Monday, April 28, 2008

Another long run

I felt I really needed to get in another long run before Ice Age 50 mile in a couple of weeks. Time was a problem because I had to pick up my Grandson by noon on saturday. The plan was to start early- in the dark out at Afton. I need to grow up and get over that fear of the dark: the weather was starting to look like it was going to be not the best too. Luckily for me I got encluded in a group email from Matt that he was starting at 4;30 am- I said I would join the group he had going. Ok now I am committed to getting out early and trying to push myself one more time into getting ready to run 50 miles.
I got to Afton at about 4;20AM. There was one other car a few parking lots down the way, I hate being the only one(that I know of) out there. Matt shows up on time and we wait a while for Bryan who doesn't show so we head out to the snowshoe loop first because of the strong winds. I wore a LED headlamp and had a small hand carry flashlight but I really need to get a stronger flashlight it was hard to see the path, only fell once, pretty good for how dark it seemed. Before long the snow was really falling and sticking to the ground.
I ran by myself after the first few hours. I was happy that even though I felt rotton from like 10 to 16 miles, after that I felt pretty good. That good feeling was sort of what I felt at Chippewa, like I knew I was tired but it didn't bother me. My understanding of this is that this is when my body starts to burn a greater percentage of fat for its fuel. I also had a little bit of time in the last few miles where I started to get really hungry I ate some blocks and a small nutroll and felt better again to finish off the day. I was out for almost 7 hours and got in 27-28 miles. Best of all I left with the feeling that I should be able to do finish Ice Age within the 12 hour time limit. Should- but I have not finished a trail 50 miler- in under that time and I was a slight faster runner last year. It will be fun to see what happens.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Trail Mix

Last saturday was Trail Mix 50k. In 2005 Trail Mix was my first 50K that I had ever done so this is a race I hate to miss. This was my third time. In 2006 I only did the 25K becuase up to that I had not run much. Last year was my best time at I think 6:02. This year I did 5:59 but only because of the shortened course. No one knows the exact length but I think more in the 29 mile range seemed right. I was faster last year than I am now.
This was only the 2nd marathon or higher race that I ran the whole thing with the same person, the only other time that happened was my first marathon with my friend Jackie. this time my friend Craig put up with me for the whole thing. He is a much better runner than I am and could have done much better, even though he is too nice to admit it. He has done a huge amount of marathons and is closing in on doing the 50 states a second time.
It was nice to see people I know- Eve and Steve win. I was in my third lap when I crossed Eve and then Steve they both looked so intense. Later we heard the roar of the crowd, we were surprised because we figured it was about when Eve would have reached but didn't hear anything for the person we thought must have crossed first. What surprise that the winner would be a woman. Steve was back on the course later- I saw him hanging around the last aid station, I asked him how he did, he said he was the top guy- way to go Steve!!!
I always like the 4th lap at trail mix when its is only the end of the 50K people left on the course, finally no continual passing. It is much more peaceful. I didn't have any leg pain like I used to get but I was quite tired, I proably would have walked more if I was running by myself. I thought I might feel the big boost I felt the week before at Chippewa during the 2nd half but did not. Every race is different. I was able to make the excuse that I left it at Chippewa but I know that was not the case. My time had it been the full course would have been closer to 6:30.
The best thing about this race was seeing all the people I know, hanging out after and going to lunch with some great people.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Chippewa Morraine 50K

What a fun race this was. It was my first race of the year. I didn't even know if I was going to be able to finish much less finish feeling as strong as I did.
I had not imagined running a 50K in such weather before. The snow was deep but by the time this back of the backer traveled over the trail it was pretty well packed, the snow was over a foot in places. The path was narrow it felt like extra work staying withing the path. I had wished I had worn my yak tracks to keep the lateral slipping down.
I signed up for the race the day before I really did not know if I was able tc complete the distance. The longest distances I got in so far this year have been one 25K loop at Afton and one 15 miles on the road. Another concern has been my speed- I have been at least a minute per mile slower than my normal speed, even trying my hardest. My ten miles runs have been taking 2 hours or a little over. Running at the 10 pace was my sprint. I know that at some point I was going to get slower but did not want that to happen yet. I am already towards the back of the pack, I did not want weather I can finish in the time allowed for races to be an issue.
Anyways given the forecast for bad weather and the generous finish time of the race I knew I had to do it. The worse the conditons the better I thought I would do.
The course was beautiful and just the type of course I loved -lots of hills. I can't wait to run it with no snow.
I started out in the back hopping to keep up. I kept telling myself something I know well, not to project how you feel at the start of the race upon how you will feel later, I concentrated on the beauty of the course. I did not see any other people except the great volunteers for the majority of the first half. How great it was to be all alone and just enjoy. Thought of maybe having to quit at the half popped in my head but again I tried to just enjoy.
Someting happened to me at about mile 12-13, about the time the front runners were comming my way- I started feeling really good. The front runners were all so nice saying how well I was doing, It felt good to hear that- I felt so lucky to know so many great people. I got to the turnaround at about 4 hours, I was extremely happy for that.
I felt unstoppable during the 2nd half, I just ran as fast as I could and I passed alot of people. Every time I saw someone ahead of me I pushed untill I caught up. I had the best negative split I had ever had in a race finishing in 7:47 or so. I normally fade big time at the end of a race.
The party at the end was great- I had a few beers, talked to lots of friends before driving home.