Saturday, April 28, 2012

Mo' Bettah!

This Race was not part of the plan... not by a long shot.  I have just never been interested in running 50K around the base of Cheyenne Mountain in the scrub.  Boy was I wrong about this course.  It is hard without out being too technical and there is enough ups and downs and twists and turns to really make it fun and interesting.  As far as short race courses go I will rate this my second favorite with the Salida Half-Marathon in first.

Earlier in the week my friend Marc Pevoteaux sent me an email saying that I should jump into it.  At first I thought that he was crazy. I'd just had my ass and various other body parts handed to me unceremoniously in Fruita the week before.  Another rout?  A week later?  RUFKM? This I didn't have the bandwidth for.  But Marc had some good selling points, first of all I had to do a long run anyway this week and it would boost my confidence some.  Maybe.  I think that I was registered within five minutes of reading  his email.

I hand initially planned for this week to be a very easy recovery / wallow in self pity and self loathing - low mileage kind of week before starting running in earnest getting ready for the SJS 50 the following Monday. Well, that plan was summarily chucked out the window.  I had to get ready for Saturday's run.  My plan was to do some medium mileage runs Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, take off on Friday and hope that I was rested and ready for the 50K on Saturday morning.  It was the best plan that I could come up with.

Thursday and Friday I felt somewhat out of sorts and it became obvious that I was coming down with some kind of cold.  All day Friday I felt so tired and it was a constant struggle to stay awake.  Actually both Thursday and Friday nights Annie and I called it an early night.   I know that I fell asleep watching a movie Friday night and after I awoke I was in bed and back to sleep by 9:15. 

I slept until the last possible moment on Saturday morning and Marc and Amanda came by to pick me up so that we could carpool.  I was excited and felt pretty good on the drive there. I hadn't seen Marc and Amanda in forever it seemed so it was nice to see them again.  We got to the race start and it was sort of chilly and the wind was strong out of the south but overall, not too bad.  We had just enough time pre-race to take care of a few things like packet pick up and, bathroom lines, etc.  The 50K started at 8:00 and I was ready.

When we started running I had the first chance to see how my oncoming cold would affect me and fortunately it wasn't too bad.  Some tightness in my chest but I could breathe; not too deeply but well enough and I didn't have to blow my nose too much either.  So really everything is great and bonus!  It isn't like running on the surface of the sun out there!  I chose my Crosslites for today's run but in reality I could have gotten by with the 110's but I just didn't know.  Regardless, it was so nice not having to worry about having any foot issues in exchange for a few extra ounces.

It took a bit to warm up into the first loop but I was feeling rather well overall.  At about mile six I got distracted and rolled my left ankle while trying to get out of the way of an incoming runner.  It wasn't that bad and loosened up in a short distance and I could run on it.

But that wasn't the only thing that loosened up.  My stomach started gurgling and cramping and  I knew that I was soon to be spending some time alone, off-course to take care of it. I waited until the last possible moment and then bailed.  It cost me some time but well worth it.

Back on the trail I am running and definitely more comfortable.  The ankle is there but not giving me fits, and my stomach is okay. I know a lot people passed me during my break and there was not much I could do about that.  I decided against trying to run faster to try to catch up with anyone and opted for a smooth consistent pace that I felt that I could maintain for at least several miles... and it worked.

It took some time but about mile 14 I started catching up to other runners.  Runners that I had passed earlier that I knew who had passed me during my off trail adventure.  I just tried to keep the pressure on and keep thing smooth and steady.

What a contrast it was this weekend compared to last weekend.  90% less discomfort while at the same time 90% more pure enjoyment.   Everything else aside, times, miles, passing people, etc, it was just so damned nice to be having fun again!

In the next several miles I think that I passed a total of ten people and I was passed by two after the second huge climb.  I think that somehow I made up for my lost time and then some.

My official time was 5:41:25 which I am very happy with.  As I was coming into the finish I was just happy and glad that I raced today.  I think that I was able to parlay the run last weekend which didn't go so well into a decent run today that I am completely happy about.  If I had to rate my three best and favorite runs of the year, this would be number three following the Fat Ass 50K earlier in the winter and the 30 miler I did from home up to 2-to-go on Pikes Peak and down on March 24.

It is so great to feel like I am moving forwards instead of backwards again.  So great...

Elevation Profile for the Cheyenne Mountain Trail 50K

1 comment:

  1. The mental recovery didn't take long at all. Congrats!