Friday, July 13, 2012
The Double Dipsea went better than I thought it possibly could. Duncan and Sarah arrived on Thursday the 22nd and we spent Thursday running and eating at the San Rafael farmer’s market, which is increasingly depressing. But we did get to eat on the steps of the mission, which was really cool. On Friday, we went for a short run and then just hung around the house saving our energy. On Saturday, we made the drive out to the beach and Duncan wasn’t feeling too hot, unfortunately. I felt ok, but not great. I had my splits on my arm so I knew what I needed to run and my goal going in to the race was simply to run faster than last year. I started out and felt really smooth and relaxed on the first climb up to Cardiac. It went so well that I was up there about 50 seconds faster than I was last year (22:51 start to Cardiac). That was a huge surprise, but a pleasant one, because I knew that I had some time in the bank. However, I continued to just feel great throughout the race. All of my other splits were faster than 2011 except for the last one, I believe. Here they are:
22:51 Stinson to Cardiac
11:36 Cardiac to Muir Woods
14:31 Muir Woods to Old Mill Park
49:00 1st leg
14:11 Old Mill Park to Muir Woods
17:58 Muir Woods to Cardiac
15:24 Cardiac to Stinson
47:34 2nd leg
I cannot put into words how relaxed and good I felt basically the whole time. I waited a little longer to take my second gel (1st one was at the top of the stairs on the way to the turnaround while the 2nd one was when I was back at the top of the stairs on my way back to the beach). I think this pacing allowed for the Muir Woods to Cardiac climb to be under 18 minutes. Well, that and the fact that I saw several fellow Pelicans who were just out for a run in Muir Woods and then bumped into Gus towards the end of Hog’s Back and he ran with me up to the base of cardiac which was great because we just chatted and it kept me relaxed and helped prevent me from focusing on the pain too much. I was told at the creek that I was in 4th or 5th by those Pelicans but still wasn’t sure. Then I passed a couple of guys on Dynamite/Hog’s Back and caught Hans Schmid at the bottom of Cardiac. At the top, I was told I was in 2nd and that Roy Rivers had 1-2 minutes on me. I was a little worried I wouldn’t be able to catch him by the beach since I know he can downhill like a madman, but I was able to catch up at the bottom of Insult and pushed on to the beach. My time bettered the previous course record by almost 2 minutes and it was the first time a scratch runner had won the race since 1971 I think.
Duncan and Sarah had considerably less fun than I did. Duncan felt bad the whole time and had to stop for 10+ minutes at the top of Cardiac on the way back and Sarah spent a lot of time walking she said. It’s a rough course, especially twice, and even more so when you don’t know what’s coming. I think they’re awesome for gutting it out and hopefully they’ll come back and take another crack at it in the future.
All told, a great summer of racing. In non-running news, AJ and Helen got married 2 weeks ago today and I am just finishing up my 2nd week of work at Main Management. It’s a lot of fun and I’m really happy to be here. Running in the city is enjoyable and I’m going to use it as an opportunity to explore new neighborhoods and restaurants to visit when I’m living in here.
Thursday, August 23, 2012
It’s been a while since I’ve last written anything here. Since the Double Dipsea, I’ve run the San Francisco Marathon, the Squaw Valley Mountain Run and the Angel Island 25k. All in all, they went well enough. The SF Marathon went great. I finished 2nd again, but was closing quickly on the winner and passed the 3rd place finisher at about mile 24. I had to stop to use the bathroom for about a minute at mile 11, just after I had caught up with Mocko, but I managed to catch back up with him at mile 15-16 and then moved ahead. I came through the half in 1:15:44 and was able to negative split again (a lot of that is due to the course, but I’m still really happy with it). The last couple miles got tough, but I was able to fight through them and knowing that I was closing in on the leaders really helped. My time was 2:27:15 so I’ve re-qualified for Boston and think I’m going to at least sign up and decide if I want to run it at a later point in time.
The week after the marathon, I ran the Squaw Valley Mountain Run. My legs were fairly tired during the week so I had no goals for this one, but I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t thought about winning. I drove up on Friday night with Galen, Rookie and MacFalls and we stayed at a lodge right near the start. The race was tough. 2000+ feet of climbing in 3-3.5 miles. At the top a lot of people said they felt the lack of oxygen but I didn’t, I think because my legs were too tired to let me run fast enough. Every time I tried to push and accelerate, my lungs seemed ok but my legs were dead. I finished 3rd overall, about 1 minute behind Galen and 2 minutes behind the leader, a Nordic skier who lives and trains in Tahoe. Stupid local advantage. Still, it was a fun race and I’d definitely consider doing it again.
After that, I allowed myself a bit of time to relax. I started working out with the West Valley guys last Tuesday and 2 days ago and am looking forward to joining them weekly going forward. It’s a good group, with Mocko, Crosby, Malcolm being there to run with/chase. Anyways, I ran the Angel Island 25k this past Saturday and won in 1:25:41, about 5 and a half minutes faster than last year, when it fell the week after the marathon. Patrick ran it as well and finished 2nd but he was treating it as a more leisurely run while I was running pretty hard. It was nice to have a steady, sustained effort over that long period of time and since the hills aren’t too steep, your rhythm isn’t broken every time you climb. The views were a bit better, with the southern half of the island being sunny and warm and the northern half being cool and foggy. My armpits chafed like a mother though, because I neglected my Body Glide that morning for some reason. Idiot.
I’ve recovered well and the workout on Tuesday went very well, covering 2 x 4k loops in 12:49 and 12:19 in GGP. I’m fit but I don’t know how it compares to where I was a year ago. If I had to guess, I’m fitter than I was then, but we’ll see how the season pans out come November and December. I’m wondering how my relative lack of mileage will affect my legs. In other news, I’m really excited for my cross country season to start on Saturday with the Phil Widener race in Santa Rosa. I ran this race 3 years ago and am looking forward to a better performance. We’ll see how it goes!