What a great weekend! The Rattlesnake Point race went off without a hitch, and the weather co-operated in spades.
The course for the race offers a little bit of everything; winding single & double track, easy & technical descents, rolling hills & steep uphill slug fests, scrambling rocky ascents, technical rock gardens, fallen logs, and even a couple crevice jump/crossings! There had to be something for everyone on this course, and if not I’m at a loss what else they could have been looking for.
My race went really well, in the early going I was forcing myself to slow down and relax, this wasn’t a “race” merely a training run on my way to the Ottawa Marathon at the end of the month. Sure, I wanted to do well, but most of all I was paranoid I wasn’t going to crash and hurt myself. After the initial double-track section form Rattlesnake Point, down through the valley, you venture towards Crawford Lake and into the technical rock gardens and severely single-track portion of the race. This area is difficult to pass in, and with my injury paranoia looming I simply found a groove and recouped as much energy as possible. (Photo credits to: http://ryderphoto.zoomphoto.ca/)
(stolen from – http://www.5peaks.com/maps/Map_Rattlesnake%20Course%202009.pdf)
Once through this technical section, you start heading back down into the valley and onto easier running. Through here I was able to slowly pick people off and do my own thing with much interference from (or interfering with) others. My quads were starting to feel the burn and I knew that I was probably running too hard but it was too late, the competitive bug was in my ear now and it was my job to hunt down those in front of me.
The only goal (other than not creating a crater with my face/body) I had for the race was to beat my time from last year, and long story short(er), I did it! 1:05:02 this year vs 1:10:05 last year!! All in all a great day!
(un?)Fortunately, my weekend of pain wasn’t done there. Actually after the RSP race I felt pretty good, but I could tell my quads were fatigued and I needed to carbo load if I had any hope of surviving Sunday’s 30km sufferfest.
5am Sunday, my bladder shot an electrical signal to my brain telling it that there was going to be an imminent evacuation if I didn’t get my ass out of bed. As I trundled to the bathroom I realized that regardless of the 5:20 alarm I had set the night before, I was indeed awake enough to go get dressed and get out the door (grumble). My main concern was meeting up with my speedwork partner SpeedyDan halfway through my run for some much needed motivation and companionship. Coffee, water, peanut butter toast, banana, clothes, pack fuel belt, start watch, tie shoes… and I was off; another pre-dawn long run. One of the reasons I wasn’t going to do another marathon this spring was the monotony of continual long runs; 2 hour runs weren’t bad, and even the occasional 3hr one isn’t that bad, but once you get into week after week of 30+km trudging the fun starts to fade, and they simply become means to an end. As you can tell, I’m not the biggest fan. The run itself was uneventful, but I was glad to see it done.
One thing I had forgotten to consider when planning my grand adventure was the two neighbours I have been coaching recently in preparation for a fall half-marathon. Although they were impressed my athletic feats they seem uninterested in my excuses when it was time for our evening run. Eventually they wore down my resolve, and I ended up pacing them through another 6.7km that night. Now, I like to consider this heroic, but I’m sure there is a line-up of people ready to tell me that I’m a complete idiot (and they are probably right)..still there’s something pretty cool about being able to say “I ran 50km this weekend, what did you do?”
Have a good one kids!
Tomorrow I’m doing something new.
It’s scary but exciting, awkward but cool.
I…I…I’m…I’m running with someone I met on dailymile. I’ve never met anyone from the cyber realm in real life before, it’s kind of creepy. It’s not that I purposefully try and keep my online and real-life friends separate, it’s just turned out that way.
I’m sure it’s going to be a great experience for both of us, especially since our goals, pacing and training attitudes seem to be fairly similar…although I’ve got to be honest…there is something unsettling about saying that I’m meeting up with some strange guy I met on the internet…in a vacant parking lot… and he’ll be wearing bright green tights…like I said…creepy.
The dailymile site has been a great motivator and the support members provide each other is phenomenal. Since running can be a solitary endeavor the community feel has been really beneficial in keeping my training on track and focused (not an easy task). When I see pictures from other DM members who have had DM group runs/race meetups etc. they all seem to be having a wonderful time, with giant Cheshire smiles all around, and positive comments for all. Although I have suspected it’s merely a Stepford-Wife-esque ploy to draw in new
victims members, I think it may just be genuine goodwill for fellow athletes…even more creepy.
In totally unrelated news, I’m heading out of town for a week so don’t expect to hear much from me for a while. I’m sure Brent will be quite thorough when hiding the body, but if he’s unsuccessful, I’ll let you know how the training run went when I get back.
Have a good one kids.