your PR. Come and run with us some weekend.

Anonymous said...

Hey Mohammed, this is Myron Coulson. Sorry I couldn't hang with you on the last 3.5 miles but I was feeling it by then. I finsihed a little behind you at 4:13 and since this was my first ultra I was satifisfied with that time. We must have run together at least 10 miles pacing off each other. If you are ever down this way again let me know and we can run. I'm in training mode for Boston right now and I've been thinking about the JKK 50 miler in November.

Sultan said...

Myron, great work out there! Way to throw down for your first ultra, awesome finish. Good luck with Boston/ultra running. Rock on...

Audra said...

Great job! Congrats on the PR!

I'm going to have to try that oatmeal...