Well, this last weekend couldn't have gone much further askew of what I'd planned. Without going into too much detail, I was either going to attempt my second "daily double" since college by running the Spring Forward for Autism 5k at 8:00, then jogging down the street and defending my title in the Climb at 9:00 (the other mutli-run day being three legs of the RTO over a 12 hour span in 2008) or just run the 5k at UNR. Notice how neither of those plans involve just doing the Climb?
Events beyond my control began to conspire against me, the first being that the City of Reno had the time of the climb wrong on their site. Correct time? 8:15. However, after going back & forth via email, the RD of the climb was willing to work with me on my individual start time, going somewhere closer to 9:00, since this is a staggered run. But the story doesn't end here. Active.com had the time for the 5k wrong, so instead of an 8:00 start time, it's 9:00. So now my double would consist of going anaerobic first, then running a 5k. I liked it better the other way around, but that was still going to be the plan, as long as I could get up to UNR in time to register race morning.
As of Wednesday, I was all signed up for the climb, fundraising complete, thanks to the generous donations of the Warner family in Grass Valley, and Veronica Carlos here in Reno. Until last week, I had no intention of doing the climb at all. I hadn't trained for it like I had in year's past, but then every day at the gym I walked by the table with a team sign up sheet staring me in the face. I wasn't going to be returning to most of the races I'd done last spring, and I'd done the climb every year of it's existence, so...I signed up. St Mary's is a sponsor too, so the race fee was waived. That would later take the sting out of the fact that the event has "gone all cheap". Awesome prizes for the winners in '09, not so awesome in '10, and absolutely nothing in 2011. Heck, even the free pictures from years past were for sale, but that's a rant I'll save for another day :)
Not much to share about the rce itself, as the only strategy involved was to go out fast and don't die, don't die, don't die, don't die!!!! Even sans specific training, I was feeling pretty good about my fitness til about, oh, lunchtime on Friday, when my right knee decided to revert to January 2010 form. I made it one block on Saturday before shutting it down, and assumed I'd be biking, stairclimbing, or using the eliptical trainer to warm-up for the climb. The 5k was out of the question as of Saturday morning, which was disappointing (especially when my legs felt stronger than expected post climb!). Sunday rolls around and Dave and I jog over (yay, I can run!) to the Silver Legacy from the gym to check in with the team, and head back to St Mary's for a proper warm-up. I get to the start at 8:12, so I don't have time to stand around and get nervous, or wonder just what in the heck I'm doing, and I'm the first to go up right at 8:18. Like I said, no strategy, or sense of pace. I noticed at floor 14 that I was feeling it a bit more than I should be at this point, but you can't really hold back - you have NO IDEA where your competition is til after the fact. Combined with the fact that this type of race is half anaerobic made it so I kept the foot on the gas til the legs started to get weak and heavy 2/3 of the way up. Ruh-roh!! I didn't dare glance at the watch, but those last few floors seemed to be akin to running up stairs made of sand. I was still taking two at a time, but my legs would not obey the brain, and seemed to take a lot longer between footstrike and push-off. Thankfully, the end came at floor 36. I glanced down...3:29. Ok, I might be safe with that. I'd run 3:26-3:25 the last two years, but nobody else has ever been under 3:40. The new timers got the results up in a more timely manner than year's past and I saw that I was safe, as long as no surprises awaited at the end. Officially I ended up 17 seconds ahead of 2nd place, but the surprise came when the team results came out, and St Mary's was the first place team by a minute or two (taking the total time of your top 5 runners)! Pretty nice surprise there!
Back to the gym for a cool-down run and light lifting, and even though the knee is holding on for dear life this week, I've been able to run every day, and I'm hoping the next couple weeks of racing won't be interrupted. Heck, it might even be warm out sooner or later. Wouldn't want to miss that!