Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Racing Journal (August 2009)

Week 35 (8/24-8/30)
Week 35 miles: 30.7
Week 35 race miles: 30.7
2009 miles: 946.02
2009 race miles: 736.36
2009 races: 73

Well, seems like some high altitude training effects lasted through this week as I ran a slightly faster time at Lake Merced than last week - this is the first time in any race I've run an under 7 minute mile average! I hope I can keep up the speed with some work. Saturday's half marathon was blazing hot and I didn't like the course much - open, steep farmland with horses and flies. Sunday's race was the dead opposite - beautiful, cool redwood forests with runnable mudpacked singletrack (my favorite). I ran almost 20 minutes faster the second day. I'm trying to double up on longer races to prepare for Firetrails (50M)... not sure I'll be ready for that one no matter what I do but pyschologically I'm ready so I'll try it. Also this week I went cycling with some friends for the first time in a really long time (first time ever on hills) - my conclusion: I'll never be a competitive cyclist because even though I love the uphills, I really hate going fast on the downs and I'm pretty sure that's a requirement for competive cycling. Anyway, very fun for recreational purposes. Kind of like the soccer I'm playing.

Race Stats:
DSE Lake Merced #12 4.5M - 31:35; 7/mile; 19/47 overall; 2nd F
Bear Creek Trail Half Marathon - 2:18:09; 9/94 overall; 1st Age; 2nd F
DIRT Inspires Women's Trail Half Marathon - 2:00:41.1; 23/242; 9th Age

Week 34 (8/17-8/30)
Week 34 miles: 26.68
Week 34 race miles: 25.58
2009 miles: 915.32
2009 race miles: 679.98
2009 races: 70

Well, this week I reaped the benefits of some high altitude training by getting a serious PR at the Lake Merced race despite tired quads and then topped off the week with a first place finish in one of my favorite little races and then a second place finish in another small local race up in Elk Grove, not to mention I managed to squeeze in two soccer games and our team won the division championship - I can't wait to play more soccer in the fall! Looking forward to some nice trail half marathons this weekend and hoping to hit the trails for an actual training run this week (for the first time in a very long time)!

Race Stats:

DSE Thursday Night #11 - 31:32; 7/M; 17/44; 4th F
Mt. Madonna Challenge 18K -1:44:42; 12/37; 1st F
Vine Crusher 10M - 1:19[?][to come]; 1st Age; 2nd F

Week 33 (8/10-8/16)
Week 33 miles: 30.7
Week 33 race miles: 30.7
2009 miles: 888.64
2009 race miles: 679.98
2009 races: 67

Wow - what a week! Had an amazing time in Colorado. Arrived Friday morning and drove up to the top of Pike's Peak (14,110-115' depending on which source you use). Was a little light headed and dizzy after 11,5' but felt a bit better after spending a while at the top. During the trip, I hiked through Garden of the Gods, saw ancient cliff dwellings and cave formations, the famous Seven Falls (during the day and lit up at night), hiked up the crazy steep wicked stairs of the "Manitou Incline" (1M took around 35mins on a 38-45% incline!!!) and, of course, ran the Pike's Peak marathon! I ran probably 1/3 of the way up total and power hiked the rest, but couldn't run in places I might usually due to the altitude. The altitude really hit around 12,5 for me though when I know I kept moving (much more slowly) and was lightheaded and a more than a little out of it. Made it to the top in around 4:09, which was a decent time. They say to aim somewhere around your marathon time - that's about 25mins off my best marathon time, but I figure still within an acceptable range. The top third of the mountain trail was much more technical than I was expecting, with many rocks and roots to navigate around, so the return top one third of the downhill portion was rather slow. After that though, as I descended, I felt like I got a burst of energy and whipped down the remaining 7 miles or so, for a downhill total time of 2:27ish, finishing in 6:36. I can't wait to do this race again and try to beat this time and hopefully my quad dipsea time of 6:14ish. What a ride! :D

DSE Lake Merced #10 - 32:23; 7:11/M; 16/50 overall; 2F
Pike's Peak Marathon - 6:36:19; 270/709; 45/171F; 10th Age (out of 23)
(splits: 4:09:12; 2:27:07)

Week 32 (8/3-8/9)
Week 32 miles: 25.7
Week 32 race miles: 25.7
2009 miles: 857.94
2009 races miles: 649.28
2009 races: 65

Before talking about the races this past week, I'll just stop a sec to say how excited (but nervous) I am for the Pike's Peak Marathon this Sunday!!! First, can't wait to explore Colorado and second, pretty psyched to try climbing that high (14,115'- the highest I'll have been). Sometimes life seems really good, you know?
Races: Well, cranked out four races this week, three of them within 24 hours of each other. Wish I could say they all went perfectly, but that wasn't really the case. What I will say is that I liked the triple set and I would do each of those races again, schedule permitting. The Dammit Run was fun but harder than expected (short but steep uphills) and the Modesto Midnight Half M definitely required a headlamp despite what the website said! Got sick at mile 8 (stomach issues) and had to walk the remaining section! Some kind of food issues caused it, it wasn't due to the runnning - too bad too because I might have placed in the top 5-10 women (and it was a big race) - maybe next year, assuming a ton of fast girls don't crash the party :) Was able to muster up some energy for the DSE XC race but despite putting all my effort into it, ran more than a minute per mile slower than usual...again, will fix that next year!

Race Stats:
DSE Lake Merced 4.5M #9 -33:15; 7:23/M; 19/63; 3rd F
Dammit Run 5M - [to come]
Modesto Midnight Half Marathon - 2:19:29 (walked last 4M); 94/253 F; 33rd Age
DSE GGP XC 5K - 25:41; 109/211; 16th F; 4th Age

Week 31 (7/27-8/2)
Week 31 miles: 31.1
Week 31 race miles: 31.1
2009 miles: 832.24
2009 race miles: 623.58
2009 races: 61

Well, this week's highlight was split between a magnificent climb up Half Dome on Friday and a great 50K on Sunday. Due to the Sequoia injury, I had been limping around work and taking baby steps walking - my heel area hurt really bad when I put pressure on it. I saw Dave the miracle worker on Wednesday and didn't race the DSE Thursday night race - if I had, it would have been my 15th race in July alone, but 14 is still good enough I say! It was a good thing I took it easy because on Friday, my foot was feeling much much better and I was able to hike up Half Dome. There were ominous thunder clouds in the distance, but they didn't seem to be moving closer, so we decided not to sepnd too much time at the top. We were by ourselves for the entire climb up and down so it was strangely desolate (compared to last year when lots of people were milling about at the top). I crunched down maybe the best apple of my life and then it was a mad rush to beat the darkness down. On Saturday, we explored the museums and then decided to hike over to what was liberally referred to as a "lake" (it was actually a shallow pond of sorts because it had dried up for the season). We swam around a bit and then headed back home. I went to bed around 1am and awoke around 5 for the Skyline 50K. It was one of those days where everything goes right - the weather was cool, I felt strangely happy and excited to run it and then I ended up with my best time for a hilly course like that! In the last ten miles I even picked it up and was doing high 8s, which is fast for me at the end of a race like that. This week so far I've been lifting, swimming and sleeping, which feels great, and I'll try to hit the DSE Thursday night race again.

Race Stats:
Skyline 50K - 5:39:29; 60/122; 12th F; 7th Age - PR