Monday, June 29, 2009

Mt Agamenticus 6 hour

View from the summit of Mt Agamenticus

On Saturday was the annual Mt Aggie 6 hour run, which Deb and I were invited to participate in and we are glad we went.

This is a run put on by a group of Maineacs with the infamous Joe Hayes presiding court and making sure there was plenty of water, aid and whatever we needed to get as many loops as we could. With just about every runner bringing something, the aid table looked better than at most races. A huge showing by the GAC'ers just added to the fun we had on this day. The course is an approx 3 mile loops with a good mix of road and trail. It starts with a paved road for maybe 1/4 mile, then a dirt road for another mile or so, take a right onto the trail up to the summit, which has some steep slickrock sections on it. Once you reached the top, you could get water at the summit house, then run down the great trail back to the aid table. The loop has somewhere around 600' of climb, not much but it adds up with each loop.

Steps on the Vulture Trail leading to the summit

Just to mention this is not a race, but an annual last long training run for those who are planning on running the Vermont 100 in three weeks. This was good because I had no desire to race here....so I wore my HR monitor and decided to use it as a test to see what staying below 140 bpm will do for me. 140 is just below 70% of my max...

The plan was to try as best as I could to stay at or below this HR and only drink maltodextrin in my hand carry bottle for fuel, along with some electrolytes as it was expected to get warmer as the day went on. The HR actually dropped to the mid 130's on the downhills, no matter how fast I ran, but when it got hot was climbing up into the mid 150's, no matter how slow I went.

The first 5-6 loops went by easily and for the first few I had Stephen Peckiconis as company. We were both doing the HR thing and comparing notes all day. By the 3rd loop, Bob Dunfey waited for us at the bottom and joined us for a few loops until he got caught up in conversation at the aid table. It was great having Bob's laugh along the way... On loop 7 (Still with Stephen), we hooked up with Penny Matel, who entertained us with her Lou'ziana accent. Penny showed up late, was 2 loops behind us, but was running about the same pace.

My original plan was to get in 10 loops or 30 miles for a good day of training, but as the day got hotter and sunnier, the 35 minute loops became 38 minute loops, then 40 min loops, which put me behind schedule. So as Penny and I (Stephen got a little ahead of us on this one) came into the aid table at around 5:40ish, I assumed I couldn't and wouldn't go back out. Then the guy who made himself in charge at the sign in clipboard, said "So, you going to go back out? Are you a man or a?" He explained that as long as I got in before 6 hours I could go out again....so I asked Penny if she'd like to get in another loop and I think she was taken aback somewhat, looking at me shocked and said "Ah don't know". I told her I was going back out to get 30 and she (I think) reluctantly joined me for that last loop, but was happy we did when we were done. As we ran by Stephen's car, we tried to get him to come out with us, but his plan was 27 miles and no more...

It was a struggle on the hot climb up, needing to stop at the top to soak our heads before the last run down the trail, but we got it done and I ended up with 30 miles in maybe 6.5 hours...the HR and fueling plan worked well, I pretty much stayed on pace, never felt bonky or sick except for the very last few minutes on the last summit near the top in the sunny 82 degree heat, I started to feel it a bit. I soaked my head and shirt and once I hit the cool breeze on the way down on the shady trail, I opened it up to get it done. Deb (and Tucker) ended up with8 loops or 24 miles. Deb said if she had known I was going out again, she would have, too....not sure about Tucker, who was "dog" tired!

The next part was what I really came for....the Cookout at the Collins' down the road. Deb and I went and showered at Joe's house, then headed to the collins' for some BBQ and beer to finish the day. It was amazing to see who else was there that I never saw!

It was a great day on a fantastic training hill on a beautiful day with friends, nothing like it! Plus one of my goals is to always make new friends at these things and I now have Penny as a new friend...

Next up is pacing at Vermont...then the MMD50K in the White Mountains! Also because Deb and I (Well, I) have decided to go to the Bear 100 in September, I feel like my training has some meaning and purpose. With no Hardrock this year, it just wasn't there....

Also congratulations to all the Western States participants, whether you finished or not. What a tough day in the 100+ deg heat. I would not have made it past the first several hours....

'til next time,
Steve

PS: Photos are not mine, but some I found on the web...

4 comments:

Trail Pixie said...

Steve and Deb, it sounds like you had a great day for and at the Fat Ass! I was thinking about it but the NE Mt Circuit Cranmore Race conflicted. I like the long (and slow) versus the up and slow.... cheers and see you at VT.

Bob Buckingham said...

Wow Steve, that sounds like an awesome way to spend a Saturday. It would be fantastic to be able to do that next year. Have to see if I can weedle an invite.

Run Home Pam said...

I have run many an ultra with Penny Matel. She is spectacular company on the trail! Sounds like a great event. I'll look for it next year.

Jimmy B said...

Enjoyed this blog, Steve. Thanks.
--Jimmy