Poignant Irrelevance

Monday, April 23, 2007

25k observations

--thursday 4/18: 2.6M, 21:00
--saturday 4/21: 25k trail mix race, ~2:30.
--monday 4/23: 2.4M, 20:47

i had been pondering the 25k (15.5M) trail race all last week. one morning i threw away my completed registration sheet, then later that afternoon i found myself back on the website, daydreaming.

the most attractive points that won me over: 1) new experience, 2) primarily softer terrain, 3) new experience; barely offset by the negatives: 1) not really in shape to race 15 miles, 2) don't want anything to screw up the upcoming get-in-gear, 3) could not find a course map online (or any other useful info) and therefore could not judge the difficulty level of the course.

per the usual, i slept horribly on friday night, as i typically do in anticipation of a new racing experience.

the course was more challenging than i had anticipated. i ran around a lake at hyland park ONCE on april 9th, and i just figured the whole course would probably match that difficulty level, except this time it would be 15.5 miles instead of 2+. during the race i felt like that section around the lake was one of the easiest parts of the whole course. doh.
this felt like a different set of athletes, and a different racing vibe. while waiting for the race to begin i overhead some dudes talking about their previous and upcoming 12-hour bike rides.

ok, not normal.

i saw several women wearing Ironman gear. I also noticed a couple dudes with Ironman tattoos. cool.

but people seemed more casual, more chill compared to road races. it was an interesting dichotomy.

at the end of the race, when i was trying to gather myself, i overhead one finisher announce to his buddies, "well, i'm going to go biking now". heh, cool. a little nutty, but cool.
the course consisted of 2 laps, about 7.5M each.

the game plan, particularly considering i had no idea what the course was like: run the first loop casually, observe course terrain and difficulty, and then proceed to run the second lap with more intensity.

the hills were pretty tough. we ran up a ski hill. do i need to say anything else? on the way down, people zigged and zagged back and forth because of the steep decline.
green: altitude
red: heart rate

notice the biggest hill occurs during 1 mile. steep.

i felt fine after lap #1 but the hills started to kill me on lap #2. my feet hurt too. some sections of the hills were single-track, with slightly uneven and rocky terrain. pretty cool, but kind of awkward to "race" on.

my average HR for the race was 157; max HR 169 (excluding some false readings). i spent 87% of the race with my HR between 146 and 164.

i finished lap #1 in about 1:11, average HR: 157.3
lap #2: about 1:20, average HR: 156.9.

the bottom-line here is that i wussed out on the last loop. completely wussed out. true, my initial plan was to use this as a training run and not go all out, but i have spent the last 2 days regretting the fact that i didn't leave it all out there.

i can't compete with the top racers (or even the mid-level racers, hehe) but the one thing i have the ability to do is race as hard as possible, given my current level of fitness.

oh well.

after the race i swore i was done with hills for a while. sure enough, after a long nap on the couch, i spent the rest of the day begging the universe for just one more chance to re-do the race and tackle those hills again. "i can do better!", i would tell my gf. "stop it! repeat after me, 'i did great'", my gf would say. hehe. shoot, its hard some times.

great experience though, i'm really glad i decided to run. most of the folks there seemed pretty hard core. the winner of the 50k ultra (4 loops) finished with an average pace of 6:40, which seems completely ridiculous to me. did i mentioned there were 120 finishers of the 50K?! the top female finisher of the 50k set a new (female) course record with a time of 4:00:55 (7:46). again, completely ridiculous, and totally cool.

my glutes felt a little sore but all is well now. i thought my calves would be screwed but they were not sore.


  • omg, trail running is SO hard! but awesome. but when i did a 4 mile trail race w/out ever having run on a trail i wanted to die.


    By Blogger Audrey, at 10:32 PM  

  • Brent, great job. Yeah, don't be yourself up too much over this race. You'll get another shot, it's called next year. In the meantime, figure out how you're going to race Get in Gear.

    By Blogger Chad, at 11:50 AM  

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