Sunday, October 19, 2008

Back from a long run....

What a cool weekend! Aside from having to leave Penny behind it was a great weekend.

The race was 24.5 miles of really having a good time and being surprised at how well my legs were holding together. I set out planning to hold the pace at around 8:45 - 9:00 per mile. A little slower than usual, but I figured after the last 2 months of training not being so hot, I’d be able to survive 26.2 miles at that pace.

Race morning was great, an 8:30 start meant we got to sleep in about an hour and a half compared to most races. SWEET!

The morning was odd because the temp was s different from morning to evening and that morning was about 48 degrees, but suppose to get about 64. Didn’t want to waer too much and over heat if the sun did come out, but didn’t want to under dress and be freezing before, during and towards the end of the race.I think I changed twice before heading out and AK must have changed just as many, maybe more. However, it wasn’t as cold as in the past and the clouds gave way to clear skies and amazing weather for running. About 53-55 for most of the day.

AK was ready to run and couldn’t wait to get it started. She said she wasn’t nervous this time, just waited to get it on. I felt odd at the start, like I wasn’t really there to do 26.2, just there to do a long run.

From the start of course you get stuck in the massive packs and run really slow trying to wait for the numbers to drop and make it easier to start running at your own pace. My biggest rule and advice is “Run your own race.” Something I follow and never let myself fall out of, except when the finish is in sight of course.

At about mile 2 I fell into a good pace that felt easy and sustainable, around 8:10. I thought of slowing and running a little easier, but it felt comfortable. At this same time I found my friend Karen and thought I’d run with her for a few, but knew she was looking for a 3:40, faster than I was going to be doing. I told her I’ll run with you when I can, but don’t hesitate to drop me to keep your time. That was at mile 2.

I had a great time out on the course and maybe because I knew I was running on borrowed time. I knew around any corner my I.T. band or achilles was going to jump up and rob the day from me. I was OK with that. I’ve never DNF’d and I figured it would happen sooner or later.

Around mile 12 I was still running a strong 8:15 per mile and feeling really good. Mile 13 I was like OK half this may not be that hard of a day. Up through 16 was feeling great, at 18 the group I was running with, including Karen, made a surge and we did a sub 8 minute mile. Not amazing for the truly fast, but I was proud to be there holding my own. At twenty I broke to the front of the group with this guy from South Africa and told him at the top of one of the hills,’ you going?’ he smiled and said ‘ go ‘ We broke from the group and opened a small maybe 15 sec gap on the group at the bottom.

Not the game winning shot of course, but it was really fun talking, joking and supporting each other out there. I ran with about four people through the race at different times in the race and ended up finishing with most of them.

At the 23 mile mark the legs felt great and I was pacing pretty well and the thought, as most do at this point, was to tell myself one lap around Green Lake. I hit 23 at 3:13. Sweet I thought, I’m going to PR.

Then at mile 24.5, I would say that for the second time in my athletic career, the wheels came off. At 24.5 I hit the water stop feel mostly OK then in about 30ft the legs put out the “out to lunch” sign. I walked a few then picked up a painful stab in my right hip and the legs felt heavy as lead. i looked at my watch and saw that I could still make 3:40 if I put my ass in gear and started running again. So I told myself “ just running, walk, then jog, then pick up the pace” About 15 long seconds of that my legs refused.

I made myself walk until I was clearly unable to PR, so I could stop thinking about that. Then I picked it up again, but could only do about 30 yards then walk again. This went on until I saw the one mile to go sign. At that point I was walking with massive cramps in places I wasn’t really expecting or had had before. My legs felt like they wanting to buckle in on themselves. I walked for about a half mile until I saw the green gates that lead to the finish. I held a strong 12:45 for the last .25 miles! CRAZY!

The pain was brief and only came in the last two miles. Although the last few miles seemed to last forever and seemed to crawl by my Forerunner has me at: 8:50, 9:25, 9:50 for the last three, but 5 minutes for the last .2

Over all I enjoyed the race and the amazing setting of Victoria for the race. I still find it funny because I told Alley at the beginning, I don’t really think I’m going to run 26.2 today, we’ll see.

The thing that this did do was make me want to get in the right training to see if I could hit 3:30. I felt great out there and the lack of training caught up with me as excepted. BTW the lack of training came from injury and not laziness. However, I felt I could of run 8:00 even or better per mile up until about mile 23. Endurance from better training could .......................wait a minute!

This sounds like other one could be around the corner soon.......

Also, AK and Karen did an amazing job out there, both getting the times there were looking for.

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