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Archive for May, 2012

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First this is not my photo nor was it taken today but it is a photo of Deception Peak.

I was up at 5:30 this morning, too excited to sleep and eager to get to Santa Fe where I was meeting the Striders for my first high elevation mountain trail run of the year.  I was a nervous on my drive, we were starting at over 10,000 feet and running to 12,400. I had no idea what I would feel like since I have only been at elevation 3 days and that was 6,000 feet.

It was great to see the friends from last summer, Jim, Eric, Miriam, Gabe, Caroline, and make three new friends, Maryann Max and Andy. The start of the trail is super hard, straight up from 10,238 feet to 12,409 in about three miles. It was super rocky, there were boulder fields and quite a bit of snow. There was nothing that resembled running, it was purely hiking. I will post the splits at the end, but it took 1 hour and 18 minutes to go 3 miles and I was in the front group.

The Winsor Trail is a steep climb that takes you to the boundary lines of the Pecos Wilderness, where you turn and go up Raven’s Ridge Trail. It is an unmaintained trails with several high and low points along the way. At times we lost the trail, had to scramble over rocks but the views were spectacular!

When we got to the peak  it was about 30 degrees, it was 46 when we started. The wind was intense and we huddled behind some rocks for a couple minutes to take in the views. But the wind and cold were outrageous and we hit the trail to Tesuque Peak which is the site of a hard core half marathon. Once off Tesuque Peak it is all downhill for 5. 5 miles. I felt fantastic. I felt really strong today. In talking with Gabe he too said he was nervous about today, but that the club had been training for 8 weeks working up to this height. I think some people did not have a very good day,  the cold plus elevation was pretty heavy. But I loved it and I felt terrific.

On the way down Maryann took the lead. She is  fast. Last year she outright won the Caldera Marathon. I was being cautious at first staying with the group but then just let go. I kept Maryann in my sights for most of the 5 miles. I stopped twice to tie my shoes thinking someone would come up behind me but no one did and I lost her.  I reached the bottom of the Alpine Vista Trail and was just energized.

I did not take any water or food with me. I was the only one who didn’t but I also did not need it. We ran a total of 9 miles and it took 2 hours. The last bit felt fast, but controlled and strong. After checking my GPS I ran pretty much the pace I ran in the Brooklyn 1/2 marathon which is pretty freakin’ great on a rocky dirt access  road between 12,000′ feet and 10,000. For fun I wore my heart rate monitor. I will post the rate because I have an 18:00 mile where my HR was 162 and I have a 7:30 mile where it is basically the same!

Maryann and Max  planned a 20 mile day because they have a marathon coming up in a couple weeks. They ran their final 10 on the road that goes back  to Santa Fe.

I did a couple of chores in Santa Fe and drove the 50 miles back to  Abiquiu when I  realized I was starving. It was now 3pm and I only had one piece of bread with coconut oil and black strap molasses at 6:00am. Unfortunately the dogs got into the refrigerator and ate about $100 of food so I went to Bodes convenience store just 6 miles up the road and got a BBQ pull pork sandwich AND a ground beef, cheese and chilli burrito and ate them both! Yes I ate a pile of meat and about 3 pounds of food and boy was it just what I needed. I could go run again.

Splits
Average Pace with average HR
1  18:36           63
2  27:25           137
3  25:12           138
4  12:00           136
5   8:00            147
6   8:21            154
7   7:48            160
8   7:42            159
9   7:36            161
9.5 7:30           102 (monitor fell down)

For comparison my HR average for a 9:00 mile is 145-150 at sea level and 7:00 pace is 170  give or take.

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Post Race

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Post race I am driving to New Mexico. Right now I am somewhere in Ohio and just checked into the Red Roof Inn. To my surprise the Brightroom had already posted pictures and video of the race. Here I am skinny legs lorenz.

If I can still feel my legs after driving 2100 miles, I am going to jump into the 5k in Santa Fe on Saturday.

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Brooklyn Bust but a Nice Swim

The day finally came and then went, the NYRR Brooklyn half marathon. This was my goal race of the year. In 2011, I took 6:00 off a soft half marathon time. I had never run the half very well. This year  I planned to continue the PR trend and focus my training for 4.5 months  with Coach John Henwood to get my time down further, to a 1:40. I ran a 1:44 with only 4 days of low mileage  training a week so training 6-7 and with focus should easily get me there.

Working with John was  whole new experience, far harder workouts, far more long runs. I am no doubt overall stronger and without injury!  I was nervous two weeks before the race because I was tired and stressed out. My taper week was a  14 miler on the Sunday, a 75:00 on Tuesday, 45:00 Wednesday, 40:00 Thursday and Friday off.  I got a nice 9 hours of sleep the night before, I ate a good breakfast and I was ready to race.

I took a cab to the start with David and Patrick. That was a mess, with 16,000 people trying to get to Brooklyn by 6:00am on Saturday traffic was a mess. What should have taken 10:00, took 40:00. We eventually got out and walked. We got to the baggage check just as they were breaking down the tables at 6:20. I think my bag was the last to go in the truck, thousands of people missed out.  The toilet lines were  50 people deep and the stress of waiting was way too much. The guys were all  going to the trees, so I followed the trend. At the first tree I ran into a Front Runner Buddy, Dave  and joked, “fancy meeting you here.” Went on the other side of tree and did my business. Because of nerves my mouth was very dry and I really wanted water, but I could not find any.

We had to be in the corrals by 6:40 but I wanted a decent warm up. I jogged for 10:00 or so,  and once I saw I could get in and out of the corral, I found a nice side street to do some strides.

I stood in the corral for at least 15:00 before the start. When the gun went off, it was over 3:00 to  shuffle to the start. We began with a hairpin left turn and nice slight downhill. I was very relaxed for the first 5k. I felt good and thought I was running conservative. John told me to run 7:40-7:45 pace. My first 5K was 23:35, 7:35 pace. A bit fast but there were some good long downhills. I was at 10K at 48:37, 7:49. I was feeling good, relaxed,  it was a lot slower but that was all the big hills. My right quad started that burning thing again going up the hill but I relaxed slowed down and did not freak out knowing I could make up the time and knowing my quad would be fine. After the park the hills would subside and I would be on pace for my 1:40. But I was wrong. I kept getting slower. At mile 9 I had to use the toilet. This has never happened to me in a race ever, but it was not a surprise. I did not do all the business  behind that tree. I lost :53 but no problem I would pick it up.

The only good mile after mile 9 was the last one, somehow I pulled off a  7:26. My final time was exactly, and I mean exactly the same time I ran in 2011, 1:44:23, way off my goal. The competition was much more fierce this year, I came in 26th out of 321 in my age group. Out of the 7,071 women who raced, 6,386 younger than me,  I managed to beat 6,448 of the total. The number of women racers really drops off at 40, what the heck happens to them?

I wanted to beat myself, my one year younger and far less mileage self, but it did not happen. And yes I was angry. I was angry for all the times I went to bed at 9:00 rather than see friends, all the extra money I spent on massage so that I could do a workout. All the workout that left me on the sofa for the remainder of the day.  But now two days later, I am happy for my new found strength. I am happy for all the runs with new friends from John’s  Henwood Hounds Racing Team. I am especially grateful for my great friends David and Patrick who went on more 18 mile runs with me that any sane person should do. I am happy to not be hurt. I am happy to feel strong. I am happy I got a chance to run this again, but no more BK half, it is a zoo. Oh and I was happy to jump in the ultra cold, 59 degree,  Atlantic Ocean! But yes, I am still a little pissed about my time.

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One more week

The Brooklyn Half Marathon is nine days away. After a few weeks of crankiness, it seems like nothing to get up at 5:00am to run a 7 mile tempo run, at 7:40 pace or do a track workout Saturday, then a long run Sunday. Medium run, 14 miles, one week before the race.

School  ended, graduation was today and now I feel the huge release of all the stress and anxiety of the last two weeks. Every year it is the same around exam time. But my grades are posted, my students are taken care of so today I just want to sleep the afternoon away. I cannot even keep my eyes open.  Oh but I have a 75 minute run to do. After my nap, maybe.

And on the tenth day I leave for New Mexico.

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