Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Week of September 23 - Another race report

Kristy is the one standing next to me.  
Sunday - Well, I ran another race.  Nope, not an ultra but a short little 10k trail race.  Yeah, yeah, I know, I always say these short ones hurt too much, but here's the deal.  Several months ago, Kristy, my Pilates instructor said that if I could do two minutes of pushups on the power plate, she'd run five miles with me.  Well, I can't pass up that kind of challenge, so I proceeded to do two minutes of pushups, much to her surprise and dismay.  Since then I haven't let her forget about it.  Well, a couple of weeks ago, she mentioned that she had signed up for the Xterra 10K trail race at Snowbasin.  I told her that I would come run it with her and that would satisfy the bet.
As you can see from the picture, she managed to talk several of her other Pilates clients into running the race as well.  She even made up tanks for them to wear.  I don't think I would look nearly as good in one as they do.
So, my original plan was to just run the race with her and have a good time.  While we were at the starting line, I noticed that there weren't too many runners in the race and my competive nature took over.  I told Kristy that I was going to race it rather than just run it with her.
We had to run thru the smoke from the starting cannon
When the cannon went off I took off.  I started to regret the fast start when my left hamstring started to complain from the over stretching it had done the day before while on the trail.  Yeah, kind of sore and tweeky.  Once we went around the parking lot and hit the trail though, it warmed up and never gave me any issues after that.
The reason I don't like shorter races is that if you race them, you essentially are redlined the entire time.  Yep, that was this race.  First, it was at 6500' going up to about 7500', and second, it was about four miles of uphill and two miles of downhill.  I'm used to taking it a little easy aerobically since I usually do ultras, and those don't generally require getting your heart rate up to above 85% max for long periods of time.  The race itself was pretty uneventful.  Three aid stations (three for a 10K? really?) that I blew through.  I don't need any water for six miles.  My main thoughts for most of the race was "I can suffer for an hour" and "beer at the finish line".  So I passed quite a few as they ran out of gas on the uphill, and several managed to repass me on the downhill.  I think this is where my trail running really comes in handy since most of the others probably spend most of their time on the roads.  Like I mentioned earlier, I had pulled a hamstring the day before while recovering from tripping over a rock, well, about 3/4 mile from the finish I was going downhill as fast as I could when I felt the quad in the other leg twinge pretty good.  My immediate thought, "great, now I'm out for weeks".  After an initial couple of seconds assessment, I decided to just push as hard as I could to the finish anyway.  I ended up crossing the finish line in 57:56.  Not my fastest 10K time, but this wasn't a nice flat road course either.  Still, the time was good enough for 23rd out of 83 and 1st in my age group (50-54).  Not too bad for an old man and Brody's grandpa.  After I finished, I went back up the hill to the course and met Kristy and ran her in for the last half mile.  She was booking pretty good down the trail.  I did yell at her like she yells at us in her men's Pilates class.  She just laughed.  She came in about 10 minutes behind me and her time was good enough for 3rd in her age group.  Not too bad for her first race of any kind.  Karen came with me and cheered us all on.  It was a good time and I'm glad I did it.  Kristy has now officially paid her bet off.  Miles - 6.2

Monday - Dang, I was sore from the race yesterday. I went with Aric from 22nd street for about six miles and I was slow, slow, slow.  I felt my age today.  The hamstring and the quad were still sore from the weekend's exertions.  Miles - 6.0

Tuesday - Went for another lunchtime run.  This one wasn't too bad.  I did feel a bit better than yesterday but my piriformis is bugging me big time.  Went for another run after work with the HUMR crowd.  Bj and I turned around at 2.5 since I had to get to Pilates class and Bj is tapering for the Bear this Friday.  All in all, a decent day.  Miles - 10.0

Wednesday - Only had time for a run after work.  Decided to make it a road run around home.  I figure if I'm going to run 50 miles on the road in October, I'd better do a few before then.  Miles - 5.4

Thursday - Didn't do squat except for Pilates.  Even that wasn't that difficult.  Lots of stretching and core work.  Actually felt good to do some stretching.  Miles - 0.0

Friday - Crewed and paced at the Bear 100.  I went up Friday after work and just went from aid station to aid station crewing and helping out friends running the race.  I ended up at the Beaver Mountain Ski Lodge waiting for Joel to show up.  he had planned on showing up at around 3am, but ended up getting there around 4:45am.  He was looking kind of rough too.  His wife and I got him fed, and let him take a short 10 minute nap, then we headed out.  Dang it was cold, frost on the ground. 
We took off out of Beaver Mountain at a blistering shuffle.  Just before dwan we both noticed this white stuff falling.  What the heck, it was a little bit of snow.  That ain't right.  We also saw this nifty little sign along the trail.  I thought it was funny to see something like this in the middle of the woods in the middle of the night far away from any sort of civilization.

Eventually daylight arrived, but it was cloudy.  This kept things a little on the cool side, but not to bad.  We got into the Gibson Basin aid and fueled up, spent a couple minutes there and headed out again.

Looking back at the Gibson Basin aid


Ranger Campground aid

We spent the next hour and a half trekking to the Ranger Campground aid station. This place rocked. Grilled Italian sausage and pancakes. Good stuff and lots of calories for Joel.
Now we had about three miles of solid climbing followed by about 4 miles of flat and downhill to the Ranger Dip aid station.  This is the last aid station before the finish and has probably the most difficult climb of the race at 92 miles.  Steep, straight up the mountainside topping out at 9000'.  Ugh!  Still, Joel climbed this one pretty strong, I think he was starting to smell the barn and wanted this thing over with.

Game face on, last two miles
Once we hit the top of that climb, I took a pit stop and told Joel I would catch up.  Next thing I knew, he was long gone.  It took me two miles to catch him.  He was rocking the downhill, passing everybody in sight.  All of the people that had passed him in the previous 10 miles were now in his rear view nirror and he wasn't letting up on the pace.  I had mentioned at Ranger Dip that we had 7.4 miles and we needed to get to the finish in two hours.  He wasn't sure he could do it, but we ended up doing it in 1.5 hours.  Now that's impressive. 

So in the end, Joel competed his first 100 mile run.  I had a great time running the last 25 with him.  Hopefully I was a little help in keeping him on task and getting him to the finish.  Below are some other scenery shots I took.  It really is a pretty course.  I may need to do this one next year.
Joel and Kathryn checking out his nifty plaque and belt buckle



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