Saturday, April 19, 2008

Ruth Anderson (Another PR??)

Wow! It was windy...REALLLLLY windy!! I saw that the winds were 25-35mph with gusts to 50 mph. And let me tell you that it was no lie! The sand was really starting to whip up about 7 hours into it. My legs are nice and "exfoliated" now!

I've noticed that with every run that I do, I seem to forget something. This morning, I forgot my gloves. For the first time around the lake, I had my hands in my pockets. Luckily Jeff's hands get warm pretty quick, so I borrowed his. (By the way, THANK YOU, THANK YOU Eldrith for the gloves.) My hands would have been nice a toasty if I remembered them!!

The first few loops went by pretty quickly. Soon, I had reached the marathon point. One more lap to go before the 50k and the choice to stop or move to the 50 Mile race. I was starting to get tired, and I was starting to get tired of the wind. It was really bad on the opposite side from the start/finish line. I got to the start/finish aid station and made the decision to take my time, go to the bathroom and continue on. Jeff had finished a few minutes before me and was walking back from the 50k finish line. I crossed the 50k line about 5:30. If I would have stopped, it would have been a PR for me. (Hmmm, maybe that's not a good thing if I'm going for 50 miles now??)

Everything was in working order. A few minor stomach pains here and there, but everything was ok. I had started using a 10/1 run/walk ratio, but soon found that I was saving my walking time for when I was hitting strong headwinds. I was getting really beat up having to use my muscles to power through the harsh winds, flying sand and running over the accumulating debris. It seemed like every time around, more and more branches, pine cones and nuts were piling up on the ground.

When I had about one more lap to go for the 50 mile, I asked the time keepers how many more laps I would need to do to finish 100k. One of them said 4, the other said let's talk about that when you get back here after this next lap. I fueled up and headed back out.

What's deceptive is that leaving the start/finish line is the only time you really have any sort of tailwind. It's more of a side and sometimes back wind. And it's slightly downhill. Plus after about a mile, there's a nice downward slope that's easy for me to get some speed one. Once I rounded the corner to head to the second aid station, the wind had shifted slightly and I hit the headwind even sooner than in the past. I tried to picture myself as small as possible, picturing the wind moving right around me, not slowing me down. When I was hitting these headwinds, my pace would slow about 1 1/2 to 2 min/mi. And when a strong gust that carried dust and sand, it would nearly stop me. I had to cover my face and ears with my buff to keep it out of my mouth, nose and ears. It was at this point that I started to seriously consider whether or not to continue. I had heard many runners say that they were stopping at 50k because they had enough of the wind.

I decided that I had enough of the wind myself. I started to feel quite defeated. I really wanted that 100k finish, but I guess not enough. I had started to do estimates in my head and the thought having to run in the wind just interrupted the math. When I turned the corner to head back to the start/finish, I had made up my mind and started to drain my system of whatever energy I had left and finish with everything I had. I got right outside of the start/finish area and Jeff was standing there. I took my hand up to my neck and made a slitting motion. I was done. That was it. He cheered me on to let me know that I was still doing great and should be proud of how far I had gone.

I got to the score table, yelled out my number and said I'm finishing at 50 mile, see you in a little bit. I kicked it in. The 50 mile finish is over a mile away from the start/finish area. I pushed and pushed, and then my legs would tell me no more. I would stop for a 10 second walk and start up again. Jeff came by and said that he would pick me up so I didn't have to walk back. I pushed and pushed. I saw my goal, 9:25. I pushed up the slight bit of uphill by the golf course and continued on. I finally saw the finish line and gave everything I had. No need to save anything!

I had a strong finish in 9:23. 1st place male 29 and under, 8th overall. I beat my previous 50 mile PR (set two weeks ago at American River) by 32 minutes. Yes, this is literally the flattest course out there, but that wind created some huge hills to climb, with no downhills.

My legs are tired, I am tired. Getting ready for yet another busy week! Starts tomorrow morning with singing at a church in Lafayette at 10am. Probably should get to sleep so I get up in the morning.

Thank you Jeff for the gloves and running together!


Blogger Brian Hawkinson said...

Congrats on your finish. That wind was the toughest conditions I had ever ran in and I couldn't even imagine the even tougher conditions you had to run later on in the day.

It was nice meeting you as well. Now I have a face to go with the blog.

7:32 PM  
Blogger MissAllycat said...

You are a total rock star!! Way to rock the race. Puts my half marathon to shame. :)


10:52 AM  
Blogger Eudemus said...

Nice job Brad and congrats on another PR! It was good to see you out there.

1:21 PM  
Blogger Brad said...

Brian- That wind was tough. Nice meeting you too!

Allison- You've got to start somewhere! You did an awesome job on your half!

Steve- Nice seeing you too. See you out at Miwok?

1:24 PM  

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