Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The Totals, The Race, The Trail and The Bike

This is a blog post in four parts, that's just how epic this holiday weekend was.

The Totals:

Swim: 30,900 meters!  11 swims, distance record!
Bike: 183 miles, 11 rides
Run: 33 miles, 8 runs
Strength: 9 workouts
Yoga: 28 sessions

I'm really suprised that I hit 30k meters in the pool.  August had the Lake Logan Oly as my only race, and I was kind of taking it easy for a few weeks after that.  Normally I'm lucky to top 20k meters in the pool so getting over 30k on a month where I'm trying to take it easy is quite a shock!  The bike and run distances?  yea, that's taking it easy.   I still haven't worked out my training plan for the Pine Mountain 40 mile ultramarathon coming up in December.

My quest for hitting the yoga mat 300 days this year is rolling on.  The end of august gets us two thirds of the way there, so I should be at 200 days by now and I'm sitting on 205!   So I'm getting ahead of the game. It's becoming a regular habit now too, I know if I've done my yoga yet that day.

August always sucks as a month in the deep south.  It's never great.  But this year I had my target race for the year (Lake Logan Oly) and still pulled out some decent numbers.  Now bring on September, fall, college football, and some cooler temps!

The Race:
Saturday September 1st was the Rockin and Runnin 5k, sponsored by Province 20 of Phi Mu Alpha.  That is my fraternity, all of the volunteers were brothers who were all younger than me.  One of the guys that pledged under me is actually in charge of the province now, so he was there.  Always a good time if Pat shows up.  Of course, at 8 am it was already well over 90* and over 90% humidity.  Felt like the kind of July day that would keep me inside in the AC all day long.  That means a PR was out of the question.

It was a very small race.  They had about three dozen people pre-register, and another 15ish sign up at the race site.  Turns out it was the cross country course used by the local high school for meets.  So I thought there was a chance I could get a top 10 overall finish, maybe an age group win, the possibilities are endless. 

Actually they ended when the race started.  We started in a field, and ran on a slight downhill to a wide hard packed trail.  I stayed with the race leaders until we got off of the field, and counted that I was in 10th place.  Ok, that sounds positive.  Then I looked at the Garmin and saw I was running a 4:50 pace.  That's when I knew I was completely burned.  I did hit the half mile marker at 2:58, so I did slow it down to a 6 minute pace by then, but that wasn't slow enough.  I was toast. 

By 1.1 miles into the race I was doubled over ready to puke.  I knew I couldn't hold that starting pace for very long and I couldn't slow down fast enough.  With the heat and humidity of the day, I was quite thirsty and ready to walk for a bit.  I did walk then, and quite often after that.  At 1.7 miles there was an aide station with water.  That was fantastic.

By the time I came around to give it that final push for the finish line, I was audibly exhausted.  You had to go up a hill onto the field we started at, and I walked again as soon as the finish line came into sight.  didn't have much of a choice, really.  I did get up for a nice push at the end, but you could hear every exhale and people were starting to stare.  I hit the finish line in 24:04, a dissapointing time but I was just glad to be done.

After the guy pulled my chip off, I took about three steps forward to keep from getting stomped on by the following finishers, then went down on the grass hard.  I laid there in full sun just breathing, and I think I passed out for a bit.  Finally one of the volunteers shook me awake again and gave me some water, and Pat came over to talk about the course.  By the time the clock said 28 minutes I was back on my feet and looking for Kelley to come in. 

I was really hoping she was going to break 30 today, but with the heat she didn't think that was going to happen.  Sure enough, she came in around 33:25.  I ended up taking 14th place overall, and getting 3rd out of 7 in my age group (10 year age group breakdown).  Kelley ended up winning her age group!  She really rocked through the heat out there and scored the award.  Only the AG winners got awards, but I'll take 3rd place anytime I can get it.

The rest of the day was spent as September Saturdays should be spent, watching college football.  Clemson put up a quality win, Appalachian State gave away their game against ECU, Oregon totally dominated and the Tide Rolled.  We also snuck in a  movie, the kids wanted to see the Odd Life of Timothy Green so we took in a matinee.  I was amazed at how expensive movies are now.  Good thing I have patience and Netflix.  And a $2 theater a couple of miles away.

The Trail:
After this weekend, there are 12 weekends left for me to get in my long runs on trails getting ready for the Pine Mountain 40 mile ultramarathon in Georgia December 2nd.  I had to get in a long run Sunday, and really wanted to get on trails.  I have some new trail running shoes that were lightweight and clean, and that needed to change.

So Sunday morning I headed out to Umstead state park with no real plan, just find some trails and run them.  The loop that we used to ride mountain bikes on was 12 miles, so let's try for 12, see if I can remember the trails that were used on the loop and go from there.

Well that all went straight to shit.  I knew the loop was a circle with a spur to get to/from the parking lot.  So I parked at the Reedy Creek entrance like always, headed down to the lake and turned left.  Then when I found a map I realized I should have gone right, but that shouldn't matter if I was running in a circle right?  Well turns out if I turned right after the lake I would have ended up on one of those trails, and I still don't know which one.  I stopped at a map at the top of Cemetery Hill about 3 miles into the run and could not see the rest of the loop. Could not see any of the connectors for the trails or anything.  This is very strange and will require some more online investigation.  I was still on the Reedy Creek Bridle and Bridge trail, which would go out near the airport.  I decided to stay the trail out to the airport, hit the 5.5 or 6 mile marker, and turn around so I could get in 11 or 12 miles total.

At mile 5.5 I was on the middle of a bridge outside of the park crossing over I-40 on a road, not on a trail.  I figured that was a good time to turn around.  I also noticed that there were some seriously dark clouds coming in over the highway.  An ominous turn of events?

Yes, actually. While running the return trip back to the car there started a little sprinkle.  Then it turned into actual rain.  About mile 7, the rain started really coming down hard.  Again, I'm in the middle of the woods on a horse trail running hills.  There was no building to duck into or awning to hide under.  You just keep running.  At mile 8, I got a phone call from my brother Michael.  Yes I was carrying my phone just in case I got lost in the woods.  Just when I thought the rain had killed my cell phone it rang, so I guess it wasn't dead.  It was kind of fun talking to my brother in the middle of the woods in the pouring rain while I was 8 miles into a run.  Certainly different.  eventually, the phone did die off.

The rain finally let up about mile 10.  I crossed by the lake and headed up the hill into the parking lot glad to be done.  The garmin read 11 miles right as I hit the car.  That's the first time I've been over 10k since the half marathon in April.  Good distance run, the new trail shoes were really great, and it felt good to get out there again.

The Ride:
It rained Sunday afternoon and all night long.  Monday morning I slept in a bit, and it was really foggy and cool with low visibility and it was supposed to rain all afternoon long. I had a great route planned out to ride about 43 miles around Jordan Lake, but with those kind of conditions there was no way that was going to happen.

I went to the gym instead and hit the stationary bike for 40 miles and got done just as they closed up early for the day.  it was not nearly as interesting as the Jordan Lake route would have been. 

So overall it was a fantastic weekend.  I'm really happy with Kelley's age group win, and there's still plenty more fun to come this week!


Jess said...

Congrats to Kelley on her AG win!

August was a solid month for you -- especially with the swimming, which seems far to me since I have no clue how far a meter is. Sad, right?

Ed said...

Sounds like a great weekend and congrats to Kelley!

Kyria @ Travel Spot said...

Wow, you really passed out!? That's crazy; you must have really pushed it. Also, congrats to Kelley! She did well -- the heat always takes it out of me!

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

Holy eff - you passed out dude? that is kind of scary!

That whole getting lost while running on trails is why I don't like trail running... I don't like feel disoriented and unsure of where I am. It really messes with my mind!