Monday, January 25, 2010

Redding Marathon Relay & Folsom Winter Trail Run Series #6

Dave at hill #1, race #2, mile 0.9
me at race #2, mile 0.7
post race #2
Dave, drafting, race #2, mile 0.1
me not drafting, race #2, mile 0.1...too bad I couldn't hold that pace!
race #2, mile...uh...0.023?
Dave finishing race #2. I say if he's got THAT much energy in his thumbs, he didn't run hard!
Hannah eagerly awaiting Dave's arrival, race #1
mile 19.53, race #1. IT bands suck!!!
Dave @mile 0.7, race #2
mile 56 of the drive home
why we really go to California every two or three weeks!
in the homestretch, race #2
photos courtesy of Brian at breakoutracing.com & Abby (I think Ben took the tree one).

I'm going to do a 2 fer 1 post as I was too trashed from the first race to even do a proper post. Lazy you say? Or freakishly efficient?
Anyway, last weekend Dave, Abby, Hannah & I drove to Redding on Saturday night after work. We had an awesome (and by awesome I mean mediocre at best, severely overpriced) dinner at Rose's, the sole italian joint in Susanville. We got in late, but Abby's grandparents, who let us bunk there, stay up later than any of us, so they were there to greet us when we pulled in. Dave dropped me off in the dark and rain Sunday morning to pick up our packet and get on the shuttle to the marathon start. I rode up to the Shasta Dam with Mike Buzbee, who I know from various grand prix races, and we hung out a bit before it was time to go. Worthy of note, but something I didn't know til race morning, was significant changes to the marathon course. Instead of a few miles off road and little in the way of hills in the middle of the race, there was off road between 3.5-15 miles, and more hills. Who loves hills?! NOT ME! It was probably an even more scenic course than before, but the great views from the dam were obscured by heavy fog, rain, and dark. We started in a different spot, and the first three miles or so were downhill and flat. Miles to put some time in the bank if I wanted to run 6:00 pace for 19.5 miles. The first one was fast, maybe a bit too fast, although it felt ok at the time. I'd cross the 5k in the 16:40's before hitting the trails (& mud & puddles). By the time I got that far, I was already soaked through from the rain, so there was no need for time consuming zig-zags to avoid the puddles. Just barrel on through. I led the field through mile 11 (and past the relay exchange, since we did this 3 man relay with 2) and had hit mile 10 in 54:40 (5:48 per). I knew I'd been over 6:00 pace for some time, though, and was beginning to wonder when the trail would end. The marathon leader from Chico TC caught up to me around 11, and we ran together past the half marathon and up and over the biggest of the hills. Through 12, he was on pace for Hal Koerner's course record, but at least in part due to the harder, slower course, would end up missing it by a few minutes. He had enough to pull away from the leading (but fading) relay runner after the big hill, though. We hit the half in 1:18:30 (just about to 6:00 pace now, but adding time fast). Mile 15 was the surprise for me. I thought I was in shape to safely handle 20 miles, hence running the relay instead of the whole thing, without fading or lots of pain. Well...I was wrong on both accounts. My IT band tends to tighten up, then painfully pull over bone, when I run farther than I'm in shape for, therefor comprimising my form. I'm pretty sure the problem starts in the hip, but manifests itself next to the knee (see post Napa Marathon pain, and survival at Run On The Sly 20m). Well, with 4.5 to go, it began, and the last 4.5, just when the terrain relaxed, were to be the hardest. When your hurting, every minute counts, and when I hit mile 19 (now over 6:00 pace for the race) I wondered if I'd have 0.2 or 0.4 left. The race site lists the last leg as both 6.8 and 7.0 miles...but in hind set, like the elevation chart, this is for the old course. After mile 19, a minute passed. Where is everyone? Then two. What the heck...I know I'm still sub 7:00 pace. Then 3 minutes before I saw the exchange zone. I hit mile 19 in 1:56:36, and exchanged with Dave at 2:00:16...3:40 for .2 or .4. According to Dave's GPS, he ran 6.66, which leaves over 19.54 miles for a certified marathon. Based on that, my goal time would have been 3 minutes faster than what I ran (I ended up at 6:09 per mile, which would have been awesome if I'd ran the whole thing). So I was disappointed in the pain that came with a run that really shouldn't have been that much of a struggle, but...we had a good lead on the chasing relay teams.
I went with Abby & Hannah back to the finish at Sundial Bridge and waited...got stretched a little...had some PIE, drinks, coffee, more PIE. It was actually getting colder as the day went on. Wind in the open, rain & clouds. At 2:55 I walked out on the bridge, not expecting Dave for 7-10 minutes, but just before 3 hours, he came up the far side of the bridge. We ended up third overall, 1st in our division at 3:00:15, Dave running 9 minute pace and breaking an hour (59:59)!
After freezing our buns off, we were looking forward to our reward. It was obvious this race had trashed us physically way more than either of us were expecting. The pain right after finishing is usually reserved for the night/morning after a hard marathon or 50k. But...our reward was lunch at Sierra Nevada in Chico. I remember their food being tasty, but what we had was just downright deeeelicious! Mine was thai seafood pasta with yellow curry, rice noodles, grilled shrimp w/red chili sauce and a garnish of thai pesto. Ay chiahuahua! All our meals, plus 15 tasters, plus 3 full beers, one dessert, and a growler of their awesome "Old Ale" to take home...for just about the same price as our forgetful meal at Rose's the night before.
Last week was pretty much a waste. Lots of limping, no quality workouts and 22 miles of slow running after 6 days...and I still wasn't. I'd gone back and forth about what distance to run for race #6 yesterday, and decided Wednesday night on the long one, as I thought my soreness/fatigue, etc... was beggining to go away. Yeah...not so much. By the end of Thursday I emailed Diane (the RD) about possibly having to drop down in distance on race day, and she completely understood, and said no problem. It's rare for things to be that easy anymore, but there you have it. Another reason to run the Folsom Trail Seriesisisis. I actually emailed the Davis Stampede the same day (for the same reason) and have yet to even get a response. Very professional. We traveled to Roseville, and although I wasn't yet recovered, we did stay at a Heritage Inn Express. We even had a jacuzzi thrown in with our two queens since they'd given away the last normal non-smoking double queen. Good for my cold soak, but I need to do at least a couple more of those. I didn't decide on a course 'til we got there that morning. I had decided earlier in the week (in my head) to do the short one, typed another email to Diane to put me in the short one, but didn't send it...eventually deleted it, and spent the next 24 hours going back and forth. The problem with doing the short one was that the two guys I wanted to race were both in the long course, for only the second time, not to mention the intermediate and long courses are far more scenic than the short one for this venue (Beals Point State Park). So...after all the fuss, I ended up going short not because I didn't think I'd finish or do as well, but to a.) facilitate recovery this week (hopefully) and b.) not have to run an unfamiliar course, especially when I'm not near 100%. I threw caution to the wind at the staert, though, and took off fast, trying to take advantage of the paved start. After 600 meters or so, we turned onto singletrack, and although it wasn't pouring like last time, there were a couple muddy spots. I did expect to be around 17:30, and was right on pace at the turn, but for whatever reason I slowed on the way back, and never really had another gear at the finish, and ran my slowest short course of the year at 18:03. It was enough to win, but nothing that'll keep me warm at night, especially since I faded for the second week in a row. If I pull that crap in Davis, the leader will be done and stretching by the time I hit the home stretch. Dave came in just under a half hour. I got a B12 shot at the race too, which was cool. I'm hoping I reap the same benefits as one Mr. Barry Bonds. If I take a little flaxseed oil on top of that shot, I should win all my races and hit lots of homers. I'll try not to be an a-hole like him, though. I still have hip and knee pain, but over the last two days, I've run almost as many miles as the previous six days, so hopefully I'm headed in the right direction. Davis is next...distance yet unknown. Stay tuned.
After 6 of 8 races in the series, the points totals are as follows.
Yesterday was a double points race, so there are 800 points possible-
195 males out of 426 total
Top 3 males-
Chris B 800 points
Kirk Ferris 762.24
John Couillard 669.59
Dave E @16th male, 37th overall with 498.21
However, not so fast. At the end of 8, you can drop your lowest 2 scores, which so far changes things a bit. Although Kirk has beaten John two out of two head to head, if you drop each of their lowest two scores (one of John's being a 0 for missing a race), John is still just holding onto second place (out of 600 points) 578.98 to 575.48. That should be interesting down the stretch.

6 comments:

SnowLeopard said...

Wow Chris! You consistantly amaze me how you can run through pain. I sure can't. Congrats to you, for both, even if the second was your slowest winning time of the year~

Looking forward to Davis! :)

slowrunner77 said...

I wouldn't do if I had another option...besides NEVER RUNNING. Aarghh.
Davis will be fun!

Mike L said...

Love reading these race reports. I didn't make it to the race due to a family emergency. I'll look to catch you guys after the last race and hope to meet for a beer or 3 afterwards.

Gretchen said...

Nice job! Hope recovery is going well for you. Glad to hear about the experience at the brewery in Chico., Makes it all worthwhile, right? And hey, watch out for that flaxseed oil. Does funny things, I hear.

slowrunner77 said...

Yeah...the food at Sierra Nevada (not to mention the beer) is really making me look forward to going back for the Bidwell Classic in a few weeks.
Mike - we'll probably hit up a Sacramento Brewery after the next race (probably after the last one too) if you want to join us. Hope everything is OK with the family.
This week has been much much better by the numbers...still not near 100% but masking it well. My goal miles this year for race weeks is about 60, and 70 for non/long race weeks...last week was 32, and a slow 32 at that. This week I'm at 67.5 after 6 days, so things are definitely improving.

saucony shoes said...

that's great! Looks you really had a lot of fun!