Sunday, May 15, 2011

Carytown 10k

This morning was my last real run before IMTX.  The mud crew re-assembled in Cary Court (why the hell didn't Joyless run either of these races?).   Got to see my buddy, Denis, who is now in the 70-74 age group - how the hell did that happen?  He asked what pace I was planning and I let him know it was SLOW and that he'd want no part of it.  Even if I was planning on running this as a race, I'm pretty sure this 70 year old would have kicked my ass, even after 6 months of heavy training.  Oh well, good for him, right?  It was really good to see him though.

My original plan for the race was to run with Bike Coach & The Saint, but their plans changed Sunday when BC recognized that the hip pain she was feeling was being aggravated every time she ran.  So, their run turned into a walk-run.  I'm not sure how it happened, but I lost J9 within 3 seconds of the start.  Never saw her at all.  C-YA.

KG & I ran together and we talked about the pace I needed to run.  Between 11:30s and 12:00s.   Seriously, no faster.  Didn't exactly go as planned.  We ran just under 11's.  Ok, that's pretty close.  At the water stop at mile 2.5, KG needed to walk and slow down and I was feeling good, so we split up.  I am extremely familiar with pushing hard to keep up with someone and then needing to rest.  It's a bad feeling to know your slowing someone down (though it would have been good for me to be slowed today), so I took off down the road.

I picked up the pace for the rest of mile 3 and finished with a 10 minute mile.  Not in the plan.  I really didn't feel like I was pushing the pace at all.  I decided to run whatever felt good.  10 cent head, I know.

I felt really good and really strong, so I pushed it, just a bit.  Heard and saw Joyless in front of her building and she ran in flip flops for a block with me.  Not sure how I feel about her being able to easily keep up in flip flops on a pace where I'm pushing it a bit.  Wait, I know.  Bitch.

Finished with 3 miles under 10s coming in with a strong final kick.  PR'd my 10k time by 6 seconds.

So, lessons learned.  I really do have a 10 cent head.  Most important part of my IM run is the first 1/2:  I need to run slow and easy (OK, nothing easy about an IM run, but slow, for sure).  I've been negative splitting all my runs all year and this needs to be no exception.  That means sandbagging the first 1/2 so I have something left for the 2nd half.  This is also reliant on the FACT that the 10pm cutoff to start the last 8.6 run loop will not be an issue.  If that's an issue, then fuck the negative split for the whole marathon and just try to negative split the 1st & 2nd loop.  AND stay in the moment.  Focus.  Keep the finish line/time in sight at all times.  I'll have a whole lot of help with that - from teammates in the race to my 5 sherpas.

I'm ready.

5k Mud Run Marshalling

Most of the team congregated Friday evening for the 5k Mud Run starting at Brown's Island.  I was not allowed to participate as a runner as I'm supposed to cover myself in bubble wrap and sit very quietly on the couch until Saturday at 7am central time.

The race was not well-organized.  Packet pickup was only offered same day, which was crazy AND we had a nice rainstorm in the middle of the day, so this caused some extra problems.  The lines were HUGE and did not move.  Thanks to the rain and the threat of a thunderstorm, a lot of volunteers bailed, so everything was understaffed.

I left the team at 5:30 to get to my marshalling spot, which was supposed to be in a field on Belle Isle, where I couldn't get into any trouble at all.  Did I mention that a lot of volunteers bailed?  The coordinator could man only the most critical positions.  I got reassigned to the rock hop portion of the course.  The EMTs followed me there and didn't budge - they knew if anyone was going to require aid, it was going to be here.

I had a great time, trying to convince people that the slimy route was much better than the jump over the crevasse of death.  I've been told I was small and loud.  Whatever.  I did my job and tried to wind up the runners and remind them that this was supposed to be fun for them.  J9 was kicking ass running in a wedding dress, complete with veil.  I'm very sorry that I did not get to see the wedding dress in the mud pit.  Bike Coach, Saint and The Brit came through my race spot shortly after J9 and I snapped a couple of very quick pics before they were off (down the slimy route at my behest).  After that, I couldn't wait for people to get by my spot so that I could run back (gently, no ankle twisting here) and perhaps get to see my peeps finish or at least in their muddy best.

Sadly, but the time I made it back to Brown's Island, everyone was in the middle of changing.  All I got to do was embarrass J9 (I didn't see anything) and snap some more pics.  FYI, the Fuji waterproof digital camera is awful.  We bought it at Costco on Thursday and are returning it today.  Huge delay between snapping a pic and it actually taking.  It would only work for the pictures my Mom takes (gravestones and empty fields where civil war battles once raged).  It'd be really good for pictures of dead people.  Fortunately, we had none of those on the race.  Unfortunately, the race pics are not good.  I can live with that.

One beer later, we had a lovely time.

Roll Your Own 1/2 Ironman

Last Saturday, I ran a 1/2 IM that I designed and ran pretty much alone.  It was a good indication, I think, of how IMTX will be although I hope that my transition times are considerably less.  I'd like to note that this race was better organized than Jethro's Iron Distance triathlon of 2007.

I started with a 1.2 mile swim in the Downtown Y pool.  There are crazy people swimming lots and lots of laps at 7am on a Saturday and one woman doing water aerobics/treading water for at least 51 minutes.  I prefer to sleep in, thank you very much.

After rinsing off the chlorine, I changed in the Y and then finished transition in the parking lot with Anita's van.  25 minute transition.  Hopefully a minimum of 15 minutes longer than TX.  I hopped on my bike and pedaled down to the start of the Cap2Cap bike ride.  I was late getting to the Y and with the long transition, I missed the start of the 50 milers, so I started with the 25 milers.

This was a fabulous ride.  As I posted on Facebook, I much prefer racing a ride than riding a race.  I passed many riders.  So many, in fact, that I caught up with at least some of the 50 milers, which felt like a victory.  It was a beautiful day for a ride.  I stopped for a potty break 1/2way and lost 13 minutes to the portajohn line.  I considered peeing in the bushes, but just too many people.  I also stopped to allow several women to admire my bike.  I really am enjoying having a cool bike.  I'm not sure if it was just that people were riding instead of racing, but I was passing people like I have been passed all my life - like they were standing still.  THAT IS FUN.  I highly recommend it.  It may even be worth 6 months of speedwork.  Maybe.

I found the zen on the bike.  I averaged 16.2, which is awesome for me for a 56 mile ride.  Elevation gain was a bit more than I'll experience in TX and I had a good headwind coming home, which is fully expected for the return ride in TX (56 mile of headwind.  Ugh).  The Bike Coach has provided me with some different methods of approaching the wind, mostly just to get out of my head, so really good approaches.

The last 2 miles were up Main St with lots of stop lights, traffic and even construction.  That was ugly, but the hills were fine, shouldn't have many or any stop lights in TX.

Changing in the van resulted in a bit of a long transition at 13 minutes, but not too bad considering having to stow the bike and change inside the van.

And off on the run.  This is when I realized I'd not put on any sunscreen, nor did I have any.  So, new course - run home for sunscreen, water & a bathroom:  perfect!  So an extra 6 minutes or so for the rest stop at home and then back to Monument Ave to finish up the rest of the run.  The Saint stopped me for a quick kiss and Low Ryder joined me for a few VERY warm & sunny miles on Monument, which was great.  I  kept ever mile under 12, which is the game plan for TX too.

With all transitions, a couple of unplanned and unTXlike stops and many, many phone calls on the run, I finished in 7:58:29.  Conservatively, I'm sure that without the extra transition and 13 minute portapotty line, this time is equivalent to 7:30, at most.  That gives us a IMTX goal time of 16 hours, with hopes for better than that.

As long as it's under 17, it's a major victory, right?