You know what was a horrible, horrible idea? Loading my iPod with Drew Gilpin Faust's This Republic of Suffering for a fixed-time running event.
Anyway, I finished the SF One-Day at 9 AM this morning. First, a huge thanks to everybody who sent me e-mails during the race, and to Ashley, Marcus, and Amy for coming out and running (walking, really) with me.
Before starting, my goal was to cover 100 miles. Then I had trouble running slower than 5 mph, so I wanted to keep up that pace. Then I realized that was ridiculous so I just wanted to run every step of the way, and I was back to the goal of 100 miles. Then I realized running the whole time was crazy so I just wanted to keep moving the entire time. Then finally I wanted to sleep, so I did. I ended up taking breaks of about 15 minutes, 90 minutes, and 45 minutes. I probably didn't need the last break, but the 90 minute one was wonderful for the legs, which were hurting thanks to the 40% pavement.
During the race I wasn't really having a wonderful time, but in retrospect I feel really good. My real goal was 100 miles, and after that wasn't happening I didn't have what it took mentally to really keep pushing. My feet and knees hurt, and the monotony got to me. You can't DNF in a fixy, so I didn't have that threat hanging over me to motivate me. I walked 20-22 minute laps (each lap is 1.067 miles) most of the latter half of the race, but in the last hour I started moving again and ran a 10:27 lap, an 8:38 lap, and a 7:57 lap. Then I had about 5:47 left on the clock, and I've run a mile that fast at least twice in my life, so I gave it a shot, but it took me around 7:47, so it doesn't really count. (Splits will be on the web soon. Partial results here.) I ended up covering 82.2 miles and finishing above the median.
Will I do it again? I feel the same as I did after my 100-miler a couple years ago. I remember not loving it during the race, but loving the finish and being very glad I did it, but also thinking that I prefer 50 milers and would only be excited about another 100 if a friend and I were running the entire thing together (Scott & Joe, this means you). However, the race is very close to my house (I took BART and rode my bike), it's held during the school year when I'll definitely be around, and I'm friends with the RD's and run a lot of their races, so I feel a repeat is pretty likely.
I just have to work on a few things:
1. Buy a camp chair. Getting up once you've laid down on the grass sucks.
2. Figure out the iPod thing. I don't think you're in the mental state to have a long attention span. I had two Steve Martin stand-up CD's, and those were awesome. I think I would've been much better off with a bunch of comedy CD's, podcasts like The Moth and TAL, and maybe a good fiction novel on tape, but something funny like Twain or Vonnegut and interspersed with music.
3. See if a patella tendon strap would help. My knees have cooperated with me ever since I got rid of my 50 lb. pack on the AT (knock on wood), but I've never run this much pavement before
and they weren't super happy.
4. Change socks more frequently. I wore road shoes most of the time, so dirt from the dirt portion jumped in and then got ground in on the asphalt portion.