Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Responsibility

Running with Rob.  Rob did the marathon, with a impressive 3:33.  All photos courtesy Takao Suzuki
It's an unnerving, exciting responsibility to lead a pack of runners.  In my case, to be the first woman to cross the finish line (or for you guys, to be the first man).  The longer you lead, the harder it is to give it up.  Every once in a while, I have the pleasure and stress of winning a race (not overall, but in this case I'm referring to first place woman).  That's why last weekend's out-and back course at the Woolley 50k in Sedro Woolley was good.  At the 15.7 mile turnaround, I counted the minutes that it took for me to see the next woman coming toward me.  Six minutes.  That meant she was about 12 minutes behind me total.  A pretty good lead, but with 15 miles to go, close enough that I felt like I had to stay on my toes.  In the end, I finished 20 minutes before the next woman, so I didn't have anything to worry about afterall.

I love a good flat trail course.  It's comforting to know that the trail will be mostly unchanging for entire race. here are also times that I wished for some downhills. We ran on a rails to trails path.  I was able to stay pretty consistent with my mile splits, until the last 6 miles when I slowed down a bit.  My legs and lower back were aching bad and I was really cold.  It rained on us for the majority of the race.  I don't do so well in that kind of cold, and this race was no exception.  By mile 18, I borrowed some gloves from Matt Hagen, who kindly insisted I take them when I couldn't work the Gatorade dispenser.  My pullover shirt was soaked.  I could have rung it out.  So I suffered a bit the last 13 miles being cold and achy.  But it was fun, nonetheless!  I knew I'd be fine in the end.  I'd just have to blast the heat in the car for the ride home, which is exactly what I did. 

My sprained ankle (from 2/4) did okay.  No pain, but some uncomfortable tendonitis on the front of the ankle that afternoon and today and a fair amount of swelling in the ankle.  My calves were really sore from the exertion as well.  After a tough 2nd half of last year, it was nice to win a race.  Especially nice considering that I haven't run a 50k since last September's Cle Elum Ridge 50k.

What I ran with:
1 packet of jelly beans and ipod.
I used 2 or 3 gels and had 2-3 mid-sized cups of water per aid station

I experimented with not carrying water and I did alright, might not have bonked on those lsat 6 miles if I had... There was an aid station at mile 4.2, 6.5, 13.1, 15.7.  The big stretch being 6.5 to 13.1.  My ipod was lovely to have on the flat long straightaways that went on for 15.7 miles!  I don't like to use it for mountain races, but these flat, paced ones ~~ahhh, so nice

Finishing time 4:33 for 31.7 miles
My marathon split (26.2 miles) was 3:38
Half marathon splits: 1:49, 1:48--- it was after the first 26 miles that my lack of water/fuel got to me.
Getting water and GU at the aid station. All photos courtesy Takao Suzuki
All photos courtesy Takao Suzuki

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