Sunday, October 26, 2008

2008 Rock Creek Trail 50K

On Friday, Jeff and I headed to Perry, KS to Lake Perry State Park for the Rock Creek Trail 50K. It rained off and on all the way there and then stopped raining once we got to the campground. We were the only people camping. Jeff started a fire, we cooked our dinners, and sat around the fire until about 9 pm. We got in the camper and went to sleep. It was a little cold at first, but when I woke up in the night I was nice and warm. Alarm went off at 6 pm and we ate breakfast inside the camper since it was dark and cold outside. We then drove about half mile to the start.

Temperature was 35 F (warmed up to 60s before I was done). We stood in line to pick up our packets, use the porta-potty and then I got dressed for the race. I had about 10 min to spare and headed to the lot where everyone was waiting. I missed any instructions, but knew to just follow the pink flags. We walked about 0.1 mi down a hill and started from there. This allowed everyone to spread out before heading into the woods on the single track trail. I had hoped to average a 9:15 pace. In order to decide a pace for this run, I felt that I should have been able to beat Deanna's time from last year by maybe 10 minutes.

Everyone from the 5K, 25K, and 50K started the race together. I lined up near the front so I wouldn’t be behind too many people, but wasn’t sure what to do since there were 3 distances. I ran the down hills and flats faster and uphills took easier. I had no problems finding the pink flags. I didn’t feel like I was running too hard and GPS didn’t seem to be getting a great signal. It said I was going slower than I felt so it was difficult to pace with it. I almost think I shouldn’t have worn it for this race.

The 5Kers veered off on another trail early in the race. I removed my cotton shirt at the first aid station and had some water. I ran alone most of the time, but I passed several people doing the half later in my first loop. It was difficult to get around people at times and I would try to wait until there was more room for them to move over before announcing I wanted to pass. I drank water at all the aid stations and had some pretzels and a piece of banana at one. I really wish I could eat more of the food they offer but it doesn’t look good to me while I am running. I took 3 Accel Gels each loop.

At the end of the first loop, I stop at my drop bag, remove my long sleeve wicking, grab my water bottle which I was planning to carry only the second loop, change my spi-belt. I had a new one ready with 3 more Accel Gels. I decide to use the bathroom since I am really needing to go and figure it will save me time in the end.

I start the second loop feeling okay. At about mile 18 I start feeling really good so pick up the pace. I pass a couple 50Kers. One that I passed was walking since his ankle was hurting otherwise, he would have easily beat me. He ended up dropping out at 20 miles. I pass a couple more guys. This makes me feel a bit more motivated than I had been feeling. A guy at one of the aid stations tells me I am looking strong and if I keep a steady pace, I will likely catch some of the 5 guys ahead of me. I had no idea there were that many ahead of me but it does give me a goal.

At the 24 mile aid station I am told that I am looking pale and they think I should take some electrolytes so I drank some of the nasty tasting Heed. They fill up my bottle with water and I am on my way and I do feel better. I hit this aid station again (it crossed 2 trails) and drank 2 more Heeds. I ended up passing another 50K guy that was walking. I press on to the end but am just not motivated to press too hard. I do walk a little on the hills, but mostly ran.

I didn’t fall once during the first loop, but fell 2 times in the second and almost a 3rd time. Each time got mud on my hands but was not hurt at all. The course was quite rocky and the leaves covered the rocks so difficult to see.

The finish seemed to come quickly. I had no idea how I was doing on time since I had locked the bezel on the Garmin and was just looking at splits which were not accurate on this trail. I see the clock says 4:59 something and I kick to the end. Time was 4:59:07 (9:38 pace). I was happy to be under 5 hrs, but felt like I could have run this race harder.

Since I never felt really good mentally (brain was in a fog much of the time) I think I was low on electrolytes and need to make sure I am more careful in the future. I felt I had a lot left in me at the end which I don’t think I should after running 31 miles. The second loop was much slower for me than the first, but I did manage to pass 4 people. I was not passed at all during this race. It did warm up to the 60s during my second loop, but the temperature was comfortable. Mentally, I just wasn’t in this race as much as I should have been most of the time.

I was 5th overall out of 39 (46 starters) and they gave me first place in Masters which I didn't quite understand since I am 6 days short of 40. For their race, I was close enough to be turning 40 this month. The course record for Masters was 4:55 which I think I should have been able to run at least a 4:50 on this course. It was more difficult than Hocking Hills 60K last year, but easier than the Syllamo courses. This may be a race I will have to try again next year. I really do think I could run this course better and I think having run it this year will be a help.

Today, the day after the race, I ran 9.6 miles at Rock Bridge with Dan. I think this proves that I really didn’t race too hard yesterday. Overall though it was a fun race with nice people and I placed about where I would have expected.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

2008 Rock Bridge Revenge 20K

Several people are finding this blog searching for the 2008 Rock Bridge Revenge Results so I am posting the link.

I went to bed too late, slept poorly, and was not ready to get out of bed this morning. I had gained about 3 lbs from everything I ate yesterday. I tried to get my body in the mood to run a race and felt better by the time we left.

The temp at the start was about 50 so perfect for running. I ran the 20K (2 loops) which started at 9:00 and the 10K started at 9:20.

We started off going down hill and at a fast pace positioned in 6th place. I quickly realized that those 5 guys in front of me were faster runners and I just settled into my own pace and let them go. The trail was in really good shape just like last year so not much mud to deal with. I took a little water at every station but didn’t really feel like I needed that much. My feet ached and I didn’t start to feel better until about 4 miles.

The water was up in the creek after 4 miles and I splashed right through it and then ran with wet shoes. The water looked so clear and the bottom looked pretty smooth. I didn’t see the big rocks that we used to step on in this creek. I guess that might have washed away with all the rain this year.

I was alone and couldn’t see anyone in front or behind me until near the end of the first loop. There was a guy gaining on me. The last 1.5 miles of this course are the hardest and I took all the hills in the first loop really easy. At the start of the second loop I really felt like I hadn’t done much and was looking forward to the second loop. I ran the first loop in 49:42 which was slower than last year. At this point, I figured I might be able to at least run the course about as fast as last year.

At the second loop I take off just as fast as the first loop and push the pace just a little. I ran fast where I can and still take it easier on the hills. I am pulling ahead of the guy behind me and eventually, I am not seeing him. I wondered if I would ever catch anyone ahead of me since I knew I had picked up the pace quite a bit.. I do pass quite a few 10Kers. With 3 miles to go, I push a bit more. All the time, I feel like I am being very conservative with the pace.

With about a half mile to go, I see a guy ahead of me running too fast to be the 10K so I assume he ran the 20K. I was gaining on him and caught up and passed him He told me to keep pushing. I pushed to the end and ran 1:36:36 (7:47 pace). I wasn’t aware of my total time during the run so I was very pleased to see this on the clock. I just keep each split on my Garmin and not the total time.


M1 - 7:24 M7 – 7:21
M2 - 8:28 M8 – 8:05
M3 - 7:32 M9 – 7:29
M4 - 7:32 M10 – 6:56
M5 - 8:40 M11 – 7:33
M6 - 8:46 M12 – 8:09

First 10K Loop – 49:42 (8:00 pace)
2nd 10K Loop – 46:54 – (7:33 pace)

Placed 5th overall of 22 runners in the 20K and 2nd of 6th in my age group of 30 – 39. It turned out the nice guy I passed in the last half mile was in my age group. I was so glad that he still got a plaque. Hugh ran the 10K finishing in 55:25, 17 of 54 and 3rd in age group. We both got plaques in our age group.

I feel like I am really cutting some time off of my trail runs. I cut off 3 min and 8 sec from last year. From the first year I ran the 20K in 2005, I cut off 6 min 16 sec minutes off I ran the 10K on this course in 2004 and today my 2nd 10K was 1 min 40 sec faster. I felt like I had something left at the end too. This is completely different than how I felt the first year I ran the 20K and I was wiped out for weeks. Last year I felt the same as today where I had something left. A few years of trail running and running more trail miles seems to making a big difference.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

2008 MU Dog Jog 5K

Today I ran the MU Dog Jog. The plan was for me to run with Bruno and Hugh run with Rusty. We didn't have a chance of winning this one since I knew there were a couple faster guys with dogs than me. Dan was planning to run with Copper and Tanner and didn't get there to about 7:55 and thought he would just watch and then decided to enter. I filled out his form while Hugh held onto Bruno and we all made it to the start line on time.

I decided to just let Bruno run but was also hoping he would pace a little better, but he did run really well. He started out at a 5-something pace just like Paws in the Park. I noticed that when I tried to talk to the guy next to me without a dog I was out of breath. After the first mile I noticed my watch wasn't running so started it. I thought I had started but it was just showing the pace and shut off. We could see Mike D. and Riley, and Jacquie and Finlay ahead of us. They were staying about the same distance so thought just maybe we could catch up to them. Eventually, Riley decided she was done and we passed Mike. Less than half mile from the finish Bruno plops into the grass. I let him rest a few seconds since no one is close behind and then convince him to get back up. I never did catch up to Jacquie and Finlay.

Bruno finished in 19:40 based on what they told me I was able to determine my first mile split which made sense. He ran this race pretty much the same mile paces as Paws in the Park. I was second male with a dog and Matt Laye finished first male with dog way ahead of me. As far as I know there was no prize for second since had to leave early, but did get a bag of dog related goodies before the race. It was a fun race and the course was well-marked. I think Dan was 4th male with dog and Hugh was 5th.

m1 - 5:40
m2 - 6:30
m3 - 6:53
0.09 - 0:38 (6:48 pace)

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Running Men article

Mizzou Wire is running a story called Running Men that mentions Hugh and me and has a video slide show.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

2008 Twin Cities Marathon

Hugh, Dan, and I headed up to Minneapolis on Friday morning leaving at about 8:30 am. I drove the entire way while Hugh navigated with Ms. Garmin and Dan and I talked a lot about running. We stopped at Pizza Ranch in Pella, Iowa which is known for its Dutch population and Tulip festival. We chowed down on pizza, dessert pizza, ice cream, salad, and chicken and then continued on our way.

We arrived in Minneapolis at our hotel, The Best Western, Normandy at about 6:30 pm. After we all checked our e-mail, we went out for a walk in search of food and ate at Chipolte, and headed back to the room. At 10 pm we went down to the lobby for our fresh cookies and milk although the milk was gone. The cookies were quite yummy. Then off to bed and I slept quite well.

On Sat. morning we woke up and went out for an easy 2 mile run. Then back to the hotel and off to the Expo. Arrived at the expo about 10:30 am. It was a decent expo and I actually purchased a few items. It seemed like this expo had some of the best deals I have seen. I purchased a nice Best of Times Running Jacket from the National Running Center. The sleeves zip off, a section of the back is removable and has a detachable hood. I was easily impressed but couldn't decide between bright yellow, blue, or red. I finally went with the blue.

I didn't pack very carefully and forgot to bring a few items. I really needed my SpiBelt to hold my gels and since I failed to pack, I purchased a new one, but a different color so I guess I can now coordinate with shorts. Also, purchased yellow, white, and black Mizuno tank for a good price. I probably should have purchased another pair of shorts, but resisted. Dan found a great deal on his Mizuno shoes and purchased 3 pairs. They did not have my model so no shoes for me. We were at the expo to about 1 pm and picked up a lot of free stuff.

We headed back to the hotel and went out for lunch at Quiznos and on the way back browsed Barnes & Noble for awhile. Among the 3 of us, only one book was purchased. I was tempted by the Masters Running by Hal Higdon. Not sure I needed another book on Running though.

We lounged around our room for awhile and Dan went to mass, and Hugh and I headed to Vescio's Italian for dinner with the Joy of Running group. We had a good time there talking with Kurt, Bill, and Danielle and excellent food too! Then back to the room for more lounging around until cookie time at 10 pm. Dan referred to the lady serving the cookies as cookie nazi since she was strictly limiting people to 2 cookies. The night before the cookies were set out and there were plenty to go around without cookie nazi rationing us.

We got up at 5:30 am since Hugh's 10 miler started at 7:13 am. Hugh and I had our pre-race shake and banana. Dan and I decided to wait as long as possible to leave which was a good thing since we kept the bathroom pretty busy up until the time we left. I think he set a new record and I tied my previous record. It was a short walk to the start line. We lined up between the 3 and 3:15 area. We ditched our shirts shortly before the start and they moved everyone up. After the National Anthem, we were off running.

I had been obsessing on the weather for the past 2 weeks. We started off fairly dry, but it had been raining earlier. The temp was about 50F which was not too bad but some wind to deal with which made it feel cooler. Dan seemed to feel really good when we started as I found my legs not quite feeling that good, but wanting to keep that pace. We ran together for about 4 miles and then legs started to feel better and picked up my pace.

I don't remember a lot of detail for the rest of the race due to the deterioration in weather conditions my brain was somewhat in a fog. I know at some point, maybe mile 5 or 6 I hear a clap of thunder. Shortly after it starts to rain. I think okay this isn't too bad, I can handle a little light rain. I enjoy running in the rain during training runs. Then it starts to pour and continues. Then when I think it can't pour rain any harder, it pours harder. Someone in the crowd mentions something about the rain and I yell at least it isn't hailing.

I'm drinking at every station but not really feeling like I need it that much. I took my Accel gels at each 5 miles. During the rain, I noticed my legs tightening, especially the left quad and right hamstring which really makes me feel uncoordinated. Someone mentions that they bet a lot of runners don't finish because of hypothermia. At this point, I noticed my arms are numb from the cold. Legs weren't numb, but they were cold. I keep running as fast as I can thinking I just want to get this over with as quickly as possible. This felt like the longest marathon I have ever run. By mile 10, I just couldn't believe that I had 16 miles to go. I had a good half split at 1:29:34, but knew there was no way I could keep up the same pace.

I'm still clipping around pretty fast running sub 7s up until mile 15 and by mile 16 my pace starts to drop off. I don't feel that tired as far as breathing but am losing motivation and can't move the legs any faster. I felt that if I try to push that I would send my tight leg muscles into spasm and it was too early for that. Once I have a muscle spasm in a race, it usually goes down hill from there. I decide ease up on the pace. From here to the end my pace just steadily gets slower and more people are passing me than I am passing. I do see a lot of people slowing and some are walking. I wanted to walk but kept moving. I am getting passed by people I remembered running with earlier. I am also passing some that are going slower than me.

Finally, I get to mile 20 and I think I can make it. Then I focus on getting to mile 23, and then 24, 25, and 26. I'm running 8s by mile 23. Earlier I had been thinking I might finish in 3:05, but figure I will be lucky to finish in 3:10.

Finally, I am in the half mile. I am happy to see the finish. I keep thinking the 3:10 pace group is going to pass me any second and that I may see Dan. I cross the finish. I decide to hang out until Dan crosses and I figure that will be soon so look back, hear his name and he is crossing. He had as much "fun" as me. Although he slowed down, not as drastically as me so nearly caught me by the end. He was over 4 minutes behind me at 20 miles, but finished only 1:24 behind me.

As we are walking out we see Hugh over to the side and then Dan's dad and wife come up. Hugh had gone back to the hotel on the bus to get jackets after his race. He had run a PR 10 miler at 1:14:43 and finished before it poured. We went through the post race tent, filled up our goody bags with more free stuff, picked up some Caribou coffee and headed back to the hotel since I was freezing. My hands were ice.

Back at the hotel, Dan and I got in the hot tub, and then later we went for our post marathon recovery walk at Mall of America. Then off to dinner with Dan's family. It was his dad's birthday and we ate at Houlihan's where his dad bought us all dinner.

Back to the hotel and stayed up for our final night of cookies and milk. Cookie nazi was no where to be seen so we had our fill of cookies and it looked like there were plenty to go around. We all slept really well. We had thought about running, but due to the time and the traffic outside decided to wait.

Made it home around 6 pm. Picked up Rusty and Bruno and met Dan at the dog park for a 2 mile run with Copper and Tanner. Hugh ran 4 miles with Rusty.

Overall, it was a good marathon experience although the actual running would have been better if it were a little warmer and less rain. I didn't feel like I really noticed the hills that much in this marathon. I was more concerned with being cold. I feel like I made the best of it and know others had the same problems with the cold. If I would have known, I would have dressed warmer. With only a 40% chance of rain and temp predicted to be in the 50s I took my chances. We had a good time and all finished our races which is always the ultimate goal. The crowds were great standing out there in the rain all the way, volunteers were always there with plenty of water. It looked like a well-run marathon and wish I could have enjoyed it more in dryer weather.

I'm now motivated to get back on track with running, workouts, and maybe get a little more focused with a plan. I had been running without a plan since the Berryman. I do better with a plan even if I can't follow it 100%. It is time to get back on track, clean up the nutrition, regular weight workouts including legs, and running workouts. First, I think I need a little recovery, since I am fighting off a sore throat and Hugh already has a full-blown cold. Otherwise, I feel like muscles are recovering nicely but I do plan to take it easy, at least for a few days.

Here's the stats for marathon:

Duration: 3:09:12
Pace: 7:14 / mile
Shoe: Mizuno Wave Alchemy 7 (Red/Blue)
Weight: 155 lb
Misc: Quality: 5/10, Effort: 7/10
Field Placement: 330 / 7969 (4.1%)
Age group: 35 – 39
Group Placement: 36 / 745 (4.8%)
Gender Placement: 284 / 4803 (5.9%)
Weather: 50° F, Rain

5K 21:41
10K 42:35
Half 1:29:34
30K 2:09:22
20 mi 2:19:35

1 6:46
2 6:46
3 6:45
4 6:37
5 6:35
6 6:43
7 6:39
8 6:39
9 6:52
10 6:51
11 6:44
12 6:51
13 6:49
14 6:58
15 6:52
16 7:09
17 7:09
18 7:19
19 7:21
20 7:32
21 7:32
22 7:55
23 8:10
24 8:04
25 8:06
26 8:06
27 3:08 0.42 mi