Wednesday, April 30, 2014
when i ran the 2012 edition of the sybil ludington 50k i had no idea it would be two years until i completed my next ultra! in fact, my longest run since the 2012 race was the44 miles i logged at the greater ny 100 miler in june. the pain in my right foot had become unbearable - a pattern that seemed to repeat itself as my mileage increased during races. not only did i not run ultras during that period, but i only ran 2 marathons (it would've been 3 had hurricane sandy not led to the cancellation of the 2012 nyc marathon).
that's a rather long-winded introduction to this race report - but the point is, on friday night i had a case of pre-race jitters that would rival any newbie! add to that the pouring rain when i woke up on Saturday morning, and the prospect of starting the race (much less finishing it) didn't seem very likely. but the rain stopped, i signed up for the race, put the bib on - and lined up with everyone else(butterflies aside). i had put in plenty of training miles during my recovery/base-rebuilding. the issue for me was mostly about getting my head back into the ultra game.
as for the race, my goal was a sub-5 hour finish. that may have seemed like a stretch, but my 2012 time of 4:58:26 was 5 minutes slower than my 2011 finish - and well off my pr for the course. my plan was to string together as many 9:50 miles as i could - and brought along my ipod in case i needed some inspiration along the way. in addition to the ipod, i carried an expresso lov gel, a packet of power gel gummies, my buff, a pair of gloves, and a headband in my fanny pack.
the volunteers carpooled the runners to the start. tom drove hiroshi, emmy, mike and me in his car. the best part of the start was the lack of rain! not only wasn't it pouring (like when i woke-up) but event the light drizzle that followed along on the drive to carmel had stopped. that itself was just the auspicious kick-off we needed. my first mile was a 9:23 and felt good, although the humidity was thick - and would linger for a couple of hours. the remaining mile markers (except for the half marathon and marathon splits) would come at 5 mile intervals.
i figured that 48 minutes 5 miles splits would get me under 5 hours. but, that would probably be a stretch. even so, i my first 5 miles came in at 47:46 and my second 5 miles at 48:21, for a 10 mile split of 1:36:17 - a solid 10 minutes off my 2012 10 mile split of 1:27:04. still, it was on pace for 5 hours. but by the time i reached the half marathon mark in 2:06:55 - still off my 2012 split of 1:56:08 by 10 minutes - a 5:10 became a more realistic goal. it was unlikely i'd be able to make up 10 minute during the second half.
as it turned out, my next two 5 mile came in at 49:33 and 49:36 - for a 3:16:27 split at 20 miles. that was a solid 15 minutes off 2012's 3:01:24. but i was still feeling good. i had started on my pack of power gel gummies (and some chips at eliot's aid station, then soda from richie's traveling aid station just past the half marathon mark). for the most part, however, i was just drank water at the aid stations. now i'd start drinking gatorade as well.
during the next 2 five mile stretches i slowed down significantly. it took 53 minutes to reach 25 miles and almost 54 (53:57) minutes to reach 30 miles. the split at 30 miles - just over the causeway - was 5:03:27. there was not way i'd run a 6:30 mile to squeeze in under 5:10. but, somehow surprising myself because of the annoying calf cramp i had in my left leg for the last 4-5 miles, i managed to run an 8:14:33 last mile! that was a minute faster than my first mile (and probably my fastest mile of the race). i was more than happy with the 5:11:41 finish :D
i was even happier back at the vfw post when i learned it was good enough for 3rd place in my age group - now that was a surprise! the real highlight for me, however, was just covering the distance. i've run a lot of 50k's over the years, but to finish this one, and finish strong - after such a long break - was incredibly satisfying. i'm not sure what my next ultra will be, but there certainly won't be a 2 year interval in between them ;D
here are the rest of my race photos (the photo of me running was taken by eliot as i came into his aid station at mile 10).
Sunday, April 27, 2014
happy to report that i'm back to running ultras! sybil was my first ultra in 2 years (and my last ultra back in 2012) before succumbing to chronic compartment syndrome - which is now, thankfully, a distant memory. but the really big new was the retirement of the race directors and the possibility that the 36th edition of this historic event may, in fact, be its :(
i didn't have my camera at the start, so the first two photos are eliots - who not only took photos and manned the 10 mile aid station w/his son - but is running the lake waramug 50 miler on sunday! way to go eliot :D
as for my return... i didn't break 5 hours (5:11:42) - but was more than pleases (ecstatic, actually) to have it in the books. and getting a 3rd in my age group was icing on the cake :D
here is my race report.
here are the race results from taconic roadrunners.
here are the rest of my photos (post-race) up on facebook.
Thursday, April 24, 2014
in a twist from my typical poem in your pocket day posts, this year's selection comes from the book i'm currently reading, "the pacific." by hugh ambrose - and coming across it on the pages i read this morning on the way to the office! it's "prelude" by rudyard kipling.
I have eaten your bread and salt.
I have drunk your water and wine.
In deaths ye died I have watched beside,
And the lives ye led were mine.
Was there aught that I did not share
In vigil or toil or ease, --
One joy or woe that I did not know,
Dear hearts across the seas?
I have written the tale of our life
For a sheltered people's mirth,
In jesting guise -- but ye are wise,
And ye know what the jest is worth
in the book, it was read by a marine after the fighting on peleliu and came to symbolize the different reality experienced by the combat veteran and those who only read about the experience. kipling wrote it as the introduction to his 1890 book of poems about his experiences india and how those experiences would be perceived when the book was published in london.
Saturday, April 5, 2014
the scotland run 10k was really two races for me this morning - a unpleasant first mile in 10:16 that included a decidedly unplanned bathroom stop and the remaining 5.2 miles in a 7:44. overall, the 50:29, 8:07 pace, was one of my slowest road 10k's in recent memory. it was well off my target of a sub-48 and even further off my last nyrr 10k (queens, last summer, in 45:54).
still, except for that lousy first mile, it was a great day to be outside and run! it was also my second nyrr race of the year - only 7 more and a volunteer requirement for the 2015 nycm :D
here are the race result from the nyrr.
Thursday, April 3, 2014
it was a bit strange picking up my shirt and bib for the scotland run 10k this afternoon because for the last couple of years i've been on the volunteering side of the this race. in fact, for the last 2 years i was on tee shirt duty for the race. today i was just picking up a shirt, not handing them out. which means i still need to sign up for a volunteet slot for my 2015 nycm 9+1 requirements....
this will be only my second nyrr race in 2014 - a slow start for me (but the brooklyn half is on deck for next month). as i'm about to write this sentence - but my nyrr races will increase now that the weather has made a turn for the better (read winter has finally decided to go away) - the forecast for saturday morning includes the possibility of rain! go figure.
in any event, this was a last minute addition to the schedule - because it's a team race. ironically, given that i ran the wurtsboro mountain 30k last weekend, don't think i'm in any shape to score for the team. but ever body counts - so i'm in :D
i'll also head over to the scarsdale 15k on sunday morning - my hometown race (which also means i can jog there). not sure i'll actually run it, but count on me to be cheering on those who do run it :D
if you're at either one - say hello!
Tuesday, April 1, 2014
with any degree of luck, this month will be a return to ultras. actually, it will be my first ultra in almost 2 years - and, fittingly, it'll be the sybil ludington 50k (my very first ultra, oh so many years ago)! i'm really looking forward to it :D
in the short run, however - pun definitely intended - the scotland run 10k is on deck for this weekend. it's a nyrr team race, so i opted to run it (and nab a nycm point in the process) instead of running my local 15k the next morning.
the next weekend is another 10k - over different terrain (and park). it's over t to van cortlandt park for the urban environmental challenge! this is a great xc/trail run put on by the vctc - and includes a couple of water crossings!
easter weekend will include a trip up to darien for the bunny boogie 3 miler - with chocolate bunnies as the age group prizes ;O
last, but not least, is sybil the following weekend (the only downside here is missing the leatherman's loop the following morning at ward pound ridge reservation).
here's how it looks so far:
4/5 - scotland run 10k
4/13 - urban environmental challenge 10k
4/19 - bunny boogie, 3m
4/26 - sybil ludington 50k
as always, if you're at any of them - say hello!