Sunday, April 11, 2010

MOAB marathon 2010 recap.

April 10th 2010 .....and I just love that fresh clean smell. If you are not a runner you would never know that what I am actually talking about is a brand new pair of running shoes right out of the box. And for me that only means one make and model - Asics Gel Cumulus in size 10. I love these shoes - wide toe box, great cushioning and fit and they look good too.
So I decided a few weeks ago to travel down to Moab and compete in the Moab marathon. Not a big race - in fact the smallest field this year as Curt did not advertise the race due to the bridge construction on Moab and the lateness of obtaining a permit for the race. Hotels are pricey down there and I worked a full 10 hours on Friday so I went to bed at 8:30 pm, arose at 11:30 pm ( yes.. PM) and was out of the door at midnight to drive down to Moab in the dark. I was a little rested but not much. There was still a fair amount of traffic on I-15, but less as I headed out through highway 6 into Spanish Fork and towards Price. I arrived in Moab at 3:45 am, and went into the Aarchway Inn to spend an hour on the lobby couch waiting for the other runners to arrive. There was a fairly even mix of male and female, but not a super competitive bunch. Even a few of the long haired with grey wool socks kind that show up in races such as Leadville.
So at 5:15 am, we boarded three 15 passenger vans to take us up to Dead Horse point from where we had a scenic overlook of the red rocks and the beauty of Moab's nature. I met a graduate student from CA who had driven 16 hours with three female graduate students to run the race. I met up with my friend Ken Cushing who I once split a hotel room with when we ran this race years ago. He is now an ultramarathoner and was planning on running 32 today, starting at DHP and then the full marathon route after that.

So here I am at Dead Horse Point before the race in the dawn.

And the beautiful red rock formations...

One group of about ten mainly slower runners asked to start early and miss out on the overlook at DHP and the bathrooms there. They started about 30 minutes behind us. The rest of us piled out of the vans at 6:55 am, and Curt was eager to start the race. When he said " ready.. go" I tried to say that I was not ready. I was still trying to get warm up clothes off and didn't have time to grab my GU or use the bathroom once again. So I started off dead last which was interesting to say the least. The pace of those at the back was 11+ minute miles. I had decided to stick to 8 minute miles for as long as I could. So I worked my way up the field and by the end of the first mile I was in second place. The first place guy was running about 7:30's and lengthening his lead. At 5 miles I was right on pace but needed a pit stop. That cost at least a minute and didn't show on splits as I had my Garmin on ' auto pause' (whoops).
Mile 1.........8:00
Mile 2.........8:04
Mile 3.........7:34
Mile 4.........7:40
Mile 5.........7:40
Mile 6.........7:30
Mile 7.........7:26
Mile 9.........7:37
Mile 10.......7:40
Mile 5 is where I was overtaken by the next guy. So here I was in third place from mile 5 to mile 16. From 5 onwards there was a lot of downhill, serious stuff that just plain thrashed your legs. I tried to hold back and run 7:40's but I was not having fun. At least I was passing all of the slower runners that started the race early.
Mile 11......8:02
Mile 12......7:44
Mile 13......7:31
By the half, I was at 1:42 and change. I knew I wanted a sub 2 hour last half but was unsure whether I could do it. I clearly was not recovered from last week's 22 miler with Leslie and Karie... and by mile 15 I was walking and dehydrated. At the next aid station I took two huge cups of water and an enduroloyte and tried to resume running. Another runner was gaining on me, and we ran together for the next mile before I began to fade away :) . I cannot remember his name, but he was a guy in his 20's from Spanish Fork who is doing a half Ironman this summer in Idaho. I could see nobody else behind me, so decided to run/walk as best I could and try to hold onto fourth place but did not think that would happen.
Mile 14.........7:39
Mile 15.........8:41
Mile 16.........8:10
Mile 17.........9:30 ( running through the nasty sand)
Mile 18.........8:56
Mile 19.........8:35
Mile 20.........8:43
At 17 miles we hit a nasty sand trail that was just like running on the beach. It wanted to suck you under and then some. Not fun at all.
We were on a trail for another 5 + miles of ups and downhills. My strength was clearly sapped and some of the miles were coming in near 10 minute miles ( 23 to 25). I really wanted to hit somewhere in the low 3;40's so struggled hard to lean in and pick up the pace. By 22 miles I downed two large cups of gatorade then walked about about a hundred yards. The liquid fuel kicked in very quickly and I felt energized. At mile 25 I saw the bridge not too far off. The young guy from Spanish Fork was not far ahead of me. Nobody was behind and I came across the finish line in 3:39 for fourth place overall out of 50 runners.
Mile 21.........8:41
Mile 22.........9:43
Mile 23.........9:49
Mile 24.........9:28
Mile 25.........9:57
Mile 26.........8:24

Fouth place award... 3:39 and change.

Ken Cushing 9th overall but he ran more than the rest.

The guy from Mountainland Rehabilitation. Great six pack dude ! I think he finished in just under 4 hours.

Back home in the tub of very cold water after a three and a half hour drive from Moab :

Now add the ice trying not to drop the camera into the water.... and listen to some music:
( as a tribute to my running partner who posted a similar photo last week :) )

Thirty minutes in the ice bath and I felt good. After eating like a horse I felt even better and went to the park with Kori and the kids. I was really tired though and knew that I would sleep many hours that night, which I did.
So now I have 6 days off before the Salt Lake City marathon. Plenty of time to rest, stretch, eat and mentally prepare for a very tough race. Let's hope I can break 4 hours next week. Really not hoping for anything better than that after this killer run today. I have many, many friends who will be there next week. Best of luck to Jen and Janae from my marathon seminar classes as well as the incredible Dave Faires who has dropped his body weight from 362 to 187 pounds in the last year and is excited to run his very first marathon.
Marathon #71 is over and the medal is hung !

Sunday, April 4, 2010

First 22 miler of the year....

We had been steadily building our mileage up over the last two months - Leslie getting ready for Ironman St. George on 1st May this year, and me - a myriad of marathons this year with a goal to requalify for Boston with a time vaguely reminiscent of what I used to run several years ago. By Friday 2nd April, the weather forecast for Saturday looked ominous. Rain, snow and wind were in the forecast along with cold temperatures. The plan was to run with Leslie and a new friend, Karie, whom I met met on Facebook through Leslie. Karie ran a 3:37 at TOU last year so Leslie suggested that we might like to run Ogden together this year as we were both vying for a sub 3:30 marathon at that race.
By 2:30 am Friday night, my 7 year old, Bethany, was coughing so much that I took her downstairs to get some medicine. Relax as I might, I could not get back to sleep, and watched the clock for hours. I must have fallen asleep after 4 am, and awoke with a jolt as my alarm went off at 5:10 am. I had everything laid out the night before so just needed to dress and leave. I didn't quite plan enough time - we were supposed to meet at 6am at 4200West and 134th South, but by then I was just driving around the point of the mountain. Both Karie and I were late, probably 6:10 when we met up with Leslie. It was took dark to hit the planned trail as were were not sure how muddy it was . So instead Leslie had us run East then North and into the Daybreak community which she was very familiar was. I am glad she was as I had no idea which planet I was on by that point. We ran on a paved trail around the Daybreak reservoir which was cool and quite windy. I wore my 2000 Boston marathon jacket which is a great windbreaker but not very breathable. That was ok, since I planned to change my upper body clothing back at the car at 11-12 miles. By the time we had finished that loop I was ready for new clothing so donned new armwarmers, a tech shirt and my blue sleeveless windvest and off we went southbound on the canal trail. It seemed that Karie had been happy to take the lead during the first loop and she did so again for the "out " section of the second part of the run. I had gauged my fluid intake well on the first loop - two 7-8 ounce bottles but mistakenly only packed one on the second part of the run. Big mistake as I was feeling dehydrated by 20 miles and it showed. However from 16-19 I was happy to lead us out and put in an 8:05 mile at 18 with Leslie hollering from behind that I sure didn't look tired. That's the pace I need all the way through the marathon, well actually 7:55's would be perfect. By 20 miles I was struggling to keep up with Leslie, but in the last mile she proved that her ice bath last night after hours on the trainer really worked, and she held a good clip to the 22 mile mark. Karie struggled a little the last few miles but looks in great shape to attack 3:30 with me at Ogden.
Leslie, Karie and myself at the end of the 22 miler. Not good light on this so we''ll try again...
Leslie trying to take a photo with her cellphone at the same time...
We were actually very lucky with the weather. Yes, it was cold and windy at times, but it did not snow nor rain. We crossed paths with Heidi and her friend Dorothy in the second part of our run. They really should have joined us as their pace was not much slower than ours.
Adding cold water...

Back home, it was the cold water bath as soon as I was through the doors. Sit in first and add the cold water while listening to music and pretending that the water is much warmer than it really is.........While painful and shocking to the system at first, the 20 minutes in there is worth every second. I kept my hat on and listened to some good running music to pass the time, then finished off with a warm shower then a cold water cooldown on the legs. And guess what this morning ? - no pain. Absolutely none. I cannot really tell that I did a long run yesterday but I will still take tomorrow off and maybe get out the tri bike on Tuesday for a light ride. There's another long(er) run scheduled for next week out of town....hehe....that should be dirt and all....