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<i>I think I learned a lot from this one, primarily that I just suck at technical trails. Being one of the heaviest people out there, even at my now "svelte" 192 lbs, just means I can't twist and turn around trees and rocks as well. That takes it out of me.<br></i><br>
Chuckanut 50K is one of the premier 50Ks in the Pacific Northwest. It fills very fast and draws a very accomplished field. Krissy Moehl the RD runs an excellent event. You can really feel the sense of family that binds all these accomplished athletes from the area together.<br><br>
The course starts with a 6.5 mile flattish stretch on a bike path, then climbs 3000 plus feet up the mountain on a combination of singletrack and logging roads. It spends 7.2 miles at the top on fairly technical trail, on top of a knife-edged ridge, then down around the back side, and finally up over the top in an extremely steep scramble called chinscraper. Then you lose all the elevation over about 3 miles and run the bike path back to the start for the 31+ miles. The weather on race day turned out to be a steady drizzle, which added a little to the difficulty by increasing the mud a bit. You could also tell that it sapped some runners' spirits by the end.<br><br>
I found I was able to climb better than people of my general ability, being able to hold a slow run as they stopped to walk. I felt good about how I was doing until the start of the technical section. Then I just slowed down. In particular I would lose lots of ground on everyone else on the downhills. The time I spent at the top of the mountain was one of the emotional low points that seem to happen in ultras. I felt like I was running hard but the time just slipped away. I found myself dropping back in the field and was overly tentative in an attempt to protect my bad knee. As time dragged on I emptied my handheld bottle, and found myself getting thirsty with no aid station in sight. As a final indignity, the Garmin that I'd just bought took this opportunity to act subtly wonky; the miles which had been crawling away slowly suddenly started to go <b>backwards</b>. I started to wonder if I would ever finish.<br><br>
Getting back in to the Aid Station was a welcome relief, it felt like coming home with all the smiles and cheerful help from the volunteers. I was eager to get out and recover my pace on the long downhill but after starting out found that I was still sluggish on the downs, protecting that knee. Still, the descent went by pretty quickly.<br><br>
I never really got that tired, and managed to recover a good solid pace on the final flat stretch. Final time was 6:10 - about 20 or 25 minutes slower than I had hoped. Even so, I had a wonderful day, collected a bunch more of those special smiles that you only see at endurance events, and got to hang out with a bunch of people whose company I enjoy immensely.<br><br>
After finishing, I really felt like I hadn't worked very hard and wouldn't get sore. But as the hours passed, I've started to realize that I really battered my wonky knee. I wasn't able to get much sleep that night even with pain meds, and it doesn't allow me to walk easily at the moment. I've learned to withhold judgement on recovery for a few days, but this has me worried.
 

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<img alt="icon_cheers.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/icon_cheers.gif"><br><br>
Great race report, Mr. Hippo. Thanks for taking the time to write it up in such detail. It sounds like a really nice event.<br><br>
Take care of that knee, buddy.
 

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Nice job Hippo! I am really in awe of you ultra folks!<br><br>
Take care of yourself and get that knee healed up!
 

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see, you could have fooled me with your technical trail running skills at JFK. We both ran down that rocky hell hole of a trail at a pretty good clip--- OR everyone else was going so slow if felt like we were flying <img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/smile.gif"><br><br>
i hate mud. It always saps my spirit.
 

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Thanks for the detailed report and bringing a little bit of the PNW here to us in the Midwest. I miss it. Even the drizzle.<br><br>
I think you ran a fine time, especially considering the terrain and your knee. From all accounts, the Chuckanut 50km is no fast course.<br><br>
I hope you recover quickly and are able to get back at it soon.
 

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Okay, so 50k on the flat isn't enough that you have to go and scrape your chin?<br><br>
Thanks for the report, and for your vivid description of what is undoubtedly an insane run. Here's hoping that your knee is "just sore" and that a few days off of it will help.
 

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Nice report, Hippo!<br><br>
I'm surprised you didn't fling that Garmin from the mountaintop. <img alt="wink.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/wink.gif"><br><br>
Hope your knee heals up nicely.
 

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A Garmin going backwards? That's adding insult to injury! It sounds like you battled a lot of tough elements and came out on top, as usual. Great report and thanks as always for sharing your experience there.<br><br>
I'll send healing vibes to your knee this week. Hopefully it will stop protesting quickly.
 

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Nice report! I am in awe of you ultra-runners <img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/smile.gif"><br><br>
Good luck with the wonky knee!
 

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50K...holy crap, that's almost a marathon...one of the longer marathons. <img alt="wink.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/wink.gif"><br><br>
Hey I was 192 lbs this morning too...I'd be hardpressed to race 5K right now.<br><br>
Good job, good report.
 

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That would be SO discouraging during a race to have the Garmin start measuring backwards!<br><br>
It sounds like you coverd the course smartly and respected your knee. Even though there were some physical and mental challenges, you worked through and still choose to see the positives of the day.<br><br>
I mean really, how bad a day can it be anytime you can move your body through a beautiful place?<br><br>
I hope the knee calms down soon.
 

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Great report. My Garmin simply quit around the 8 mile mark in my race. It was frusrating not to be able to get it back even when running in clear areas of the course.<br><br>
Hope your knee gets to feeling better.
 

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Great report Hippo! Rain, mud, technical trails, and hills. FWIW I suck on trails too as I found out last year during a trail 50k and I feel your pain. But you kept going and thats the name of the game. Relentless Forward Motion.<br><br>
You did great with a very respectable time under tough conditions! On to the next one!
 

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I don't know how you can run trails tat tough at all. You are amazing. Maybe you can add some agility even with your big frame (mmmm, yes!) with dancing lessons, I volunteer. <img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/smile.gif"><br><br>
{{{with magic recovery and healing vibes~*ohmmm>>> Hippo's wonky knee <<<ohmmm*~with magic recovery and healing vibes}}} <img alt="happy10.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/happy10.gif">
 
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