Hannah working hard as always
last weeks blister still alive & kicking
Last Sunday was the 24th Annual You Gotta Be Crazy run, kicking off the local race scene here in Northern Nevada. This was the 5th time I've run it, making it the first race I've ever done 5 times (I beleive I've done the Daffodil Run, Bridge to Bridge, & Run Through the Colors 4 times each). I've been all over the place too...ran a high 16, but placed third, back in 2000 or 2001, ran it as my first race back after several YEARS off in 19-something in 2005, placing 6th. Won it the following year with a 17 & change. Ran it again last year as my first race back after a 2 month trip to the DL, placing 3rd in 18:29. This year, the goal was to get under 17 on this slightly hilly (& slightly longer than 5k) course. Then...the snow started. The forecast was for an inch or two, tops, but really; what do they know. In the morning I had to get the shovel out, just to get to the car. Close to two feet on top of the Subaru, probably close to a foot-and-a-half on the ground (just north of Reno). This was an odd storm, though. I was thinking there is no way they're running this race, but I remembered the name, and I wasn't going to be "that guy"...you know, the one member of the team that doesn't show. So, after digging out the car, we eventually made our way to Verdi, where Dave had opened the "hospitality suite" complete with Jittery Joe's Coffee.
I was feeling somewhat unmotivated at this point. It's been a rough couple weeks. Between the half-dollar sized blood blister, side cramps during the majority of the previous few runs, and another dose of the knee pain that sidelined me for a few days last week. This week, it happened on Friday (after 3 days off because of the foot, I'd run well enough that morning). After a post-run breakfast with Hannah, the knee almost gave out as I put weight on it to get up. Same sharp pain, but I caught it a little quicker. I muttered a couple choice words that I'm glad Hannah didn't catch, and limped around the rest of the day. I took Saturday off, which meant if I was able to run Sunday, it would be the only quality run of the week. Then the snow hit, & it became obvious that there would be no 5-minute-pace running this week. I warmed up on the course, and had no real problems with the footing at warm-up pace (although it would obviously be slower) & the knee seemed like it was going to hold. At the start, I noticed the lack of local elites (good for me I suppose), but it made me feel good that TLD had all showed up despite the weather. At the start it was about 28, and wouldn't get a whole lot warmer til the sun peeked out that afternoon.
We first headed down a hill, and it became obvious that footing wasn't as good at the faster pace, which was actually nice, since the big hill was coming not too long after the downhill & bridge crossing. Because the heart rate wasn't spiked at the bottom, and I had a lead, the hill wasn't too hard, but my breathing was pretty eratic. I hadn't settled into any kind of rythm, which I felt in my lungs & my legs. After the hill, there was a long straightaway, which can be mentally tough in most cases, but since we kept our eyes down due to the snow, this section didn't seem as long. It was during this section, though, that I developed another side cramp. Couldn't tell ya why, especially at a pace halfway between workout & race pace, but it was there, & didn't go away. So...hard to push the pace the rest of the way, so I was just in survival mode. I even made the rookie move (a couple times) of glancing back to be sure nobody was coming. A big fat jerk in a giant gold SUV sprayed everyone with freezing slush & ice whilst speeding dangerously close to the runners (& volunteers), but outside of that, the rest of the run was pretty uneventful. I came across about a minute and a half slower than my goal time in 18:25, but it was enough to win by almost a minute and a half. No cooldown for a 2nd straight week. I should probably break that pattern.
After some quick eats, drinks, & awards, we headed to the hospitality suite for brownies & beer.
Good combo. Thanks Turi for the Maui Coconut Porter Brownies, & to Amber for the Oak Aged Yeti Imperial Stout! Bourbon County - always nice as well. So far this week I've been able to run, but not particularly well. Tomorrow will be my first hard interval day (hopefuly) since the first knee flair-up, so I'm a little anxious to see how that goes. Til next time...
Here's the link to Sunday's results:http://www.silverstatestriders.com/Results.aspx?id=2