Monday, May 19, 2008

Get Fit With Fido 5k (Silver State 50)

Well…we knew it was going to be a warm one. Keep in mind, as I whine and complain about the 94 degree heat & humidity in Nevada City on Saturday, Peter & Austin were running in 93 degree heat (but less humidity, of course) for 50+ miles. Their course was really flat and easy, though, as any of you who have ever ran up and over Peavine Mountain (twice) would know. Only 3,500 vetical feet to the top, at mile 12.5, back down, back up, and then 12 miles back to the finish again. That sounds easy, right? I would sweat more than my total body weight if I tried to run a 50-miler in that heat. Peter came in just over 10 hours, looking ready to sprint a 5k, and Austin just over 12. Eventually, we made our way to the Truckee River to soak, before they set out for California in search of cheeseburgers.

Onto the real man’s race…the 5k. Enough of this endurance stuff! The Get Fit With Fido races, for those who don’t know, are run on the same courses as the Spring Run, held a month before. Not my favorites, but not so hard that you can’t run a halfway decent time. I’d run 38:14/17:56 in 2006 in the April 10k/May 5k. Last year I skipped the 10, and ran the 5k in about 18:40, while still getting back into shape after 7 months off. I actually came in at 19:11, but I'd made a wrong turn and ran an extra 30 seconds or so during the last mile. This year, I was able to drop down to a 35:50 in the 10k, which is the tougher of the two courses. After 2/3 of a mile downhill, the 5k course splits to the right and pretty much flattens, while the 10k continues to drop. My goal was to break 17 flat, and to do that, I’d need to run 8 flat for the first half, and hope to keep it under 9 on the way back up the hill. I’m guessing it was the humidity, but even though I felt better during the warm-up than I did last week, I was sweating like a stuck pig after 2.7 miles on the course. My least favorite part of this course is a speed-killing, foot and quad pounding 100 degree turn after only 50 or 60 meters. Due to the narrow start, I had to sprint to get to the front, just in time to slam on the breaks in order to stay on the asphalt/gravel road…and then try to settle into a good, fast pace. It was likely I’d have to be @5:00 for the first mile to run in the 16’s, so I was a little nervous when I hit mile 1 in 5:06-less than one second faster than the 10k start last month, & feeling like it was a 4:56! The road was relatively flat to the turn from here. I hit the turn @8:06 (still 6 seconds off, but at least I wasn’t falling further behind pace). Jeff Boutte was looking strong in second, followed 100m. or so later by 12 year old phenom Zach Stoll, and birthday boy Steve Bond in 4th. Sara Freitas has run & won this race before (with her dog, even), but she was not there Saturday, and both the women’s races would prove to be wide-open. I didn’t feel particularly strong or weak on the way up, but I thought I’d be unlikely to make up 6-7 seconds the way I was feeling. There were a couple spots where I was hurting, and since I had a comfortable lead, backed off just a little (which I’d come to regret). The uphill 0.7 miles is followed by another speed-killing (160 degree) turn, and an additional 10-20 seconds up a steep grade to the finish line. I’d come in just outside of goal pace in a hair over 17:00. The order of the top 4 would remain the same as at the turn.

Partly due to the repetitive nature of running a second run on the same course as another race (especially one month later), the field size (and depth) were not the same as the Spring Run. Also, due to the never ending expansion of the size of the Grand-Prix (now at 12 races and counting), the less popular races will not do as well, or draw the same level of competition, as less and less runners will try to run them all. I headed back down the course within 5 minutes of finishing to see how Larry was doing in the 10k. No worries there, as he had a HUGE lead when I saw him around the 4.8-4.9 mile mark. He would win by about 5 minutes, I believe over Mike Buzbee. I think as the course dropped, and the day wore on, the temp climbed higher. If I was sweating like a stuck pig during my warm-up, I have no words to explain what happened during the 3.5 mile cool-down J. With my intrepid libberian skills, I found that I technically got the race’s record time, but not a course record, as at least one or two runners have been in the 16’s in the Spring Run.

As the race is only 4 year’s old, the history was easy to find…Larry won the 5k in 2005 in 18:58, I won in 2006 in 17:56, and in a weaker field in 2007 in 19:11, before 17:00 this year. After a great breakfast right down the street at the old Wisdom Café, we’d drive back to Reno, jumping in a freezing cold Donner Lake with dogs along the way…head to a one-year-old’s birthday party in Spanish Springs, and drop off Abby, Hannah, and the dogs before catching the Silver State 50/50 finish @Rancho. Most of my body recovered very well. I was able to run 9.3 miles at a decent clip yesterday. Hardly any muscle soreness…but the right Achilles is more pissed than ever for some reason. I’m still waiting on my MRI results from last week (surprise, surprise). So hopefully there is a course of action that I can take that does not involve time off…I’ve had enough of that over the last few years!

Happy running! Next up is the Run For The Community 10k in two weeks, followed by the Odyssey, and the Tahoe Relay before a bit of a break.

here's the link to Steve's article in the Union...

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