Sunday, February 10, 2008
So I went into the Pemberton 50k having only completed one 2 plus hour run since Christmas Day. With that being said I felt strong going to the race having added Bikram yoga to my training regime.
In general Arizona's weather patterns, especially in Phoenix, are so diverse. While sleeping in my car before the race, the temperature went down to low 40's. I woke close to 4:30 am, cranked the heat and tried to stay warm until the 7am start. By 9 am, temps where in the high 60's and making its way to high 70's. Clothing was shed mid way through the 1st lap, and allowed me to work on my winter tan! I must say I really enjoy running in shorts in February!
My goals for the race where to finish in under 4:45. Anything sooner would be a real treat. Coach Iggy's advise for the race was to be tension free. My advise to myself was to not go out too fast and be worn out come the 2nd loop. With that being said, I totally went out too fast and with the addition of sore calf muscles in both legs, loop 2 was some what long and painful. I would finish the 1st lap in 2:07. I was quite shocked at the time and my crew member Laura almost missed me because I told her to be at the halfway point by 2:15-2:30. Luckily she was there early and was able to hand me off a fresh bottle of liquids, a few dates, and charming words of encouragement.
The course is split up into 3 parts. the fist 5 miles consist of gentle rolling hills, a few short climbs, and lots of gravelly rocks that agrivate your feet. From aid station 1(mile 5ish), to aid station 2(mile 10ish), the trail has more climbing and lots of ups and downs. The final 4.8 miles is mostly all down hill which allowed me to step up the pace and boogie in to the halfway point. I would run the last section of lap one in 36 minutes. Maybe not the best idea but felt good doing it.
Lap 2 started slow as I immediatly went off course and was luckily tracked down by a volunteer to get me back on track. I tried to take it slow for the first t2 sectiones of lap 2 in hopes to get my legs back for the final 4.8 miles. By this time the sun was beating down on me and I was struggling to take in my liquids. I must drink more water, but just don't feel great consuming much food or drink during the race. My belly can't handle it, which caused me to almost vomit after one of the aid stations.
A few times I was passed by quick footed runners who initially bummed me out until the told me they were in the relay race. I would finish up the race at 4:33:07. This was the same time I put in at last years Nipmuck Marathon. Overall I finished 20th place behind 4 relay teams. I would take 3rd overall in mens 20-29 division.
Without promoting the raw vegan diet, I did get asked a few questions while preparing a post race green smoothie. One guy, who I ran with during the first half of the race was curious to know what I consumed before, during , and after races. Another vegan women was happy to try some smoothies that I prepared. I think in general, people are very interested in performing at there best. I recieved a packet of Hammer Gel. In comparison to fresh fruit, I can't see why anybody would choose to consume food from a plastic container when fresh organic fruit can supply just as much if not more energy to help you throughout a race. I know there are many great athletes out there fueling on gels and liquids by I know there is a better way. These curiosities have given me the idea to create trifold packets on sports nutrition and hand them out at races. All you can do is supply the information and the people will do what they want with it.
I was quite happy with my performance, but quick to realize I am not in the shape I need to be in to have a good VT 100. I am looking forward to heading back to CT and having all of you kick my butt! Thanks for all of the support you having given me over the last few months away