Friday, February 25, 2011

End of Feb

Not too much has happened since Red Top Rumble..we spent the majority of the month stressing out over whether or not we'd ever be able to close on the new house since our lender couldn't seem to file paperwork over the course of almost two months, and every two day extension of the contract created an extra three days of paperwork. We are FINALLY supposed to close on this coming Monday.

I have (hopefully) my final obligation as a civil engineer this weekend at a Technical Conference that I helped plan. Such a let down to see that it will be 73 degrees on Sunday and I'll be stuck inside. The Conference is at Winshape Retreat in Rome, which I hear is beautiful so maybe I'll sneak out early for some runs..

Speaking of which, my body seems to have a hard time with being a "runner". My knee is a bit aggravated, and seems to feel better after I do a long ride, but then I'm tired for the next run and it is a viscious cycle. My first bike "race" this year is the Cohutta 65 and my training is going to consist of one long SS ride each week. We'll see how far that takes me, as I'm too eager to get started on new house projects than ride my bike at the moment. I figure if I go into the event with the "I don't give a damn" attitude, then I'll probably actually do much better.

Next weekend there is a local 5k that I figured I'd do as part of my tempo run workout for the was not well publicized, so it will probably be me against the Cherokee High Cross Country Team..probably not the best odds. After that is Frogtown backwards and then a break until the Cohutta 65.

The Dirty Duathlon race is filling up nicely and we'll have some other events this fall that we will be excited to announce in the coming weeks!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Red Top Rumble 11.5 Mile Trail Run

I was one of the lucky 300 racers who got into the Red Top Rumble before the race filled up in 24 hours, so that is where I spent Sunday morning. I didn't really have a strategy...go hard, go fast, maybe win?? I've been working on my running, though I have been following a 5k training plan, so I figured I might have a case of early race speed that fades at the end.

The start was surprisingly pleasnant. We started off at about 6:15 pace, though it was downhill so it felt pretty easy. The first 3.5 miles were on the gently rolling Iron Hill trail, which I know well and knew I could pretty easily run 6:45 pace. By the end of that section I only had 3 guys in front of me, which I totally did not expect (figured there would be way more in front of me), and I averaged 6:30 pace..right on target, though I could see a couple of ladies behind me in the switchbacks.

Once off the Iron Hill trail, the climbs started...lots of them as we went around the Homestead Trail. At about the 5 mile mark, I entered the Homestead Loop and still saw two women about 20 seconds back. I tried to push up the hills and hammer the downhills. At about 8 miles, the gap was still about the same, but now there was only one woman chasing me. I'll admit, I wasn't super confident since my longest run is 7-8 miles and I knew it would take a really good day for me to not slow down to some degree over the last three miles.

And I did..the climbs started to take their toll and over the next two miles, my chaser was able to close the gap. She passed me with about a mile to go. I chased on the downhill, but just couldn't stay with her on the final long climbs. Eating some Gels during the race may have helped..if I could have just maintained the gap, I might have been able to hang on to the end. I was tired though, and just couldn't turn my legs over fast enough. The race was one mile too long and I had to settle for second.

On the upside, I beat the fastest previous winning times by almost 2 minutes and I ran faster than I thought I would. My average pace was faster than my goal and I believe I was 7th overall, which is quite a feat considering this was a road runners course (meaning non-technical).

I think I may stick with running and might up my mileage a bit so I don't fade quite as much at longer events. I'm still debating running the Frogtown course backwards in March, but I haven't convinced myself that I want to run through a mile-long, likely near freezing creek section.