Tuesday, June 8, 2010

From NR: Three-peat!

10 days! Which means, starting tomorrow, we can officially start haunting the weather.com website! Here's my thought for this year, though - I'm ready. No matter what I see the weather changing to, I'm going to say "Good! I can handle that!"

My 22 miler went fantastic last week, which leaves me super excited for Grandma's! I purposefully picked a brutal (for roads) course, lengthening a 17 miler that I did a couple years ago. Once again, silly me goes about adding on roads via googlemap without checking out what those roads are like. The result? Even more rolling evil hilliness than I expected. Okay, no problem, the goal was to keep strong, know it was going to be hard and not worry about time

So it all started with running up Highland/Getchell/Stebner. Luckily, it's about 2 miles from my house, so I got some warmup before all the uphill started. Last time I ran up Highland, I needed to walk - not so this time! I just kept plugging my way up the hill. And up and up and up. By the time I hit Morris Thomas, I was trying to remember what it was like to not be running uphill. The weather wasn't too bad for the start but it got pretty hot by the end. I had Kyle meet me just after half way for a water re-fill and luckily, I threw my hat in the bag I had him bring so I nabbed that for the rest of the run and headed up Haines to Morris Thomas and on and on until Lavaque. Lavaque is an evil road! Evil! You just keep going up and up into Proctor. I had misread my elevation map, too, apparently, because I sure remember there NOT being any uphill on the St. Louis River road. Well. So much for that! But I kept plugging away and felt fine. Let me tell you, though, running DOWN Highland at mile 20 is crazy painful. Wow. I went faster once I came off the downhill then I was able to do going down.

The 3rd Boulderdash 5K was this Saturday! The weather was great again and I was hopeful for a three-peat. Maybe the third time would be a charm (I had two other races that I won twice and then had some speedster show up on my third go-around). I talked Lisa into coming with and we showed up nice and early only to find out that they changed the course on me! Sneaky race directors. So I headed out to do the course backwards as a warm-up. I've found that longer warm-ups are good for shorter races and I like to know where 800 from the finish is at. Hmmm, the course is much hillier than it used to be. Of course, it was pretty pancake flat for most of it, so a hill increase wasn't terrible.

I get back from my warm-up and . . . Connie is there! Hmmm, again. Well, she's in the middle of a long run so let's not call the race until we run. And we're off with the quacking of a duck call - one of my favorite race starts. If nothing else, I figured I should be able to run faster than last year, so I tried to take off from the start. Well much longer and up comes Connie, though I didn't recognize her breathing and stride at all until she said something. And away goes Connie. So much for my three-peat. Now wait a minute, I tell myself, just stay in contact and see what happens.
They mark the kilometers on this course and I'm starting to think that I really prefer that. Sure there's more of them, but they go by faster and they really worked well with my thinking this race. I was excited to catch up to Connie towards the end and then the goal was to bring it hard into the finish so it wouldn't end up being a sprint race in.

So - three-peat! Which kind of makes me sound like a high school boy's basketball team, but I'm okay with that :) I even ran a faster time than last year, even with the harder course. My buddy Mike got third in his age group and Lisa got second in hers behind Connie who won her age group and came second for women overall. The race was awesome, as always - one of my favorites of the year. This year's trophies were agates with a wood cut backing - very nice! It's a great event in a gorgeous setting that's definitely worth the drive. The shirts were nice again this year, too. A different gold/brown color with a running shoe made of boulders. I made sure to look at last year's shirt before ordering my size, too, so it fits me well this year.

And now we come to taper time! Time to break out Marathon Woman for another read through.

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