Sunday, March 20, 2011

The One where I Make Excuses for Being Slow

I ran the Pirates Cove 50K yesterday. Here are my splits:
17K 1:56
24K 2:53
30K 3:24
37K 4:22
44K 5:28
50K 5:58

In other words, I was slow. At least I was consistent about it. (?) It was very cold and raining at the start line, and the forecast included a hazardous weather warning and called for hail, so I ended up way over-dressed and had to strip off several layers on the very first climb and shove them into my hydration pack. I realized what a mistake carrying that was, so I managed to drop it at aid stations so as to only carry it 20K total. I ended up running in tights, a long sleeve shirt, and lightly insulated Marmot windshirt most of the race. It never hailed, but it did rain on and off. I don't recall it being torrential for much of the time, but it was certainly wasn't dry for long either.

I thought I was going decently fast, and I got into the first aid station after 6.6K with some fast people, but I clearly slowed down after that. I thought I was doing fine because I was running everywhere that it's reasonable to run, but apparently to do well on this course you have to have a looser definition of "reasonable." I didn't remember how the aid stations in the first 30K were spaced out, so I didn't realize how slow I was going until 24K, at which point it was clearly too late to turn it up in order to break 5:00. I was so cold that I didn't really have the energy to look at my watch and think about splits, I couldn't really do much more than curl up inside my brain and think un-complicated thoughts like "keep running", "I'm tired of this song" or "Bob Boilen, you have weird taste in music."

So, not an amazing performance, but perhaps OK given the weather. Also, my stomach didn't cooperate and hadn't the night before either, so that's another excuse. I'm not sure when my next race will be, either this coming weekend or the one after. In the meantime I might try and do some speedwork so I can remember what it feels like to actually go fast.

Do I look tired? Because I was.

Thursday, March 17, 2011


While I'm at it, let me say that Jonathan Franzen's Freedom was the best book I have read in quite a while. Turns of phrase that are beautiful and funny, plus scathing criticism of the sacred cows of contemporary suburbia. It's like Cat's Cradle with more realistic and meaningful human relations. I loved it, loved it, loved it.

Pirates Cove 50K, Badger Mountain 100-Miler

I'm running the Pirates Cove 50K Saturday. I definitely didn't do optimal training--only 7 runs in the three weeks since my last race, with one 3:30 and a couple 2:00 runs, plus a few cross-training sessions. I wish it would stop raining, I lived closer to the hills, my truck had windshield wipers and power steering, and I could stick to a training schedule. We'll see if I can break 5:00. Given the previous plus the crummy weather expected, it's not super likely, but I'll go out fast to see if I've got it.

Next week is spring break, so after a job interview in Washington DC, I might go to Washington state and run the Badger Mountain 100. I'm not in shape to run it fast, but I bet I could finish it.

There's a new post on the invite-only blog.