Wednesday, July 31, 2013

3200 Time Trial

This is likely to never be formally documented anywhere, so I figure I should get this on record. Ran 11:15 for 3200 last Saturday at the UMBC track (Garmin says 11:13, but I think it starts a few seconds late for some reason). I was lucky to have faster (and much faster) people running ahead, so I feel like it was pretty much race effort. Something around 5:25 for the first mile, but I couldn't hold the pace to get under 11. Hopefully there will be another attempt before the summer is over.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Big Horn

My sister put some pictures from the trip on her blog.  Some from the race, some from what they did to kill the 12 hours and 58 minutes it took me to finish.

My favorite picture was this one--I got tired of carrying the water bottle after 50 miles, so I found a place to put it:

I am not going to bore anyone with a very detailed description of the race.  It took 13 hours and was 50 miles.  I don't even care to remember much of it at this point.  But the basics were this--a point to point course (the 100 ran out and then back, brutal).  Start was 8800 feet, dropping down to the footbridge at mile 18 somewhere in the 4900 range.  Then back up (quickly) to 7000+ in about 2 miles.  Some ups and downs until mile 40 (a hill known as 'the haul') where the course dropped from 7500 down to Dayton, in the high plains below.  While that's a tough course the scenery was pretty unbelievable.  It really reminded me of going to several different national parks in the course of one day.  There were parts very much like Zion, which is my favorite park, so that's saying a lot.  One of the folks at an aid station said he would have liked to take about 4 days to hike the course and see it all, which seems about right.

The downhill beginning felt good, I tried not the push the pace cause it was so early.  I still felt good at the footbridge station.  I changed my shoes (the Mizunos were giving me blisters, because of course they were).  The climb after that was pretty much a walking affair.  I felt like stopping completely a couple of times, but knew that would kill the momentum.  The next 10 miles or so were up and down, and I ran a good deal.  I passed quite a few people (some doing well, some limping along) at this point.  The aid station at 28 had a few issues (they told me it was 26, which mentally made a big difference), and they were just about to run out of water.  I got half a bottle so I wasn't hogging.  The 6 or so miles to the next station were starting to get to me.  I walked a good deal.  It also didn't help you could see it, several miles away and several hundred feet higher.  But my family was waiting there, which helped keep me moving forward.  Another shoe change, some soda and such and we started up the path.  They got to walk with me until I decided I wanted to jog (which didn't last long). 

Around the last serious up, a hill known as 'the haul,' someone I had been running with earlier in the race caught up to me.  She had done the race previously and warned me about the downhill that was looming. And she was right, I wanted to quit in that part.  I couldn't even walk down because the it was so steep.  So I ran down the hills and walked the flat.  My legs were pretty thrashed at this point.  And even when it flattened out several miles later I still walked from one aid station to the next cause it was trail and I couldn't lift my feet.  With 5 miles to go the trail became a gravel road and I managed to walk and run that part.  But it was very exposed and I could feel the sun burning my neck and the back of my arms.  And there just wasn't much shade.  I think I ran extra trying to go anywhere there was trees.  At 1.7 mile to go there was a last aid station, a quick spray of the hose and a icee pop (!) and I was ready to go.  I think I ran most of the last mile and finished in under 13 hours.  Immediately swearing not to do another for at least several years.

The rest of the trip was a nice vacation.  I was (carefully) climbing Independence Rock just two days later.  But I didn't technically run a measurable amount for 10 days.  It was my longest break in two years.