Sunday, May 31, 2015

Potato!


I was very discouraged after Lincoln. I really was starting to question everything! Did I not understand my body? Was I not in good shape? Was i too old to run?

I went into this race with very low expectations. Not just about my run but also my enjoyment of the run. I expected it to not be beautiful and I expected myself to not perform very well. Happy to report both of these things turned out not to be the case.

First off, it was beautiful. When we flew in I was worried because it looked like Tuscon to me (mountains and flatness). However, the race started at this state park that is also a HUGE dam. We started out running on the Boise river and cut through canyons. Next, we hit some residential areas. Next, back on the greenway which was surprisingly beautiful (especially the first 8 miles). There were moments of pure joy during the run and I remembered why i love doing this (running, the 50 state thing, etc). One memory of big beautiful green mountains ahead of me, the river to my left and a small stream to my right. Between the path and the river to the left were bushes and dense foliage. It looked like Anne of Green Gables.

The dew point was in the 40's (which was actually high for the area apparently). To me, it felt good (not saying I loved the 72 degree start temp but not bad for June). I felt like I was running down hill the first 10 or so miles. My heart rate was real low.

After the half marathoners peeled off, the real race began. I was in 10th place at the 6.5 mile turn. My strategy was to stay within myself, hydrate a ton, and keep eating my shot blocks. I don't understand it, but all water volunteers hand you one 2.5 oz of water cup and everyone else starts eyeing the next runner. HELLO, I'M 6'6'' 200LBS, I NEED LIKE 4 OF THESE! I ripped these out of people's hands so many times.

Anyway, I was in 10th and feeling really good (not Kentucky Derby Marathon good, but still). I started picking off people one by one. Towards the end, I saw the first female. I knew she was in 4th and she was flailing. I decided to go for it and had to fight her off. She feel back by the end though so I got 4th place! I got a potato guy and a ribbon! So great.

I felt so good at the finish, I just hopped in my car, showered up at the hotel, got some food and went right to Horseshoe Bend for some whitewater rafting. Then came back and got some pizza downtown Boise. One of the best marathon adventures yet!

Not sure what marathon will be next. I'm glad I ended on this note though. I was starting to lose a little of why I do this.





Monday, May 4, 2015

36 down, 15 to go.

Just got back from the 2015 Lincoln Marathon. This race was very difficult for me. Let the complaining begin! It was sunny from the very start. I hate sunny runs (especially when the temperature is in the 70's). It just makes for a long, hot day. And since we were on the Great Plains, there wasn't much of a break from it.

Also, the wind! My God the wind. At mile 14 i hit a wall. It wasn't a figurative wall either. Also in the Great Plains, it is super windy (because there is not anything to block it). When i was driving from Omaha to Lincoln, my rental car was swerving like crazy. Took me a second to realize it was the wind that was blowing me all over the place. Not to state the obvious, but at 6'6'', i am more of a wind sail than anything else.

So this race was a disappointment in terms of getting a good time. It doesn't totally add up to me though. I have been running extremely well lately. In fact, I won my last two races and placed third in another.

The two half marathons where I placed third and first were very competitive. My times were also very good. The Vac and Dash night half marathon is through the mountainous Albamarle area (up Morrow Mountain). I ran a very smart and strong run and won it with a time below 1:30 (good considering the terrain). The half marathon I got third I nearly PR'd in and out paced a guy at the end.

The race I won last weekend was a 10 mile run. It wasn't very competitive but I did go sub 6:30 miles the entire time.

I felt like i was poised for a big run in Lincoln but only managed a 3:14. Maybe that is not so bad given the head and wind but I don't know. I didn't run Disney hard and it was a similar time.

Next up is Boise. I have to think it will be warm considering it is basically in June. I have some other small races too and then after all this is triathlon season!