Thomas Reiss - TRT 100 3 Weeks to Go

Sunday, June 26, 2011

TRT 100 3 Weeks to Go

By Thomas Reiss

It is Monday evening and TRT 100 is coming up in 19 days. I just got back from a week in Lake Tahoe, to run some on the TRT course, hang out and get inspired at Western States 100. Another week of good training with a 104 miles. This was the last week of a 12 week training cycle to get ready for TRT 100. I ran 1224 miles in the last 12 weeks, my goal was 1200. That is 102 miles average over 12 weeks, my lowest week was 73 and the highest was 139. I feel strong, healthy and ready to go. I am confident to race. I know the course, I love the course and I have put in all the work needed to put together a great 100 miler. I just need to go out and do it.


The view from Snow Valley Peak over Lake Tahoe

The snow situation on the TRT course should be alright by race day. I don't think it will be as good of course conditions as when I ran 7:52 for the course record on the 50 miler but it should be ok. A lot of downed trees and the leftover snow should just make it even more epic. I am really looking forward to racing. It should be great fun with 7 of my friends from the SLO Trail Runners racing as well. Plus getting to spend time with my two pacers that are friends and great runners (Victor B. and Brett R.). My family will be there and of course my crew chief Larissa P and lots of other friends.


Beautiful trails on the TRT course

The weekend was great with watching WS 100. It was very inspirational to see my good friend Brett Rivers have such an amazing day and finishing in 16th place in 17:38. He will be by my side in 3 weeks to get me from mile 80 to the finish. He will know how to do it, just in case if I forget.


On top of Diamond Peak (mile 32 and 82 in the race)

OK for all of you interested as mentioned in my last blog post a week ago, the report from the race when I broke the course record in the 50 mile race at TRT in 2008.

2008 - Tahoe Rimtrail 50 mile

The conditions where very hot, low - mid 90's (for my german readers 30-35 grad celsius). It was a bit breezy which helped keep it at least feeling a little bit cooler. I felt fairly good throughout the whole race (tired towards the end of the race of course in my legs). I never had any stomach problems or throwing up episodes like last year.

 

The race started out with me and 2 other guys in the lead group going up to Marlette Lake (one of the guys was Jeff Kozak 2nd place finisher from last year and winner of the 2 previous years). We went over the 4 mile 1500 feet climb (at this point it was just Jeff and me) and descended down to Lake Marlette (7823 feet), from here we pushed on to the Hobart aid station. Jeff Kozak was keeping the pace very honest and we got to talk a bit on the way. It was nice not being alone all the way. After a quick (16 sec.) stop at the Hobart aid station and being 1:35 ahead of last years time we went on to Tunnel Creek. This a fast segment with a good part of downhill (uphill on the way back!). We averaged 8:24 per mile pace (around 30 seconds per mile faster then last year on this part) for this slightly over 5 mile segment. I had to stop to go pee on the way down to the aid station and Jeff took a slight lead but told me he had to stop at the porta party in the aid station. As I came into the aid station I saw him get out of the aid station, at least I seemed to think so but he must have gone into the bathroom right behind the aid station. Since I thought he was in front of me I started to hammer downhill into the "Red House Loop" trying to catch up with him. Well, I never did since he was not in front of me at all.

 

After returning out of the "Red House Loop" in 55:09 (that was 3:14 faster then last year for red house) I found out in the aid station that I was in the lead. After refilling my bottle I was off to the 9 mile segment out to Mount Rose. On this part I ran out of water since they did not have the water station set up halfway at Diamond Peak. I covered this part in 1:26:30, almost 4 minutes faster then last year. Coming out of the forest into the Meadow I was in for a special treat to see my crew/family. With about a mile to go to the Mount Rose aid station I had Dylan wait for me. It was very nice to have Dylan cheer me on and hand me a bottle of water. He was so excited. Then at the aid station I met up with Valerie and Opa (Valerie's dad). I picked up a new bottle, a bunch of gels and changed my shoes since I felt like I am getting a blister in the shoes I had on. All together I spent 1:50 in the aid station and left at 4:06:12 into the race (almost 12 minutes ahead of last years time at this point).

 

After seeing Dylan one more time I went back into the woods again making my way uphill to return to the Tunnel Creek aid station again. I was thinking if I ran back as fast as last year I will end up just below 8 hours (the course record is 8:06:50 from the race in 2001). I made it back into the Tunnel Creek aid station after 1:20:16, again I ran 3 and a half minutes faster on this part then last year, my chances to break the course record and maybe be the first sub 8 hour finisher became pretty good. I knew that I will have two hard climbs coming, up out of the Tunnel Creek aid station and then at mile 40 another 3 mile/1000 feet climb up to Snow Valley Peak, with 9214 feet the highest point of the race. I started to feel the high tempo I have bee running for the last 6 hours so I played it save and on the steep parts up hill actually took the luxury of fast walking a few parts. Even with a few short walking breaks I made it into the Hobart aid station almost 3 minutes faster then last years split. I knew all I have to do is make it up to Snow Valley Peak and then it will be mostly downhill to the finish. It was very hot and I was dumping a bunch of cold water over my head and after a 41 second stop I was out the aid station on my way to climb Snow Valley Peak. After a couple more walking breaks I made it up to the Peak in 33:31 right around the same time it took me last year from Hobart to Snow Valley. My overall time was 6:54:24 compared to last years 7:12:36. I knew from here, if I don't fall and hurt myself it should take me the most about an hour. So I should be sub 8 hours. After almost tripping twice in the first mile, this section is very rocky, I decided to play it a bit safe and controlled. I made it down to the lake and I felt very special running the last mile around Spooner Lake knowing that not did I just defend my title I will also be the first sub 8 hour finisher with a new course record and all that despite the hot weather. I came onto the fire road that leads down to the finish and Opa cheered me on followed by Dylan and Valerie at the finish line. After 50 miles of running on rugged mostly single track rocky and sandy trail with about 10000 feet of climbing up and descending back down, 12 GU's, 185 ounces (5.5 liter) of water and a cup of coke at mile 43 the pay off was here: 1st Place overall, Nevada State Champion 50 mile Trail Running and new Course Record - 7:52:09.


Needless to say I am very happy with this result and a pretty sore and tired right now. I knew getting in if everything is going perfect I can run 7:55 but with the heat I had my doubts but it just all came together. I averaged 9:23 pace per mile and ran almost 18 minutes faster then last year. I guess all the good training has paid off.

I want to thank my family specifically my wife Valerie for putting up with all my running and always encouraging me when I am down. Also a big thanks to my crew, Opa, Dylan, Alena. Also a big thank you to my coach Karl King, always the best advice.

 


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