The Mission:

From Nov. 28th, 2008 to Feb. 8th, 2009 (12 weeks) I intend to run 13 races of marathon distance (26.2 miles) or greater to benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. In total, if all goes as planned, approximately 388 miles will have been covered over a span of a 12 week time frame and a significant amount of money will have been raised for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

100% of donations will go directly to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

2 more finished, 2 more left

Sorry for the late update - my Sunday had some lasting effects on my Monday & Tuesday, more about that shortly...

Saturday morning was Pigtail's Run, a 50K consisting of 3 full loops around Lake Youngs Watershed, plus a small out and back section to ensure the proper distance. I ran 2 loops of this run last year and had a wonderful time, so much so in fact, that I see that run as what really pushed me into the 'excessive' marathoning and ultra running. With fond memories in mind, I decided Thursday evening that I would make an attempt at a 50K PR (personal record) come Saturday morning.

Saturday morning was chilly, but good for running. I started the first leg of the first loop running with Eric and Steve (when do these guys not run?) and stuck with them until Steve told me he was going to back off the pace a bit. I kept at about the same speed assuming they'd catch me eventually. The course is a rolling loop with a few hills that do a bit more than roll, nothing crazy, but by the third loop they look a bit more daunting. I decided to run the entire first 2 loops and see how I felt from there. As approached certain hills on the third loop I considered walking them but I kept giving way to my stubbornness, at some point I decided I wouldn't walk until I got to a certain hill that seemed the steepest to me (other than the final hill on the out and back section). When I got to said hill, I once again decided to keep running, in the end I only briefly walked once, on a small incline of all places, as I ate my final Gu and prepared to finish off the last 5 miles or so.
(heading toward the last hill at Pigtail's - photo by Eric)

The stubbornness paid off as I finished the race in 4:44 (and change), a personal best by about 13 minutes! Once Van (the race director) posted the results and splits I was able to see that I had run the course fairly evenly (not even, but close enough) as well, with my first loop being 1:23, my second completed in 1:29, and my final loop in 1:33. I'm pretty happy with all of that, especially since I didn't check my watch once while out on the course.

(After Pigtail's - trying to stay warm - #10!)

Sunday was a different story entirely.

After a fairly long Saturday evening of celebrating Burn's Night with a group of friends, I was finally in bed and ready for sleep at about midnight, I was more than well aware that this was a bad idea, but sometimes real life just has to mix with running and I'd rather do both than give up either. Sunday morning came early, I dragged myself out of bed, got ready, and made my way to the start of the race. Once there, I was informed that one of the bridges on the route was out and as a result instead of running 2 out and back sections we would be running 4 shorter out and backs plus another small out and back to get the distance right, for some reason, at the time, I thought that was a good idea(?).

(What? The sun was just barely up, and I was already walking?!? - Photo by Eric)

(That's better! - Photo by Eric)

From the first steps I could tell it was not going to be my day, my knees were sore (something I'm not used to as it's honestly never been the case before), my ankle was sore (after having held up fairly well the day before), and my stomach felt off (I really kind of lived it up Saturday night). After a very slow out and back with Eric (again... sheesh!), I headed to the port-a-potty for some, umm... alone time... From that point forward things got a little better, but not significantly so. The run was long and I was slow and sore which made it feel that much longer. On the final 'back' of the out and back, I was able to 'catch' Eric who was also having 'one of those days,' we made our way to the finish together, ending with a personal worst of 6:02:38. I'd be more upset about it if it weren't for the PR the day before... besides, it was day 2 of a double, there was a pretty dusting of snow on the course, and, if nothing else, I was able to be out there doing it, which is no small gift...

(Help! I've run out of finger's! I knew I had to catch Eric for a reason - #11!)

Which of course brings me to my one last statement of this post... please, please, please send this link to friends and family and to anyone else you may know who might be willing to donate to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society! My friend (and inspiration behind this '13 in12') just received a transplant on Monday, and now we wait and hope that the stem cells do their job. There are many more folks out there at one stage or another of dealing with blood cancers, and the LLS is there to help them... so, once more, if you've yet to donate (or for that matter signed up to be a possible bone marrow donor) please do and inform others who might... thanks...

(sorry for the long post - next week: WSFA50K)

1 comment:

Steve Rider said...

Congratulations on the personal record!! That's awesome!!!