Sunday, February 27, 2011

Tempo Run

Rick emailed me on Friday afternoon to offer me a hotel room for the night on Saturday, but I turned it down. I had too many things to do in the afternoon on Saturday; I wouldn't have made it down there at a reasonable time. Besides, last year when I stayed down there the night before I didn't know what to eat in the morning.

So this morning I drove down to Williamsburg after eating a full, normal breakfast. I knew that it was going to be warm-- I looked up the weather before I left and it was already in the 50s. After messing around a bit when I got there, I went over to Corey's house to hang out before warming up. Then we went over to the Yellow House to warm up. I went for a little over 20 minutes and I wore pants. It was hot. I had plenty of time to stretch, but should have taken my GU a little earlier.

The starting line was comprised of me, two Kenyans, Michael Wardian, Dave Hyrvniak, Skeeter Morris, Jared Campbell, and John Piggott. John had already run the Dahlgren Half in Fredericksburg that morning. Ridiculous. The Kenyans went out from the start. Dave actually went out in front of Wardian while Skeeter and I ran together for about the first half-mile to the top of the hill on Newport. Then he ran away and some old guy went with him. Making the turns by the Lodge, that guy dropped back next to me as we got to the first mile in 5:36, 6/7 place.

This guy was messing with me. I was totally mind-ninja'ed. He was breathing so hard, running so choppy, and just all over the place. I wanted him to leave me alone just because he was so loud! I kept taking tangents up the hills and around the turns. Mile 2 was 5:42, uphill. Not a problem. But now I've got a little cramp going towards the water stop. I knew I wanted water because it was hot, and I put some distance on the ninja for a bit, but he came back. So I was just trying to focus on my breathing since I was getting a bad side-stitch. It didn't go away. Mile 3 over the Hornsby Bridge was 5:36. Skeeter was just getting further and further away. Mile 4 was largely uphill, and I wasn't pushing it either because my cramp was getting worse. It was hot too, compression shorts were unnecessarily warm. 5:55 for that uphill mile. Crossing over Kingsmill he started to falter a little bit. I thought about pushing it to try to break him, but decided it was too early and I wasn't feeling good. He fell off on his own. That next mile was back on track, 5:36, but at a cost.

After mile 5, the only thing I could think about was using the bathroom. I would have stopped had there been a toilet. I was starting to think about where one might be at the water stops, because I was feeling really bad. The 4th biker had dropped back to me, as it looked like Skeeter had caught and passed Dave. I was trying to get the biker to tell me what was going on with the mind-ninja, but he wasn't giving me anything good. Going downhills I was real quiet and I could hear footsteps behind me. Turns out it was Jared. He passed me right before the mulch, where there was a lady in front of us all of the sudden. I know she wasn't in the race; she looked like one of those crazy Russian distance runner women who are on PEDs in the Olympics. She was short and jacked, with long flowing blonde hair. As I saw her later in the race, she also had giant boobs. I don't know what she was doing but later I saw her running the last 0.1 miles of the race. I asked Jared about the mind-ninja, but he said he was gone and there was a Bucknell guy behind me. So off Jared went.

No toilet at mile 6 for the water stop. That mile was 5:47. I really needed to stop. The girl who gave me water pretty much splashed it on me. The rest of her friends thought that was pretty funny. I did not. Kingsmill was sunny and windy. I just needed to stop and use the bathroom so badly. My cramp had moved into worser conditions.  It's no wonder that I got passed at the end of mile 7, I ran it in 5:58. The Bucknell guy went by me like I was standing still. I might as well have been. I started to take a GU so that I'd have it before the water stop getting back onto Country Road.

My legs were tired. My left hamstring was starting to feel pretty tight.

Once people were coming back at me, I hoped I'd be able to take my mind off of how badly my stomach hurt. No luck. But Jared and the Bucknell guy weren't moving that far away from me, so I thought I might have a chance. Unfortunately, I lost them in the crowd. By the time we crossed over the entrance to Kingsmill, after a 5:53 8th mile, I could barely see them. I saw Rick Platt and he congratulated me on another top-10 finish. A little presumptuous considering I had over 4 miles left to run. Although I'd honestly felt like 6th place was locked up 3 miles before that. Foolish. Especially with mile 9 in 6:05. Going across the Hornsby Bridge again, I saw the Bucknell guy leaving it as I was getting to it. There was a photographer there, so I did my best to look good. As soon as I passed him, I took my first and only glance back of the race to see what was going on behind me.

MF! There were 3 guys right behind me, no more than 50 yards back. The rest of the way I was running scared. I didn't like my odds either, but I resolved that I just had to beat one of them to stay in the top-10. Of course, immediately after that I'm practically walking up hill towards the end of Country Road. Mile 10 was an extremely motivated 5:48. I knew the next mile was mostly downhill so I decided to let loose and go down it fast. That didn't work out too well. I was shocked to see a 5:56 at the bottom of the hill by the Golden Horseshoe. My right groin pulled a little bit. I could almost feel these guys breathing down my back. 

Making turns around the Lodge and the Law School, I missed the old W&M guys. I didn't know who any of these children were, and none of them were cheering for me. Mike Brooks was there, cooling down after the 3-mile. He cheered, that was nice. Going up the law school was one of the last big hills, and it hurt. Fortunately it had to hurt everyone and not just me. Then I saw Sacia Glazner, who is now married and has a kid and a different last name! That was a nice surprise! We went to Grad School together. I tried not to think about pooping while I saw her, but that's all my body wanted to do. (Sorry Mom.)

I didn't see the 12 mile marker, nor did I really care to look around for the split. I just thought about running and having to kick at the end. I didn't know if I'd be able to do it. I tried to pick my feet up and move my arms. Aimee Fulwider was on the corner of Barksdale. I almost didn't know who it was, my brain wasn't working. Every time I saw someone standing on a corner, I wanted to ask how far back the next person was. But either I wasn't really saying it or they weren't hearing it, because I got nothing. My lips felt swollen. Around the Crem Dell, up hill #163 and past the Daily Grind, I'm just picturing a mad dash to the finish line with these 3 guys who were all together at mile 9.5, chomping at my heels.

I made it back to the hall without a challenge. 2nd to last hill, up Yates Drive. Onto the sidewalk around the hall. Some stupid woman is in the way, right in the middle of the sidewalk. I go to pass her on the left, and someone yells at her to move. So of course she steps to the left at the exact same time I go to pass her. I slam into this little woman and in exchange her cup of hot coffee pours drenches and burns me. If that'd only happened a few miles earlier I would have had a legitimate excuse to quit, besides needed to use the bathroom for like 8 miles.

I finally finished, stopping my watch at 1:16:15. Terrible. The last 2.1 miles were 12:19. 5:51 pace. So I wasn't really able to muster up much at the end. But I held off the guys behind me. I didn't see when they finished either. I sort of blacked out at the end. I'll look it up in the results later. Afterwards, the consensus was the same... tough day. Wardian was bummed, Skeeter and Dave weren't excited, Jared was exhausted. We were all just tanked. That was the finishing order too, adding the two Kenyans at 1-2, and the Bucknell guy between Skeeter and Jared. I hung out for a while and then walked back to my car so I could cool down.

I went back to where Sacia was but she'd left. That was less than 4/10th of a mile and I knew I needed to go to the bathroom. Thank goodness there was a port-o-pottie for some construction right there on the corner of Newport and South Boundary. After that, I just trotted off to run 2.5 miles. I grouped up with the Bucknell guy for the last mile of it, which was nice to have company. Afterwards I got a beer and my award. They were out of bagels. So I hung out with Jeff Branscome waiting for Tricia Coyle to finish. I stuck around longer than I should have.

All in all, it was a terrible race. If I pretend that it was a tempo run, it still wasn't even that great of a tempo run. Needing to use the bathroom ruined me, and it was hot. Also, I'm at the tail end of 2 80-mile weeks. I wasn't tapering for this. I'm exhausted now though. I'm going to sleep in tomorrow and run 8 alone in the afternoon, according to Coach Greg. It looks like my mileage will be slightly lower but I'll have two tough track workouts on Wednesday and Friday. I wonder if I can do those in the afternoon...

Goodnight Moon.

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