Monday, August 15, 2011

Pizza and The Legend

In a valiant attempt at actually trying to PR again in this wicked heat and get off this plateau in the 26-27 minute range, I took off like a shot for the Great Pizza Challenge (Aug. 4th).  The time to beat was my 25:50 from Clio's Dalmatian.  I found neon guy again, and pretended that I was roped to his back and he was dragging me along.  I kept hearing all the cool pacer people shouting out that I was at a 24 minute pace.  I was raging fast.

Then I hit the 2 mile mark.  "Control to legs, what are you doing down there?"  "I'm givin' her all she's got captain," said my legs in their best Scotty voice, but it was no use.  The I started hearing the calls "24 1/2," "25"....I just burned out, and the last 3 blocks I could have sat right down on the curb.  I was sucking in all the oxygen I could and the legs were on fire, and neon guy was way out in front and finished by now.

On a positive note I knew I had given all I had for this one for once, and I didn't walk away empty handed.  Neon guy must have decided to run in his age group and not in the heavies, so I snagged a #1.  No PR, but I did the best I have in a while with a 26:08. Nice having an award for a pizza challenge that isn't food related.  Besides, I can't take more than 2 pieces of the stuff they gave us after the race.  The crust was hard enough that my jaw got a work out too!
Ran my first trail Half-Marathon (Aug. 6), and I have to admit it kind of beat the crap out of me.  I didn't pace myself early, and went way too fast.  Luckily most of the people I went by early didn't come back and get me, especially the two that said "we'll see you again later."  Had some nice conversation with another racer miles 7-11 until I finally told her I was "losing it" and to head on past.  She said "ok, I'll lead for a while" like I was going to continue to keep up.  It was nice of her to try to give me the mental boost, but it just didn't pan out.

I guess I just didn't know what I was getting myself into.  There's a reason they only had a 5 and 10 mile until this year!  I think before my next trail half, I want to be trained for a solid 17 miles on the road.  This trail run was billed as relatively flat, but when I was kicking myself in the chest with my knees going up on hills that were nearly impossible to actually run (I still tried, I'm stubborn) and hills I could shoe ski down, I didn't really believe it.  I guess this just tells me expect more of the same or worse on trails. 

On top of that, the majority of it was single track, so there's only room for one.  You had to really know for sure if you wanted to pass or not, and it took a lot of effort to push through the weeds to do so.  I generally moved off to the side and let people pass me on the track, but a lot of others weren't so accommodating.  There were a lot of chances to take a spill, and a lot of roots sticking up.  I saw four people take a nose dive myself.  I was nearly one of them (twice).  Also I really underestimate how much bounce I got from pavement and how much each blade of grass would work against me.  All these things and the humidity (soaked w/i 2 miles) made for a tough morning, and for a pretty crappy time (2:29:57) from me.

I would have felt worse about the time had I not felt like I toughed out a lot of really rough terrain and given it about all I had.  You just come to some races that bend you until you break, and The Legend (I swear there was more elevation changes than this seems to indicate) was definitely that.  Even my muscles agreed with me as I tried to take them for a dip in the lake and the tightened and pulled on me to the point I had to use my hands to pull me back on shore for some extended stretching.  Then it took a good long while before I felt I could get to my feet.  Just more proof that I'm still made up of primarily marshmallow fluff.  Just get me a sailor suit and a hat that says "Stay Puft."
Dirty Trail Shoes and a SOAKED Flash Shirt

I am so DONE!
After that beat-down, I took the early part of the week off to recover.  I was pretty sure if I ran Tuesday there'd be just as much exploding calf action as "Cowboys and Aliens" so I gave myself the day off.
I wish I had this cup
Sure I did a little make-up and got in 7 1/2 miles Thursday and 9 1/2 Sunday, but I'm still kind of sulking.  I know I can get up another level and I'm not pushing myself right now.  I'm going to have to make a pretty heavy push here just to get my Crim time where I want.  Meanwhile, my cousin just finished her first 70.3, and is making me feel like a lazy blob in comparison, because that's pretty awesome.  Not a lot of people get to that kind of level of fitness.  Me getting there is just unfathomable right now, but never say never (just not soon).
Legend Medal (1st year of The Legend Half)

...or more like the dare took me


  1. DUDE! Nice trail run! Are your ankles sore? Trail running is like a whole other BEAST! That is a kick A time too!!!

    Great job with the 5k too! You'll get that PR! I'm sure you are doing your speed work, right? =)

  2. Not really. I haven't been pushing anything. We've barely been timing ourselves. I've had the dead legs syndrome (more accurately the lower half of my legs) for a while , and I think they believe running season should be over by now. This is the first year I went all year long, so they have a right to feel that way, I suppose. Any tips on shaking it?

    The ankles were sore for only about a day or two. They've been really solid for me this year, which is a shocker given how much trouble I've had with them.

    Truth be told, I just haven't pressed the limits as hard this year as last year. I'm not sure I really planned to either. I kind of got that Half-Marathon out in April and ever since I've kind of been thinking "goal met...time to coast to December"

  3. You did a terrific job..... no lazy blobs around here!!!!


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