Saturday, March 05, 2011
2011 Green Jewel
I've been putting in the miles, and my 50K PR, at 4:46, is mighty soft, so I went into this one *expecting* a PR. And not just an incremental one; I wanted to be Beamonesque, and really put one out there. But before I get to a description of the run, I just have to list the excuses:
1) I flew in from Boston last night, arriving at 8:30, which is pretty nearly my bedtime. I don't often run well the morning after a late (for me) flight.
2) With all the traveling, I've naturally put on a few pounds. This is never helpful.
3) The weather was fairly awful. The constant rain was bad enough, but the cold wind never let up, and seemed to be constantly in our faces.
4) Said rain caused flooding at many points along the way. The water (more like rivers) running across the all-purpose trail at many points was bad enough, but in some places there was thick mud on the asphalt, with water on top of that. It turned out just like ice.
Okay. Even with those caveats, I was still going for it. And that means, of course, that I went out too fast. I ran alone most of the way, but that was fine. I probably averaged 8 minutes per mile for the first half, hitting the mid-point (maybe 14.5 to 15 mile) aid station in Berea at 1:58.
Things went downhill from there. Actually uphill, but my pace slowed considerably. I hit mile 24.5 - the final aid station at about 3:25. Would I be able to do those final 7+ hilly miles in a bit over an hour to break 4:30?
It was tough. I was doing only marginally better than 9-minute pace on those parkway hills through N. Royalton and Broadview Heights. I hit Brecksville Road at about 4:17. Now I had a (steeply) downhill mile and a half to do in 13 minutes. Would I be able to?
Yes. I finished in 4:28 - a PR by 18 minutes. Almost, but not quite Beamonesque. (By the way, google Bob Beamon - and the 1968 Olympics - if you want to know what I mean by that.) Patrick told me that I'm not allowed to complain about any run that results in a PR, so I won't.
It was wonderful, once again, to run with all my MCRR buddies. Everyone did well!
(photo courtesy of Dan DeRosha)
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