If the miles behind me could be put into words before you, you would feel my efforts, my struggles, my desires. Most of all you would see my joy. Watch me from afar run the trails and hills and miles upon miles and you will see ...

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Surviving the Weekend

So much going on this past weekend to try and keep track of the people in these events. There was the Elk/Beaver 100km in Victoria, Miwok, Vancouver Marathon,the Wildflower triathlon, and the Toronto Ultra. E/B saw Jack Cook, Darren Froese, and Rick Webb, all previous World 100km competitors, go 1,2,3. Gary Robbins now of North Vancouver was 12th overall, top Canadian as first time runner of any 100km race at Miwok even after taking a page from my book and going off course for five clicks or so. Gary Wang, ultrarunner and Ultraman Hawaii competitor, finished the tough Wildflower triathlon in 5:30. Joel and Linda Waithman from the Watermania swim group were there racing as well. The Toronto Ultra saw several previous members of Canada's 100km team running.
Being in the state I was, I couldn't do anything, obviously, so we worked around the house and took a walk to the beach with the kids to take my mind off the race. Sunday was another story. It was my long bike day - 5 - 5 and a half hours. I was planning to meet my mom in Vancouver where she was walking the half-marathon. She figured she would be done in around four hours or 11am. I figured I would get close to the race around 10:30, call her on the cell, and meet her before the finish. I started out the day close to 6am, needing to get in a ton of time in the saddle before I met up with her. My plan was to head east to 264th st then turn around, head to Ladner, down River Rd to the Alex Fraser Bridge, South West Marine Way, then north on the Cypress bike route right downtown.
As I was riding in the first hour I thought that I may be cutting it a bit close by getting to the race at 10:30 and even then I wasn't sure exactly how long it would take me. Things can always come up - flats, dog chasings, missed turns, traffic. I decided to turn around ten kilometers early to get downtown by 9:30 or so.
My workout was to be done as twenty minutes hard followed by ten easy repeated for the whole time. I managed to do seven of these before traffic and lights made it hard to keep a hard pace going without stopping. Once over the Burrard Bridge in Vancouver memories of last year's PR at this race flooded back to me. I remember in 2007 seeing the "25 mile" marker, doing some quick math in my head, and realizing I had to book it to make my goal of 2:45 which I met by ten seconds or so. I was so happy with that race it almost made not doing this year's bearable. Not that I was dying from not doing the marathon, it's just that I've done the full or half so many times that it's a comfortable race.
A quick call to my mom revealed that she was already around the 11.5 mile mark. She was WAY ahead of schedule. This worked perfect because it was literally two corners and I saw her. I rode with her the last kilometer and a half until the marshals stopped me from going further. I say Matt Sessions watching the race with his arm in a sling so had to stop to inquire. He fell while riding the bike and broke his collarbone. Not as exciting as my tooth story, but close. In the meantime, my mom had gone past the point of me following her and I couldn't give her the big congratulatory hug that I was looking forward to. I managed to work my way up to as close as I could get and gave her a wave and she crossed the line in 3:22. Weird that I managed to make it down there so close to where she was to see her finish. I'm proud of the accomplishment. Next up, a 100km walk for her!!
During my bike home I still felt really strong and got back to the 20 hard 10 easy routine until the 5:30 mark when I started slowing down. I got home logging a 6:25, 180km ride. The longest since Ironman last year. Hopefully my cardio is staying up with this mammoth bike schedule I'm on. I guess we'll find out in a few weeks when I hit the trails again. For now I'm resigned to the bike.

Ian suggested it would be better to abandon the Blackfoot 100km at the end of this month. I agreed and have emailed the race director that fact. It's still not an easy decision but probably for the better. This means there's only the 50km in Kelowna before the big 100 mile in Wyoming in June. It's sounding a lot scarier now than two months ago when I was fit and uninjured. Time will tell.

No comments: