Monday, December 20, 2010

Throw Your Heart Over the Bar at Run for the Ranch

Yes: I did plan to put whatever I had into this race. Throw my heart over the bar.

I cannot explain this: 26.2 miles in 3:51:xx (LIFETIME PERSONAL BEST, and Boston Qualifier)

Here we have a picture of the schwag: shirt, medal, plaque for the BQ, and trophy for AG 1st place.

I signed up for a half marathon thinking the weather would be cold or something and I wouldn't want to run a full. That was a stroke of genious because it put the race on my calendar but I had no plans and hence didn't over do anything. Well, I had a tiny idea of practicing doing hm's and eventually whittling my time down to NYC (1:50). Since I was planning on doing a half, I worked out for an hour on Saturday and ran for 3 hours.

But, on race day, the weather was awesome. I left Kansas City about 15 min early thinking that I could switch races if I got to Springfield in time. It turns out the drive was only 2.5 hrs, not 3 (yup 70 mph all the way). I surely didn't want to wait around that dinky town for 3 hours so switched my race to the full marathon which started at 1 pm. (oh yeah, I brought extra gel thinking I'd need it). For breakfast I had a power bar and a myoplex lite bar. I ate a peanut butter sandwich in the car and ate another power bar about 30 min before the start. Drank a pot of green tea. Excellent bowel movement before leaving KC sealed the decision that today was MY DAY.

My plan was to run a fast half to see how well I could do that, and then slow down for the second half. The course is billed as flat, but it had places with 1% grades, too much cement, too many turns, several place along busy streets where the sidewalks got crowded. But it did have one loop around a stadium track where they were playing music which was a good place to pick up the pace. I was dressed too warm (3 shirts and a track jacket).

Along the way: finishing the second lap, a male spectator didn't look before crossing the course (near the start finish where there were lots of people) and stepped right in front of me so I whacked him in the back (well at least I didn't push him down). The feel of his leather jacket under my hand was quite satisfying! Lap 3, I decided to take a pee break because about 200 more runners would be on the course by the next lap (5k, 10k and half races) and I didn't want to have to wait. This involved going into a building and running down a hall, so it took 2 minutes. Finished the half in 1h54 by Garmin, but 1h56 by clock. I kept pushing my pace. On the 1% downhill, I got up to 8 min/mile. On the 1% up I tried to stay at 9 min/mile. Where the ability to run that fast came from I don't know.

I carried 2 8 oz bottles of my own Gatorade and used 8 gels. It worked good to have my mobile aid station as I could time everything exactly. This was my first race with a Garmin and I liked looking at the instantaneous pace just to make sure it was under 10. But I kept being amazed to see it below 9.

On lap 5, I thought of slowing down but had tons of energy so kept it up. When my brain tried to say this couldn't be, I answered with why not? I am spirit, unlimited. God created me to be a part of Him. That is what I am and where I am. So, spirits can do whatever they want because they have defeated ego (and egos cause failure and limits). If I think I can, I can. The last lap was powerful. I was a machine! (I did not slap the runner who suddenly stopped right in front of me but did touch his back as I slipped around). I was sprinting. It was awesome to just throw it all away for 3 miles.

Nope: no carefully planned training schedule. No speed work. No taper. Just mental determination. Thoughts create reality. Early birthday present (I'll be 52 in 3 weeks). Imagine being able to run better at 50 than you could at 20 or 30.

I saw a totally buff woman. OMG, I want to look like that (and will, you'll see). I saw a man wearing shorts with huge chafing between his legs (I mean areas more than 6 in2). I passed tons of people in the last 2 laps. Lots of people walking (bonking means under trained or poor planning of fuel).

After the race, I had to go in a building and wait in line for my medal and plaque. Then I sat at a table with a man who had obviously been badly burned. He told me about his 300 mile run across S. Dakota last summer. Then they finally brought the results in. I talked the RD out of my trophy so I could leave.

Easy drive home. This morning, my body does not feel too bad. Fatigue but no injury.

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