Friday, February 12, 2016

Jed Smith 50k

In 2014, I ran my first Jed Smith. This is what I had to say about it: I don't know that I would do this race again. I am not a huge fan of the multi loop course. However, I never say never, because you can get into trouble that way! Maybe next time I will just sit at the finish line and watch everyone else run by 6 times while I drink beer in the sun.

In 2015, I ran it again. Here is what I said afterwards: So, another Jed Smith in the books. Will I run it again? I want to say no, but the answer is probably yes.

This year, as I sat on my couch in my PJs in the cold of winter and clicked the "register" button once again, I knew that I was going to regret it, but I didn't care, because I was warm and cozy and February seemed like so far away, and I had already forgotten how much I disliked running this race. 

It's hard NOT to do this race. It's the first race of the year; I know practically everyone running it; it's usually sunny and on the drive back we always stop at Pedricks for apples and wasabi peas. Who doesn't love all of that? However, every year, somewhere on the 3rd of 4th loop, I ask myself why the heck I signed up for this race yet again. 

The course is a small out and back to make up the miles and then six 4.9 mile identical loops, on the hard pavement of the American River bike path. My goal was to attempt an 8 minute mile for as long as possible, with the final goal to be under 9 minutes per mile. I also wanted my "marathon time" (through lap 5) to be under 3:45. 

Out and Back / Loop 1: 55:28 (8:07/mi) I felt pretty good on this lap. It was sunny; the wind was in my face and I ran with a new friend and it was fun getting to know each other through the miles. She stopped at the aid station at the start/finish and I pressed on. 

Loop 2: 39:06 (8:03/mi) I was still feeling good, although my feet were beginning to hurt a bit. I had worn new shoes, but had an extra pair at the start just in case. Otherwise, things were going well. I put my tunes on and kept on trucking. I was having a bit of breathing trouble, but I attributed it to the fact that I was testing out a new hydration pack. 

Loop 3: 40:24 (8:19/mi) At the beginning of the loop, I realized that I should have changed my shoes the last time I passed the start. However, I had already gotten far enough that I decided to press on instead. I lapped my first friend and got lapped by the leaders of the pack. For some reason I could NOT get a deep breath. I had to stop and walk and loosen up my pack, but it was still not really working. 

Loop 4: 44:33 (9:10/mi) I stopped to change my shoes and grab a bite to eat, as I was starting to feel a bit nauseous. I was also fiercely thirsty. I kept having to stop to drink because I couldn't breath and run and drink at the same time. I also lapped another friend and used the excuse to walk with her for a few minutes. 

Loop 5: 45:36 (9:23/mi) This lap was a lot of walking. I was really feeling crummy and I tried to eat but it was not helping. My strategy was to walk and eat and then run once I was done. I was really, really wishing that this was the last lap. About halfway through this lap, two of my friends (who are in my age group!) passed me, one of them saying that she had been trying to catch me forever. I just waved at her and tried not to vomit. I passed the "marathon mark" at 3:45:05. 

Loop 6: 45:20 (9:20/mi) Ah....the feeling that comes when you pass the start line the last time and know that this is your final loop. As I always do, I tried to calculate how long it would take me if I just walked the rest of this lap. And, as always, I decided that to get this thing over with as fast as possible, I better run. However, my legs were getting a bit tired and I was still SO THIRSTY, but I told myself I could walk through the aid stations. I did a bit of walk/run and finally was on my last two miles. By my math, I had 16 minutes to get to the finish line before the 4:30 mark. I really wanted to break 4:30, so I pushed it as hard as I could but it wasn't hard enough, because my finish time was.... 


TOTAL: 4:30:30 (8:41/mi)
Overall: 24/83
GP: 8
AP: 4/12

Overall, although I would have liked to (a) get under that 4:30 mark and (b) place higher in my age group, I am pretty happy about this time. It is a one minute PR from my fastest Jed Smith, as well as a 50k PR, which is a win in my book. In addition, I beat this girl who was my "nemesis" in my age group last year, although I think I may have three new nemesis this year! 

I guess I have some work to do before next year's race, huh? 

Are you a glutton for punishment? Do you do some things over and over even though you don't really like them that much? If so, WHY? 

Monday, February 1, 2016

Looking Back: January

Well here we are, starting another month again. I know February is going to fly by, even though it's a leap year this year! January was also quite quick, even though I had a couple of relaxing days at home. Of course, those also go by fast as well! Let's see what happened this month.

Running: In January I ended up running 173 miles and climbing 24,000 ft. This is my highest mileage month since May of last year, when I had two ultra races and one trip to Yosemite. This means that so far I am on track to make my goal of 2000 miles and 250,000 feet. In addition to that, I had 35 biking miles, which is approximately two and a half times per week of bike commuting (which goes along with my 2016 goal).  I also had 6.5 miles of hiking  and no strength workouts (which is a fail on my once per week goal).

Reading: I guess that instead of doing my strength workouts, I read! This month I read 8 books. The best five were probably the following:

The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult
The Nature of the Beast by Louise Penny
Circling the Sun by Paula McLain
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alere Saenz
The Girl in the Spider's Web by David Lagercranz

Travel: I actually had a month of weekends close to home with lots of local activities this month! It was a good month of family and friends and lots of running. I even had one weekend where I tweaked my back and stayed home and relaxed / did nothing all weekend. Other than that, I have been getting some small things done around the house, working on my yearly purge and trying to enjoy this time while I can. I am glad to have this chance to relax, as activities each month start to ramp up soon! My February weekends are already all booked up.

What did you do in January? Which months are the calmest/busiest for you?