The 103rd Annual Dipsea Race (and some older stuff)

First disclaimer: This post will test the limits of my Lost-like approach to blogging. Read the dates carefully. The first entry is from yesterday, and contains my thoughts on the Dipsea. The 2nd entry is from January of 2012 (so 1.5 years ago). Just wanted to highlight the timeline discrepancy. Not trying to throw anyone off, but I wanted to get my thoughts on the Dipsea out there sooner rather than wait until I’ve caught up down the road.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Norman Bright Award. 5th overall. Fastest time for the 5th year in a row. 47:59. I don’t think the 103rd Dipsea could have gone much better. 14:25 through the creek, 17:38 to the top of Cardiac, 15:58 to the beach. The passing didn’t seem as bad as it has in years past for some reason and my legs, despite feeling pretty spent at the top of the 2nd flight, recovered quickly and felt great the whole way. It was a bummer to run the race without Gus for the first time, but I’m hoping he’ll be back next year.

                As for my preparations before the race, I don’t want to say I’ve figured out the taper, because I don’t think I have, but it might be safe to say I’m getting closer. I ran easy Saturday and Sunday and felt really good Monday, so that run ended up being a bit faster than I had planned, but I’m a big believer in run how you feel (except for workouts on Tuesdays), so I didn’t really hold back. The result was a very flat (feeling) run on Tuesday at the Pelican, which had me a little worried, but then on Wednesday I felt good while running around the city. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday all saw easy running. I followed Saturday up with some strides in my flats and barefoot and they went quite well, so I was optimistic heading into Sunday that my legs would feel good. They did.

                The awards ceremony was fun as always despite the cloudy weather, but I think that may have helped my time. Although the wet conditions certainly didn’t. I didn’t slip very much due to wetness, but I did take it easier in steep ravine than I have in the past for fear of falling a 2nd time. I went down hard at the top of Swoop, just after passing Nancy. I tried to turn right by pushing off my right foot and it just slid out from under me. I went down on my right shoulder and thought I might be able to roll out of it, but soon realized I was mistaken as I found myself sliding on my face (and I actually remember thinking to myself, I’m on my face on the ground). But I managed to pop back up quickly and keep going. I spent the next 100 yards figuring out if I was dizzy or possibly concussed, and as soon as I realized I wasn’t, I was then touching my face trying to see if I was bleeding. It was hard to find blood, so I thought it couldn’t be that bad and had no choice but to press on. The pictures definitely make it more dramatic than it felt. And as Monk said, white uni’s were made to get dirty.

                So now I’m just trying to recover for Woodminster on Sunday. I’ve got some poison oak (of course), but my face is healing quickly, as it was quite superficial thankfully, and my legs are feeling better with each passing day. We had our annual post-Dipsea dinner out at the Pelican last night which is easily one of the most fun nights of the year. Everyone is in a great mood and just has a fantastic time. We’ll have a strong team (received some great news last night) and everyone is already chomping at the bit. The Pelicans are coming…

What I looked like coming into the finish:


Result of my fall:


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

I ran my first official track workout of the season yesterday morning. I was alone and it was pretty cold (40-45 degrees) but sunny, so I figured I’d be able to get warmed up without much trouble. The plan was to run 8×800 meter repeats at 2:24 or faster, ideally increasing the pace as the workout went on. I took 200m jog rest in between with a bit of standing around on the ones after which I felt more fatigued (2 minutes total was the longest rest I took – twice). I only ran my goal pace for 2 of them, #s 4 and 5. The rest were a couple of disappointing seconds slower. I never really felt like I got warmed up and the pace just seemed too fast for some reason. Considering I ran 3 x 2 mile repeats in 10:04-08 2 weeks ago with that same 2 minutes rest, I was pretty disappointed. But, the conditions were better then and I am currently in my 4th 100+ mile week, which I have never done. Maybe it would have gone better with someone else there to help break the wind/make the pace for half of them. Who knows. It’s just harder to deal with when you’re alone because there are no excuses – nothing else to blame except your mind and body. Which seem so weak to me right now.

                Despite taking Sunday off, I was still tired, and rightfully so. That’s where it’s hard mentally. I took Sunday off and didn’t run as far on Friday or Saturday either (12 miles each day – much less than earlier in the week) and so I head into Monday morning expecting to feel fairly rested but that isn’t the case. Especially not after 3 100+ mile weeks in a row. Still, it was disappointing not to hit paces that I was easily hitting in the fall. And again, that’s another mental aspect that you forget about time and time again: the whole ‘new season’ phenomenon. You know what times and workouts you were running last season and despite not taking much time off, a couple of weeks of high mileage without workouts totally sap any speed you might have had. Your mind thinks that nothing has changed, but your body knows differently. It can’t run as fast as you want it to, no matter how you hard will it. And I know this experience isn’t unique to me. Almost everyone I have talked to has the same feeling. All I can do is hope that the mileage (and corresponding fatigue) I’m putting in now will pay huge dividends weeks and months down the road and that when I do drop my mileage a bit for a week or two (I’m planning to do so next week heading into my first indoor track race), I will feel great and fast and fit like I want and my legs will run those times without any hesitation. But that takes time. And discipline. It’s not something that you can turn on like a tap. It has to be coaxed out of your body, one run at a time, one workout at a time. Slowly I build. Slowly I plan. Slowly I lie in wait for the warmer weather when the miles and hours I run in the dark and the cold will be called upon. And then I will respond.

About afvarner

Runner. Donuts. Sneakerhead. Not necessarily in that order. Nike Trail Elite. Picky Bars. Gu. Vicory Sportdesign.
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1 Response to The 103rd Annual Dipsea Race (and some older stuff)

  1. afvarner says:

    whoops… meant to be 17:38 creek to cardiac, 15:58 to the beach. 2 seconds due to rounding. and thanks!

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