Sunday, April 26, 2009

Free State

Showed up for the Free State 100K in a weird state. I had been battling the start of a head cold and no time to rest the week prior, other than reduced mileage, so I was really pretty antsy. After an hour of the usual pre-race chatter we headed off. This was my first time at Lake Clinton, and I was surprised by both the volume of mud and the topsy-turvy terrain. Yes, all of it IS runnable, unless you're me. Anywho, started extremely slow and the first five miles didn't suck so I ramped it up just a bit. Finally caught up with Willie and we rode into the start/finish at around four hours. Quick stop and back out for the second loop, which was markedly slower, around 4:15/20. I had some stomach issues by then, and if I am proud of anything it's that I was asked "Are you sure you want to do this loop (the third)?"
Yes! I was prepared to walk, which I mostly did. Willie and Colleen did a good job of being there for me and later allowing me some time to regroup. I kept repeating to myself one of my favorite quotes: "Do the thing and have the power". I kept this up for awhile while formulating the new plan: make it to KUS aid station, jog/walk to final A/S, save enough to haul ass to the finish. I was still talking to myself when the rain and lightning started to get interesting. I couldn't have been more pleased with the cooling rain, I had been feeling muggy for a bit.
Somewhere around mile 48 I found Willie waiting for me. I knew he had been holding back a bit and we trudged toward the KUS folks. Willie mentioned that they'd probably call the race if the tornado sirens kept going off. I hoped they didn't, namely because I felt like an animal running around in the woods in a hailstorm with severe lightning adding to the fun. About a mile later we see Phil Sheridan running down the trail, game over.
Good call. If my family had been out there I would have pulled them, too.
Couple of quick mentions: the volunteers were outstanding! Thanks so much for your hard work!
Nice work, Dave Wakefield, winner of the 40-miler.

Deb Johnson: "This is my third 100K, and we've had tornado warnings during two of them!"

Lee: "So, are you excited about Leadville, Gary?"
Gary: "Not right now I'm not." (around mile 45).

Willie: "These shoes don't handle mud very well!" (the man who has the most techncial knowledge of gear in our area, said around mile 51. He is a quick study.)

Lee: "I thought you said we were going to take it easy here!" (from around mile 36 to mile 40).
Willie: "And I thought you said we were going to do the first loop in 4:20!" (went under 4:00)

Willie: "Well, do you wanna try run 2/walk 2?"
Lee: "You can if you want." Pitiful.

Berryman is next...

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Springburn is the new Hardrock!

Friday had a date with the treadmill. Like most, I generally find treadmill work boring and use it mainly to stay out of the cold. Not so on Friday. I grabbed some 5 pound dumbbells, set the incline on 15%, and let 'er rip. The first hour was hard enough, but the word "boring" never crept into my head. The second hour I started to get the "goose bumps" I always get when my electrolytes are gone...who brings food to a treadmill workout? Though the weather was pleasant enough outside, I wanted to focus on the constant incline work to make sure I am prepared for California in June (although the section I will be running on is not that bad terrain-wise, I don't want to be an anchor if Willie wants to start knocking out 8 minute miles. Pam Reed writes in her book, The Extra Mile, that energy is contagious, and while a happy, fresh pacer can really help to melt the miles a tired, overworked pacer becomes either dead weight for the runner or an excuse to drop.)
All the way through the third and final hour, those dumbbells made it seem like I was carrying my runner. I must have looked the part. A fellow was standing next to me saying something. I removed my headphones and grunted. He repeated his question "Are you training for something?"
I am gasping in reply. Yes. Springburn. 5K.
Dead serious, I put my headphones back in and finished the hour. Ya'll would have loved the look on that dudes face.