Sunday, April 27, 2008

Nevada City Spring Run

Once again, I travelled to a race sans wife and child, as they were attending a wedding in Phoenix. I even stayed the night before at the in-laws’ house without the in-laws. Weird. My friend Aaron & the dogs joined me again, as he did for the Almond Blossom 8k in February. He may race one day, as soon as he kicks that pesky chain–smoking habit he’s developed.
As some of you know this is probably my least favorite course on the Grand Prix circuit. Both the 5k & 10k are two of the harder ones of the series. The start/finish is the same for both, but where the 5k splits off (and is mostly flat to the turn), the 10k continues to drop in elevation…which is nice ‘til one remembers it’s an out-and-back course, so all net losses in elevation will take their toll later (about 1,800 feet if I remember correctly). I did not run this race last April as I was too busy destroying my lower body at the Escape from Prison Hill relay with Turi & Amber, and I’d run the 5k last May at the AnimalSave run. I remembered the course enough from running the 2006 10k in just over 38 minutes (a few weeks after running 35 flat in Carson City!). What I did not remember as well were the significant portions (60%+) that would be classified as off road…gravel on hard pack, as opposed to faster road…and that their was a couple sections on the way down that were a little slower than remembered. The start was narrow, as usual, so I took off quickly for position before having to slam on the brakes a bit to make the first turn without going off the side of the road. The miles went by a little slower than planned after running the first down-hill mile in 5:06-07. I was feeling a little weaker during the descent than I had while running a downhill/uphill treadmill 10k on Tuesday (16:12/18:30-34:42), probably due to frequent Montezuma’s Revenge during the previous night and week. FUN!
I’m hoping if I can get a better handle on increasingly frequent GI issues, I will be stronger in training and consequently during races. About half way down I knew I would be slower than my "A" goal of 16:30’s, but was still able to hit the turn with a good lead in 16:59-17:00. As usual it had started to warm on the return trip. The frustrating part about miles 3.5-5.5 was that while there were a few sections where one could speed up as the grade lessened, you were so taxed from climbing, that you’d use those stretches to maintain pace and let the heart rate stabilize…at least that’s how it worked for me the past two races here. I don’t have a split from mile 5, but I’d have had to run faster than was realistic to hit 35. I ran cautiously ‘til I hit the 6 mile mark, and then kicked up the last steep hill to the finish in 35:50-one minute slower than my time from the Daffodil 10k on 4-6, but more than 2 minutes faster than 2006. I was also well off the course record (in the 33:40 range by a 2:19 marathoner in 1993). The interesting part about this race was that while myself, Austin, Neal, and many others added a minute or more to our Daffodil times, those who are obviously the best climbers ran close to, or matched their times from Daffodil, and therefore moved up in the standings. Greg Ngo moved up from 3rd to 2nd, and Peter Lubbers 4th to 3rd (and only added 2 seconds!). Larry Defeyter once again won the 5k in (I believe) 18:31, while countless others ran well on this slow, hilly course. Sean & Hayes, two of my future teammates in the upcoming Tahoe Relay, moved up from their usual 5k’s, and both tackled the 10k course successfully.
Aaron & I enjoyed lunch at the Sacramento Brewing Company before heading back to Reno.
Unfortunately for me, between the race and the tummy issues, I ran my shortest run of 2008 on Sunday (3.7 miles), before skipping today’s workout completely. Hopefully tomorrow will be back to normal.
Congrats to everyone who ran on Saturday. See you at the Salmon Run on May 10.
here's the link to Steve's article in the Union...

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