Thursday, July 31, 2008

Mohican 50 Mile Trail Race...June21

This summer, I have a number of races planned, and they are all geared towards getting me trained and prepared to try and tackle the Leadville 100 mile race in Colorado in Aug. Leadville is the ONLY race where if you look at the results page, you will find a big fat DNF (Did Not Finish). Needless to say, that has been a monkey on my back...well, more like a gorilla, for the last 3 years. So this weekend, I flew to Cleveland where I ran the Mohican 50 mile race, as another great training run.

And for all these races, THEY are not the end result, Leadville the goals aren't to necessarily do as well as I can, but rather to go out and get a great workout in, and come out of them uninjured.

I met my good friend Alex Nemet, who lives outside of Cleveland, and we drove the hour or so to the race site. Alex, his wife, daughter, along with their new infant, were nice enough to allow me to crash in their hotel room the night before the race.

Alex and his friend Cole, were planning on doing the 100 miler, while I was content to not push it too much and stick with the 50. We all three started out together but it quickly became apparent that what they needed for their 100 miler, was to go out nice and slow, and I on the other hand needed to push the pace a bit, in order to get as much out of it as I could. So rather soon into it, I went ahead on my own.

I went out nice and easy, warmed up, and did my thing. The temps were pretty warm, but nothing too crazy. I ran most of the flats, and power walked HARD on all the ups. I was supposed to run part of the up hill sections and then slow to a power walk. But I found that I was feeling so well, many times I just kept it going and ran many of them. I felt strong throughout the race, up until about mile 40. Even then, I didn't fall apart, but kept it together even though I was starting to feel it. Even though time wasn't my goal, as usual I found myself chasing the clock and realized I had the potential to break 10 hours. So I pushed it at the end, ran many of the hills, but a combination of the miles, and the sun coming out strong, made it more and more difficult to keep up the pace. With only a few miles to go, I finally realized I was JUST going to miss it if I ran it out, and so I slowed down, met a friend and just jogged, walked, and chatted my way in but came in with a very respectable time of 10:16 and finished 11th out of 51 starters!!!!!!!!

Eagleman Half Ironman..June 14, 2008

Well, my half Ironman wasn't too impressive but let me tell you, it was damn HOOOOT! Even for me to say that, it was hot! It was 100 degrees (very unusual for this early in the summer) and really high humidity. And the swim, as I expected, sucked for me...I think I swam about 1.8 miles instead, due to my zig zagging...(even had a boat come up and tell me to move back in). I breast stroked about 5 minutes, my goggles (bought them at the race expo) were killing my eye sockets, and I had absolutely no rhythm throughout, which is what I figured for swimming twice since Hawaii in 2003 (literally). I still can't believe I didn't swim and told that to a guy next to me and he just said..."yeah, right" did sound unbelievable. But I just didn't think it would be quite as miserable feeling as it was. And my full wetsuit was like a 5 mm and I was sweating like crazy, for about 30 minutes before the gun even went off. I thought I was in an earlier wave and so put it on too soon....I know, being unprepared....SHOCKING. But the strange thing is that I placed myself at the end of my age group so I wouldn't be run over, but I kept running into in.... ME catching up to my THEM. I guess since I don't swim, I don't really know how to pace properly and was actually swimming faster at points, than others in my group....of course it was more like flailing than swimming, and that's probably why I was breathing hard and my heart rate was the 1st 5 minutes I was almost feeling like I was suppressing a panic "what the hell am I doing here" kind of thing. I never made more than 20 strokes before I'd have to pull up and see where the I was, and inevitably going off to one side or the other, and then adjust myself again and frustrating. But I managed to get out of there eventually...but not before tasting boat fuel coming from either the boats or jet skies in the water and sort of puking a bit....46 minutes.

I took my time at the transition because I really wasn't in a rush and didn't really have much of a plan....and the bike leg, I actually thought I did ok...I never really ride on open roads and I'm always having to stop and doing balls out again was something knew. I tipped down my bike seat before the start (without trying it 1st) and that wasn't smart because I was sliding forward the whole time and a lot of my weight was on my forearms trying to keep myself in the seat...and so I was uncomfortable and always trying to figure out a comfortable position, rather than really being about to concentrate on strong peddling. And mentally I felt like I sucked though, because so many people passed me (at least the 1st half of it) but I went between 18 -21 or so mph the whole way....except when I drank, because I forgot my damn aero drink bottle in the hotel, so I had to keep grabbing my bottle from between my legs and that always got me out of rhythm trying to grab them.....I kept saying to myself..."I can't wait to get off this damn bike and pass all these a-holes that are lapping me"....haha...2:58

And then I started running and was like THIS what I was looking forward to??....I was wiped out...and so did 8/2 (plus sometimes walked at aid station) on the way out of the run (6.5 miles) My water bottle I was carrying started to feel like a 15 lb weight pretty quick, so I chucked it....and then about 1 hr into it, I started to recover and kicked it up and didn't walk on the last half and REALLY started to kick it up and the last 3 miles (especially the last mile) I was MOVING!!! I didn't get passed by ANYONE the last 6.5 and must have pasted a couple hundred people and finished in a at least I can feel good about the way I finished and rebounded, but it was way tougher than I thought...I guess it was the heat. 2 out of my 3 friends that did it, ended up in the medical tent, which looked like a war zone...there were bodies laying everywhere and even spectators passed out in the heat...crazy!!! And 142 people dropped out....and not so sure, but I think that's a shit load for a half distance. SO, THAT'S how it went!!! But oh well, it was a great training day and better than running 4-5 hrs on my own...something different....2:13 or so...wish I could find the difference in my time from the 1st half compared to the second, and I DO remember going over a timing matt at the half way point where I kicked it up...but they didn't give a half way time, so I don't know...either way, a 2:13 is not good.