#Thegreatpoolpondconversion - 210214
It’s now Saturday and I’m my usual self again.
I can walk normally and I’m off the nsaids.
Waking up at 3am on Valentine’s Day, in the back of my mind I knew it.
Well, I knew it the week before by reading the weather.
Because when the temperature goes over 60, you have to adjust your speed and plan.
But after all that time and training, we still pile hope upon hope.
The Not So Good
The weather was much too hot. 78 at the start. 84, feeling like 91 at the end.
It was close to the Keys ultramarathon conditions. In fact 5 more miles - if I could have done 1 more hour - would haven been faster than my last 50k by 30 minutes!
Every five-degree rise in temperature above 60 you have to adjust your pace maybe up to 20 to 30 seconds per mile.
And all the desire and planning and wishful “I’m just gonna power through it” thinking doesn’t mean a whit when your body says nuh uh.
I tried; like the best laid plans. By mile 8 I resigned myself to plan B.
So not a lot of disappointment here - it really wasnt possible for a duffer like me.
If I had finished 30 secs over 4 hours - yeah that would have been disappointing.
This was very clearly not physically possible for me.
I ran a bunch of 20 milers in training. Held pace the whole way and I was more or less fine when they ended. Even worked the pond the next day.
They were all in the much cooler 50s or 60s.
Here it was obvious.
So it turned into enduring. Could I finish. I wanted to quit twice. Both times, under 10 miles.
Looking 15 or so miles ahead is defeating and dangerous thinking.
I started focusing on just the next water stop, and then I was over 10.
By then I just had to keep moving forward.
The Not So Bad
All the training fell into place.
My back unlocked over Tuesday night. I did a test run with no pain at all.
There was a new twinge in a new place at the starting line, but it passed and was no factor.
Because I took the last three weeks off, my calves were not happy during those last 3 test runs. They argued, but behaved the whole way.
None of my pre-race worries came to pass.
Actually a lot went right. All my planning, new ideas, etc. It all ‘worked’.
Though they threatened, there was not a leg cramp the whole time. This is huge.
Positive thinking also kept me going. After the 10 mile triumph, I simply decided “I will not be beat by this”.
After all, best effort is all that matters. You can’t do what you can’t do.
When in a race, focus on the race and worry about after, after.
Smile, breathe and don’t go too slowly.
Try to run easy, light, smooth and fast.
I use one of these thoughts till it gets boring, then switch to another, then round and round. And eventually 20 miles were chewed up. Then there is no not finishing.
The statistics hide the rest of the good news and bear out the brutality. Overall: I did ok.
407 started the race, 386 finished. I was 177.
There were 204 runners over 40 (called Masters)
I came in 93.
There were 35 runners over 60.
I came in 11th.
There were 25 runners 63 and older
Of them I came in 7th.
My official division is male, 60-64. There were 15.
I came in 6, so within three of medaling (by 2 minutes, 7 minutes and 28 minutes)
There were 263 men, I came in 128.
The Absolutely Brutal
I have never experienced a race like this.
Like I said, I did not quit though I wanted to. 2 or 3 times. I managed to run through it thanks to physical preparedness and lots of mental training and practice.
The A plan was to walk the water stops (about 30 seconds each) and douse with lots of water.
Plan B was to merely slow down the pace.
Plan B didn’t last.
I moved to plan C, adding a 30 second walk at each mile marker.
Plan D adjusted to walking in the sun, running in the shady parts.
The last 5 miles of the 2x loop was all sun so that didn’t help much. I had to run.
By the time plan E rolled around it was simply survive and advance. And I did.
I ended on plan F: running about 200 yards, then walking a minute, then running…Just forward.
I don’t know what plan G would have looked like. Just walking? No. It’s a running race.
I drank a lot of ‘ade’. I doused with a lot of water. And I still lost 5# (but no leg cramps).
Oh, and what was a planned *around* 3:50 finish, ended up taking an extra hour.
After the run
My calves and thighs were on fire for three days.
I could barely hobble around.
I have never been in so much post run pain for so long.
I’m not complaining. Worry about after, after.
An easy three miles on Friday. The calves went ‘hey!”
And then were immediately reminded who was in charge.
Saturday rest, Sunday another easy run, then figure what comes next.
Tiny frogs showing up on the deck
Today we return to regular weekend pond activities.
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