This past weekend was the unofficial kickoff to my 2010 Western States...Yes it's nine months off..So lets review what this past Saturday had to offer. The title says a lot. It was hot! Go figure today is two days since the race and the weather folks are saying that this should be our last 100 weekend for the year. JEEZ! This years Sierra Nevada Endurance Races had a new twist with a marathon distace along with a double marathon and 100k for those still needing longer runs for the year.
This was a very laid back event...very small with 50 or so entered for each event and a 6:30am start. I saw Mark Lantz, Scott Dunlap and others as the pre race began in a warm Saturday morning.
My goal for this was to review the use of my heart rate and keep the pace slooooow. As the gun went off so to speak we began our run from Cavitt Stillman school and head up to the American River Trail with my finish at world famous NoHands Bridge.
With temps being in the high 60's I had two water bottles filled,roctane and S-CAPS to fuel me between aid stations. With the start came a slow pace yet my achilles tendons in both legs where tight off the bat..there where a few minor hills as we wound our way up the levee towards the first aid station 4miles away. Pace was low, and I was just out observing what the other runners where doing as they ran..This was a training run for me after all not a race so might as well observe. I did little to no talking with folks and just focused on the achilles...As I ran through the first 3 miles or so it settled down and did not bother me after that. Pace seemed about right..I was looking at level of effort, my breathing and the heart rate monitor as I moved along. With the first aid station came into site about the time I projected...Comfortable I did not stop and headed on towards Buzzards Cove and the first tough section.
Between the fist aid and Rattlesnake Bar (about 12 miles into the race) is the section on AR known as Buzzards Cove..I have exploded here before so today I settled in behind two women and pace on through. My heart rate was high, but breathing and level of effort low..what would happen if I kept this up..I would find out soon enough. Aid station stops the first 2 and half hours where minimal, just enough time to take a gel, fill my bottles. I was taking my S-CAPS as it was starting to get warm. By about 11 miles in the race I was thinking..gad I have to be the last person in the race
My first low level of focus happended about 3hours just past the power plant and heading toward the river. With that I had noticed I needed some extra fuel so extra gel and two S-CAPS did the trick. I was getting close to the river base and climb up Cardiac Hill when I took it down real low and walked for a few minutes. I finally heard a runner come up..Diana Kressy (excuse the spelling) she asked how far to Maidu and with the climb to go I said about 2miles..she had run out of fluid..I gave her a portion of my second bottle as we started the climb up Cardiac..Damn if that hill did not take a long time. It was a chore to get up to the top..I stopped every few minutes and streched out my calves..this was taking foreeeeever! A 100k runner was losing it on the way up. It was hot now and taking its toll. Thankfull to be on the canel I stopped a few minutes and cooled off on my way to Maidu Aid...Ken and Ellen Crouse greeted me with ICE COLD COKE and water..with only two miles to the Overlook and about 6miles to nohands. I was toast.
Finally at the Overlook about 40minutes behind schedule I saw Mark (he dropped), Rena and Erik Skaden...I stopped long enough to grab a coke and shout to Erik he should run with me...That was a joke..but here he came! Erik was my coach the last 4 miles...This stetch is pretty easy but on this day with the canyon in this section being fully exposed to the sun temps where near 100! Erik kept chattering as we passed a women with 3miles to the finish..Erik said we had to keep this up and not let her catch me..It was about dignity he said...don't let someone pass you as you finish! Erik with his wins at TRT and 3 time 2nd place WS finisher can give out this advice and mean it..I was so fried but I kept moving along..Finally a half mile to go and the bridge is in sight...Erik says to pick it up and finish strong..I turn on the jets to finish it off with a 8minute pace..I thought I was flying...As I learn later it was also my highest heart rate of the day....!
Thankful to be done..I just wanted ICE COLD COKE...Tim Twietmeyer saw me and said a few things..all I could do was head to the cups of cold beverage. Nothing like heat training in September! This training run lasted over 5 hours and I learned a lot..It was nice to have Skaden push me. Upon return to Cavitt I got a massage from the Monsters and hung out with other runners the rest of the day. A nice afternoon indeed.
Post Race. Legs have recovered pretty well, Achilles still tight. Need to work on that with some extra stetching. I am thinking some additional 4-5 hour training runs before Quad will be a must....