Saturday, December 31, 2011

Recover From the Holidays 50k

Wow. Just wow. For the first time that I remember, I smashed my expectations for a race. Even so, I know I could have run a better race today. But I'm not complaining. Really, I am not the least bit disappointed. I only say that I could have run better because I didn't aim to run the best possible time today. Besides that, I was not in complete misery at the end of the race. I felt great, in fact.

My A goal was 4:30. My B goal was to set a 50k PR (sub 4:47) and my C goal was sub 5 hours. I smashed my A goal with a 4:14:45 and 5th overall finish. I say I could have run better because I started very slow and didn't really prepare for this race at all. And, make no mistake, I know my place. DeWayne Satterfield won going away today in 3:50 and change. Tim Vinson was second about 6 minutes behind. I am not an ultra machine like those guys are. I look way up to them.

The Plan
I'm laser focused on Albany Marathon. So, I trained right through this race. Today's race put me at 90 miles for the week. Last week was an 82 mile week. My schedule called for 20 miles with 12 at marathon pace. Since this was a 50k, my plan was to run 11 miles easy. Then run 10 miles at my typical long run effort, and then whatever I had left for the last 10 miles, hopefully marathon pace effort.

Since I'm focused on March 3rd, any good performances between now and then are just gravy. Today was delicious gravy on top of country fried steak! :)

The Race
There's not much to tell here. It's 1 mile followed by 10 repeats of a 1.5 mile out and back. The only thing more boring than running it would be reading about it! Huge thanks to Eric Charette for putting on this event. He has found a way to make 10 repeats of 1.5 miles out and 1.5 miles back next to a smelly dump a cool thing to do. Major props to him for that.

I started out at 8:30 effort. I actually went a little faster than I planned at first because I had some friends running a little faster. So, I joined them. I enjoyed the early laps with Andy Davidson, Mark Freeman, Jon Elmore and others.

After 11 miles, I did crank up the effort a bit to more like 8:10 effort. The only low point came at about 15 miles. I really was struggling then and ran a 9:00 mile. I was just thinking, "I don't feel so good to be less than halfway." I battled it. I thought positively, and thankfully, it passed. Also, I had to take two bathroom breaks which was very frustrating. I didn't want to stop running.

After 21 miles, I dropped to sub-8 effort. I didn't quite think I had marathon pace effort in me. I didn't want to go too hard too early. But at this point, I felt very confident of my A goal. When I hit the next to last lap, I passed the lead female. I was very glad to not get chicked! I was seriously worried about that for most of the race.

The last lap, I decided to just let it go, leave it all out there. I started too late because I had a lot left. I ran about a 6:30 final mile because I knew I was close to breaking 4:15 and I really wanted to do that. And I recovered very quickly. I'm only just a little sore. I really had more than I gave today. But I'll be recovered and ready to hit marathon training hard again next week.

I am so thankful to God for the health I have enjoyed to be able to accomplish this!


rundanrun said...

Nice job Eric.... Maybe I can run this race someday... good luck with Albany...

Dana said...

Really nice job...and I personally think reading about the race has got to be better than running it! I think you handled this race the smartest way you could have. This was not an A race on your plan. I think the races I did during marathon training were harder for me to recover from that I would have liked (which was even harder mentally). Although you still had some left in the tank...I think that makes for an even bigger boost than it would have if you'd have finished 10 minutes faster but felt like garbage for a couple of weeks following the race. (Don't you?)

As always, you are such an inspiration to me!! THANKS!! :D