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Training for a baby ultra (50K), which is better one long run or back to back? (Read 319 times)

TripleBock


    My 1st Ice Age 50mile.  I had come off an injury, was 10 pounds heavy.  I had no expectations.  I ran free and enjoyed the day, started very easy, 100 poople were ahead of me the 1st mile or so.  At @ mile 30, I started running a little more focussed - to keep the pace up, nit to speed up.  The last 10 miles I have it all.  I finished in 7:35

     

    My 2nd Ice Ahe 50 mile.  It was a great weather day.  I was super fit and went in with high expectations.  I ran the 1st 10 mile focussed, not hard, but not easy.  I ended up finishing in 7:47 when I was easily in 30-40 minutes better shape.

     

    My point - It is your 1st 50k.  Do not pile on expectations on yourself.  Run easy and free.  I do not mean you have to be slow.  Just for the1st 20 miles your thought process should be to be as smooth and efficient as possible.  Get yourself to mile 20 by taking care of yourself.  Then, if you have done your job right, you will be on the attack the last 11 miles.  It is so much more fun to hunt then to be hunted dying prey.

    I am fuller bodied than Dopplebock

    TripleBock


      PS - The easy 20 might be 3-5 minutes slower than running more aggressive.  I am not talking about hobby jogging it.

      I am fuller bodied than Dopplebock

        Okay, so with my little side track of no running for almost 3 weeks with my broken collarbone, I'm trying to figure out how to best get back into my training.

         

        I don't have the base that I was expecting at this point and I'm worried that doing a really long run like the trail marathon that I originally had planned is probably not a good idea.  I have a 22 mile long run on my plan for 3 weeks before the race followed by a 12 mile run the next day.  Do you guys think this is too much?  Am I going to wear myself down before the race?

         

        Should I just go back to building miles a couple at a time and work toward 14 this week, 16 next week, 18 the week after that and maybe knock out a 20 miler to peak 3 weeks before the race and then a moderate taper?

         

        I did 50 miles last week with my arm in a sling and this week I don't have to wear my sling anymore so I'm actually debating running the half marathon I originally had in my plan.  I was planning on getting a PR on it before, now I'm thinking it will be more along the lines of a good way to somewhat gauge my fitness level.

         

        Still planning on running the 50K in just over 6 weeks, just not thinking that I'm going to do it very fast.  I had originally said sub 6 hours was my goal, but secretly I was thinking a LOT closer to 5 hours or maybe even under.  Now I think sub 6 hours is probably a little optimistic.

         

        Any thoughts or recommendations coming off my setback?

         

        Thanks, Nathan

        Age: 46 Weight: 208 Height: 6'2" (Goal weight 195)

        Current PR's:  Mara 3:48:09; HM 1:43:26; 10K 44:51; 5K 21:27

          P.S. - To add to the complexity of race day I'm going to stay off the trails probably for the duration of my training.  A fall could potentially be a disaster with my broken collarbone so I'm not going to risk it with any technical trail running.  I actually have my next Dr.'s appointment the Monday before the race so he should be able to clear me and tell me that it is completely healed.  Not sure what I'll do if he doesn't give me the green light though! 

          Age: 46 Weight: 208 Height: 6'2" (Goal weight 195)

          Current PR's:  Mara 3:48:09; HM 1:43:26; 10K 44:51; 5K 21:27

          NHLA


            I train on dirt / sand roads near the rivers or lakes, Close to a trail but you don;t bust your hind end on rocks and roots,

            You have to get used to that tired feeling after 8 miles on dirt.

            Run long run based on time. How long do you think it will take to finish?

              I do run on dirt/gravel/caliche roads around my house for quite a bit of my miles.  Some sandy spots too.

               

              I really have no idea how long it will take.  It's an easier 50K (that's why I signed up for this particular one).  My marathon last year was at 8:43 pace, if I do a 10:00 pace on this that would be right around 5 hours.  That would be my A goal.  The plan is to start out at a 10:00ish pace and walk the steepest uphills.

              Age: 46 Weight: 208 Height: 6'2" (Goal weight 195)

              Current PR's:  Mara 3:48:09; HM 1:43:26; 10K 44:51; 5K 21:27

                Just checked the results from last year and 5 hours would have put me in at 4th place out of 47 runners so that might be a little optimistic.

                 

                6 hours would have been 9th place.  I stalked some of the runners who finished last year on athlinks to check out some of their other races and the pace differential between their times at this trail race and some of their road races was all over the place.  Nothing that really gave me any good feel for "looks like I need to at 1:30 to my goal pace" or anything like that.

                 

                Before I broke my collarbone I was running my Marathon Pace tempo runs at 8:00 pace and was up to 10 miles at that pace without much difficulty.  The thought of knocking out 10 miles at a 8:00 pace sounds pretty daunting right now though even though my last MP Tempo run was only 6 weeks ago.

                Age: 46 Weight: 208 Height: 6'2" (Goal weight 195)

                Current PR's:  Mara 3:48:09; HM 1:43:26; 10K 44:51; 5K 21:27


                Mmmmm...beer

                  My point - It is your 1st 50k.  Do not pile on expectations on yourself.  Run easy and free.  I do not mean you have to be slow.  Just for the1st 20 miles your thought process should be to be as smooth and efficient as possible.  Get yourself to mile 20 by taking care of yourself.  Then, if you have done your job right, you will be on the attack the last 11 miles.  It is so much more fun to hunt then to be hunted dying prey.

                   

                  This^

                   

                  I did my first 50k this past December.  I treated it like an easy long run and it went great.  I felt strong the whole race and ended up passing several people in the last couple of miles.  Forget any idea that you have of pace and run strictly off of effort.  It was a fairly easy course as well, mostly flat with only a few technical parts (top 3 were around 3:30-3:40).  I ended up running about a 9 flat pace, and my marathon pace from my first marathon two weeks ago was 7:25.

                   

                  If you look through my log for Oct/Nov/Dec, you'll see that I was carrying pretty good volume, but not a ton of long runs, I think I had a couple of 18 milers and a 21 miler.  I did do all of my MLRs and LRs on the trails that the race was held on, so I could get used to it, the trails will definitely work your legs/feet in a different way than the road.

                  -Dave

                   

                  2014 Goals | sub-19 5k done! | sub-40 10k | sub-1:25 HM | BQ done! | sub-3 M

                    Okay, just a couple more weeks before my race.  Did a 20 miler and an 11 miler back to back over the weekend and it was tougher than I expected.  Made some big mistakes before the 20 miler (ran 6 miles at 88 degrees late the day before, didn't carry enough water, went out too fast, etc) but I got through it with some walking.  The 11 miler the next morning was a chore as well.

                     

                    Did 6.5 miles Monday and Tuesday and then did a 13 mile marathon pace run yesterday that went really well.  One thing that I think I'm for sure going to need to factor in is that I ran the 20 miler and 11 miler on the weekend in the DFW area and the humidity was much higher than I'm used to here in west Texas.  The race will be in east Texas and the humidity there is likely to be pretty high so that is going to for sure come into play over a 5ish hour race.  Hydration is going to have to be a key part of my race strategy.

                     

                    I'm going to be in tree cover on trails so my GPS on my phone is going to be sketchy at best so pacing myself is going to be critical as well.  I'm leaning toward just trying to run easy the first 20 miles and seeing where I am at after that.  I'm afraid if I start out thinking I need to be running a moderate pace I will blow up at the end.  Planning on just using GU for calories on the course.

                     

                    Any last minute tidbits of advice that anyone would like to impart?  It's a 3 loop race so I'll have access to a drop bag at mile 10.3 and 20.6.  I've thought of things to leave in the bag, extra pair of shoes, dry socks, extra shirt, body glide, chapstick, I'm planning on running with 2 - 8oz bottles on a belt, waterstops are every 3 to 4 miles, but I'm thinking of keeping my hydration water pack at the drop bag area in case I need more on the last loop or something.

                     

                    Any other thoughts?

                     

                    Thanks, Nathan

                    Age: 46 Weight: 208 Height: 6'2" (Goal weight 195)

                    Current PR's:  Mara 3:48:09; HM 1:43:26; 10K 44:51; 5K 21:27

                    doctorjen


                      Nathan, especially if it's warm, I'd carry hydration. I found it easier in my one trail 50K to drink a little bit pretty often.  Drink to thirst, but start early while your mind is still capable of reading signals pretty well! You can certainly do Gu, especially if you're used to it, but I enjoyed having some real food at aid stations (tortillas with Nutella, peanut butter filled pretzels, orange slices and watermelon, and the absolute bomb - pumpkin cookies with chocolate and peanut butter chips)

                      I agree with the advice to run easy - it's only 5 miles further than a marathon, but especially on trails, that's still pretty far - 20% farther than a marathon and 50% farther than your longest training run, especially since you haven't been able to get on trails and strengthen those ankles and leg muscles you don't normally use.  You can always pick it up on the last loop.  Much better to finish strong than to death march the end of an ultra.  I found it a bit of a mental challenge to get through the main aid station and head out on that third loop (I also ran a three loop course).  I actually kept my head down, didn't make eye contact with any of my volunteering friends, scooped up nutrition and water, and fast walked out of the aid station before I had time to think about it. I organized my supplies once I was out of the aid station and was back out on the course running before I had time to consider dropping.  In my race, you could drop after the second loop and still collect a 20-miler medal, so I didn't want the temptation!

                      If you chafe, don't forget your body glide or whatever for your drop bag. If you haven't chafed before, consider that you might and plan accordingly!  Don't forget sunblock. Bring dry socks in case.  Bring dry clothes to wear home - after hours in sweaty clothes they feel so good!

                      Don't overthink it too much - it's just running!  How lucky are you to get to run in the woods just for fun!

                        16 ounces ever four miles should be plenty of water.  I would forget about trying to pace off a watch especially if you are doing a really hilly trail run.  If it is hilly and you haven't trained for the hills you better start now.  Judging effort on the hills is tough even if you are trained.  One minute you may be fine and the next you can't run up any of them.

                         

                        As for extra stuff, you don't really need anything for a 50K other than enough energy gel to fuel you for the distance.  You can bring "stuff" if it makes you feel better, but would you bring an extra pair of shoes for a marathon?   The only extra stuff I've ever brought was an extra handheld because I've managed to break one after a fall.  Good luck!

                          I recently did a 27 mile trail run with a total of 2100' elevation gain and loss mostly in the first 8 miles. For me that is a lot of up and down so this was a very different experience for me than running a marathon even though it was less than a mile longer.

                          I thought I would use this as an experiment for doing ultras so I tried eating stuff other than GU and water which are really all I've ever tried in the past.

                          I also made the mistake of not wanting extra weight over the nasty hills so I had my water/Gatorade bottles at my car parked 12 miles in. leading up to the run I knew I was going to take it slow and though I did taper, I was not careful to make sure I was well hydrated.  By the time I got to the fluids I was already covered in salt and my stomach was not willing to process anything the rest of the day. I was in about 18 mile shape, but with my stomach in off mode the last 9 miles or so were a death march with no fuel and bad stomach pains. Of course I puked up everything I drank and ended up losing 12lbs on the day.

                          I guess the point of this, if there is one, is to say don't take it too lightly even if you are not planning to hammer it like a marathon. And don't wait til it is too late to hydrate and fuel.

                            I updated my broken collarbone thread but I'm going to post here as well.  It still isn't 100% healed and the Dr. didn't give the okay to run because if I fall I could re-break it.

                             

                            My thoughts are that I could fall and re-break it walking down the hall, so that is always a risk, but I do understand that the chances of falling during a trail race are much higher, especially those last few miles when I'll be tired.

                             

                            My current thoughts are to make this even less of a "race" and really try not to be competitive on this, but just do it for the learning experience.  Probably this means not running on the downhills, for sure not running them fast.  One thing that I need to keep in mind though is that most of the falls that I can remember while running trails was when I was running easy and relaxed (too relaxed) and started looking around and enjoying the scenery or something and then, bam, I'm on the ground.  So I will need to keep focused and maybe if I want to enjoy the scenery I need to walk and not run that section or something.

                             

                            This is supposed to be a relatively nice dirt non-technical trail, but there will be some of those ugly tree roots trying to trip me and a little bit of rocky spots.

                             

                            Any input on this?  Any tips to not falling?  It's not like I make a habit of falling or anything, I've fallen 1 time in 4,000+ road miles and that was when my dog cut in front of me and tripped me, but I've fallen 2 or 3 times in 200 - 300 miles of trail running so it is a lot higher risk.

                             

                            Thanks, Nathan

                            Age: 46 Weight: 208 Height: 6'2" (Goal weight 195)

                            Current PR's:  Mara 3:48:09; HM 1:43:26; 10K 44:51; 5K 21:27

                            hectortrojan


                              I updated my broken collarbone thread but I'm going to post here as well.  It still isn't 100% healed and the Dr. didn't give the okay to run because if I fall I could re-break it.

                               

                              My thoughts are that I could fall and re-break it walking down the hall, so that is always a risk, but I do understand that the chances of falling during a trail race are much higher, especially those last few miles when I'll be tired.

                               

                              My current thoughts are to make this even less of a "race" and really try not to be competitive on this, but just do it for the learning experience.  Probably this means not running on the downhills, for sure not running them fast.  One thing that I need to keep in mind though is that most of the falls that I can remember while running trails was when I was running easy and relaxed (too relaxed) and started looking around and enjoying the scenery or something and then, bam, I'm on the ground.  So I will need to keep focused and maybe if I want to enjoy the scenery I need to walk and not run that section or something.

                               

                              This is supposed to be a relatively nice dirt non-technical trail, but there will be some of those ugly tree roots trying to trip me and a little bit of rocky spots.

                               

                              Any input on this?  Any tips to not falling?  It's not like I make a habit of falling or anything, I've fallen 1 time in 4,000+ road miles and that was when my dog cut in front of me and tripped me, but I've fallen 2 or 3 times in 200 - 300 miles of trail running so it is a lot higher risk.

                               

                              Thanks, Nathan

                               

                              If 300 is the total mile you ran on trails,  I think running more on trails would do the trick.

                              After a while our body learns to lift legs more when we run on roots and rocks and falling goes down.

                                Well, I've been slow getting this updated, but I ended up with my first ever DNF on Saturday.

                                 

                                The weather actually turned out close to perfect for mid May in east Texas.  58 degrees and moderate humidity at the start, climbing to mid 70's and a slight breeze when I finished.  It had rained earlier in the week but the trails were in great shape and from that perspective I couldn't have asked for better conditions.

                                 

                                I did have a little bout with a stomach bug on Thursday before the race, everything was going right through me and that wasn't helping the old carbo loading very much at all.  I was feeling poor enough that I broke my running streak of 50+ days and decided to take a break that day.  Friday had me feeling better, but still not 100%, but I was going to be racing pretty much regardless.  Friday turned out to be a pretty hectic day and I ended up not being able to get in a run that day as well.  After a little over a 6 hour drive we got checked into the hotel and were in bed just after 10, but I was wired and couldn't seem to get to sleep.

                                 

                                My training hadn't been perfect with the 3 weeks off completely with the broken collarbone, but I felt like I had pretty much gotten back on track and was still thinking I might actually be competitive even though I was supposed to be focused on not falling more than running fast.  5:30 rolled around way too soon and ate a couple bagels and a banana and headed to the race.  Actually got started a little later than we wanted from the hotel, but made it to the race in plenty of time and packet pickup went really smooth and had about 30 minutes to spare before the race started at 7:00.  Got my drop bag ready and put it on the tarp provided and just tried to relax and enjoy it.  It was a beautiful morning and before you know it the race was ready to start.

                                 

                                 

                                The 50K and 20 milers start 30 minutes before the 10 milers and 7K'ers so there were about 125 runners or so going off the line.  I was thinking about just keeping an easy pace, but I was still also thinking that I might be able to run right around 5 hours so didn't want to go out too easy.  That was just under a 10:00 pace and I just couldn't comprehend how I could run much slower than that, even walking up some of the steeper hills.

                                 

                                Right off the bat the course goes up a small hill, drops back down, up another hill, drops, back down, repeat, then down a big hill and up a big hill, lots of ups and downs.  It is single track so we all kind of got into a spot right at the start and then just kind of held our spot in line for better or worse.  I really felt like I was doing a pretty good pace for me, it felt like a little more effort than I was wanting, but not too bad.  I was hoping that the fact that we were running about 2,500' lower in elevation than where we live would help offset the higher humidity.  I had my phone set to just tell me the time and distance every 5 minutes instead of average pace, split pace and all that fun stuff and as I suspected it was lost as a goose and the GPS was shorting the course about 25% due to the heavy tree cover.  10 minutes in and it said that I had not even gone .75 miles and I knew I was running faster than 10:00 pace.

                                 

                                The trail was in good shape and the tree cover was so thick that it was shaded about 95% of the time.  There were tree roots everywhere and at first I seemed to be doing a fine job not tripping on them.  Just over a mile or so in people started to spread out a little and get some space between us and I started to relax a little and sure enough, I tripped hard and went down.  It happened very fast, and I reached to brace myself with both arms, not able to keep my reactions from working faster than my mind which would have said "don't brace yourself with your left arm!".  I popped back up and was running down the trail before really even thinking about it, but doing a mental inventory for pain, everything seemed fine.  I could still move my shoulder fine, I reached over and felt where the break in my collarbone was and it felt fine, I seemed to have averted total disaster barely a mile into the race.  I pledged to myself to pay more attention and focus on those tree roots even harder.

                                 

                                Here's a picture that I took off the race website that I think shows what most of the course was like.

                                 

                                 

                                Maybe another 1/2 mile or so I think I glanced over at some cows in a nice pasture that we were running by and bam, I was on the ground again.  Again, my reactions were quicker than my brain and I reached out with both arms.  Again, somehow I ended up okay and I didn't re-break my collarbone.

                                 

                                This was getting borderline ridiculous now, surely I can run without falling on a nice trail through the woods!  There weren't hardly any rocks or anything, just those tree roots everywhere.  With renewed focus and a big sigh of relief I continued on.  Maybe another mile down the road and I was on the ground again.  No idea what happened that time.  I don't think I was able to even reach out to brace myself before I was on the ground, but again somehow my collarbone was still intact and other than a growing number of scrapes and scratches, I was no worse for wear.

                                 

                                About this time I really started thinking whether I needed to continue or not.  The first aid station was at 3 miles and there was a shortcut back to the start on an old road there.  If I continued to fall at this rate it wasn't a matter of "if" I was going to re-break my collarbone, it was a matter of how far I was going to make it before I "did" re-break my collarbone.  The trail actually seemed to be getting a little better and I decided I would continue on, but just focus even harder on not falling.

                                 

                                I seemed to finally get into a groove and really started making some progress.  My effort level still seemed a little higher than I would have expected, but I was running a pretty comfortable pace and walking on the steeper hills and I felt like I could maintain this level for a long time.  Weather was close to perfect still.  Before I knew it I was making my way toward the 2nd aid station at the 7 mile mark.  I had tripped a few times, but really nothing even close to a fall.  I was getting pretty confident.

                                 

                                In and out of the 2nd aid station, some nice downhill running on a fairly smooth section of the course and I was feeling even better.  I actually caught up to some of the 7K runners that had made a shorter loop and felt very smooth and things were really feeling good here.  Maybe the best I felt the entire race.  The trail got hilly again and the tree roots showed back up, but I was able to make it back to the start line to finish the first loop without falling again and went through in 1:41 which was just 1 minute slower than I was planning.  3 1 hour and 40 minute loops would put me right at 5 hours.

                                 

                                I hit the hilly section at the start of the 2nd loop again and really focused on my feet and not tripping.  Made it through the first couple miles really well, didn't trip at all.  The hills were all much bigger the second time around and some of the smaller ones that I ran up the first time I walked up this time.  I was slowing down, but I was also focusing on not falling so I still felt pretty good about things.  Right about the time that I was feeling really confident again I went down hard.  Ended up skidding down a hill on my back a little bit.  Okay, that wasn't fun, but guess what?  I still hadn't re-broken my collarbone!!!  I went on with renewed focus on my feet placement and made it into the 1st aid station with just that one fall where I had fallen 3 times in that section the previous time through.  I was getting better!

                                 

                                Just some quick water and a GU and back down the trail.  This goes on a long uphill section for a little over a mile almost and I was starting to feel it.  I did a little bit of walking in here on some areas where the hill wasn't very steep at all.  I ended up matching up with another runner who was wearing sandals and I we chatted back and forth quite a bit over the next several miles.  I had forgotten to put any body glide on and my nipples were starting to rub me pretty good so somewhere in here I ended up taking my singlet off and tucking it into my race belt.  Somewhere around mile 15 or 16 a runner up ahead of us fell and called out to warn us not to trip over something, so of course I immediately proceeded to trip and fall for the 5th time.  It wasn't a bad fall though and I still felt okay about my improvement in my not falling ability.  Continued on to the 2nd aid station at the 17 mile mark and was starting to get tired, but actually pulled away from the guy wearing the sandals and was making a pretty decent pace.

                                 

                                I was taking GU every 45 minutes or so and drinking plenty of water.  In one of my falls I had landed on one of my water bottles though and the cap that only opens up when you squeeze on it was broken and it splashed water out with every step.  That essentially left me with one working 8oz water bottle for the distance between aid stations, then I would use the broken one to drink at the aid stations.  It was working fairly decently but I was getting a little worried about how that was going to work on the last lap with the temperatures were getting a little higher.

                                 

                                I left the 2nd aid station and started to enjoy the nice downhill section with the smooth trail for a bit, right up until I fell hard for the 6th time during the race.  Again, I reacted quicker than I thought and braced myself with both arms as I fell.  Again, somehow I didn't re-break my collarbone.  I was starting to get depressed with my continued falling and I was starting to get tired as well.  Renewed focus and kept going down the trail, but it seemed like I lost some of my energy and the little uphills were getting harder and harder and I was walking just about any uphill I came to.  I was starting to think that maybe I was really pushing my luck and the next time I fell might be the end of my lucky streak.  I was also thinking that as I got more and more tired, the chances of me tripping and falling were probably going to go up.

                                 

                                I was trying to enjoy the trail, the scenery was really nice and trees are just something we don't have many of in Lubbock.  Sure enough I started feeling good again and then found myself looking around and quickly found myself hitting the ground again for the 7th time.  Again my reactions were faster than my mind and I found myself bracing my fall with both arms.  Again I was lucky and didn't re-break my collarbone.

                                 

                                If this is starting to sound like a broken record to you, it was really starting to sound like it to me.  I was running with no music, just my phone telling me the time and distance every 5 minutes and the sounds of nature around me.  I had plenty of time to think and the more I thought the more I realized that I was really pushing the envelope here and not being very intelligent about this.  The whole reason why I took up running in the first place was to get into better shape for hunting and I was lucky enough to draw a once in a lifetime hunting tag this fall and here I was risking re-breaking my collarbone which could put me out for 3 - 6 more months by running this trail race.  I slowed down some more and really decided to just get back to the starting line without falling and call it a day.  I finished the 2nd loop in 2:03 for a total of 3:44 for 20.6 miles for an average pace of 10:54.

                                 

                                That would have put me in 21st place out of 74 people who ran the 20.6 mile distance, but the race director of this trail race series doesn't allow you to drop down from the distance that you signed up for, so my official results are a DNF.  It was tough to stop, but really the smart thing to do, even though it still wears on me.  I could have just walked that last loop and still would have finished in the middle of the pack for the 50K runners, but I didn't sign up for a trail walk, I signed up for a trail run and I didn't want to spend 3 hours walking that last loop just to say I finished it.  In my mind I would have had to tell everyone, yeah I finished a 50K trail run, but I had to walk the last 10 miles.  Another possibility was that I would start out planning on walking the last loop, but get out there and start trying to run some of the smoother areas and risk falling more and that could have been even worse.

                                 

                                So that's pretty much my race report.  A big DNF.  Here's a picture of me sitting down after I finished.  Not the most flattering picture of me, but I think it really does a good job of showing in a picture how my day ended up.

                                 

                                 

                                I was more sore after this race than my marathon last year by quite a bit.  Just got my first run in yesterday and am probably going to just keep running some easy miles for now before I figure out any kind of a training plan.  I really enjoy the trail running, but I'm second guessing myself a little on how poorly I seem to do at it.  Not sure if I just don't pick my feet up enough or exactly what the problem is, but I seem to be better at falling than I am at running when it comes to trails.

                                 

                                My wife ran the 10.3 miler and finished 36th out of 109 finishers.  She didn't fall one time!

                                 

                                Well, I guess that's my official race report.  For sure a learning experience for me.  The course was MUCH harder than I expected.  I really think I was in 3:40ish shape for a marathon and it took me longer than that to run 20.6 miles on the trail.

                                Age: 46 Weight: 208 Height: 6'2" (Goal weight 195)

                                Current PR's:  Mara 3:48:09; HM 1:43:26; 10K 44:51; 5K 21:27

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