Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Altitude, Arse Kickings & Cough Syrup...or..."Why I ran in somebody else's shoes."
The Cliff Notes: Got sick. Still ran. Got "lost" before run. Ran in demo shoes. Got whooped. Gave shoes back. Still sick.
The story: Here I am all excited because I'm signed up for four races ahead of time. Those that know me know this is rare. Because I've been so injury prone for the last few years, I generally don't sign up for any races ahead of time. It's caused me to miss a few that fill up, but on the other hand, I've also been burned by signing up far ahead of time and never making the start. So...as of last week I was signed up for the Burton Creek 10*k, The Run to Squaw next week, The (Truckee) Firecracker Mile on 7/4, and Blood, Sweat, & Beers a couple weeks later. I guess I was just excited to be racing into summer that I may have gotten carried away.
My last two races, both short and fast (as well as paved and at sea level) were probably my two best of the year. I knew hills (specifically climbing) were not my strength going into last week's Burton Creek Trail Run, but given my recent fitness and the fact that only one person was within 4 minutes at this race last year (even with Kirk & I's 900m detour), I thought I had a chance at defending. Then I got the black lung (ala Derek "freak gasoline fighting accident" Zoolander). I'd had a head cold and sore throat before Fitch Mountain, but got a repreive a couple days before the race, and felt great. But come Tuesday, the sore throat was replaced with the black lung. As of Friday, I was on what I'm assuming is the world's best cough syrup (since it cost $22.75 for a tiny arse bottle with insurance) and as of today, a fast acting antibiotic in case it's bronchitis or some other lung infection.
Anyway, I didn't have a lot of mojo going into the race, but like last year, all of TLD (Turi, Dave, Amber & myself) were signed up, and there's no way I'm backing out of a race if there's even a glimmer of hope I'll run well. We carpooled up plenty early with a cooler full of food & beer for after. Salomon was the sponsor this year (last year Turi ran in a pair of Merrell demos). I'd packed my New Balance MT101's to race in, but was intrigued by the look of the Salomon FellCross, an agressively lugged cross country runner.
The race itself was pretty uneventful. The 5k (3.8 miles) & the 10k (7.6, two loops) took off together. One rather tall gentleman (pictured below after his victory) took off like it was a flat 5k, with myself and one other guy not-quite-chasing him down. We broke away from the pack pretty quick, and after the first climb the lead stabilized. Until the big climb that is. The other two (the eventual 5k & 10k winners), who were even by now, pretty much dropped me for good on the first major climb. It basically wrecked me for the day because it happened so easily and my body had no response. I ran in no man's land in second. Nobody in sight in front or behind for most of the first loop and none of the second, save for the marathoners we caught and 5kers we lapped. It was hard to push past the edge of pain, being alone (and mentally broke). I hit lap one just under 25 minutes, and lap two just over, for a 50:27...three minutes off first, and eight minutes ahead of second, with a whole bunch of runners finishing between 58-61 minutes. Last year's splits were 25 (a shorter loop but with an off-course detour of 3 1/2-4 minutes) and a 23.
Amber ended up 3rd in her AG in the 7.6 miler, with Turi (2nd/6th) & Dave running the 14.6 mile half-marathon. We enjoyed our picknick lunch, but I beleive I was in bed just after the kids at 8-8:30, and I'll be repeating that again tonight. The most frustrating part is that my legs don't even feel taxed today. For a race that hilly, they should be trashed, but my lungs just didn't let me go hard enough to really pound (though I sure felt like I was going hard at the time). I'll get another chance on a paved course at Squaw this week, but as of today, I'm still hacking and losing my voice. Hopefully, the antibiotic is better than the cough syrup :) So far 34 sucks...sick on my Bday and Father's Day??? C'mon man...