Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Gimme, Gimme Hills

After having run 8 marathons and 56 Half Marathons and longer, I can certainly say I don’t like flat courses for races. 

On Saturday I ran First Call Spring Half. Temperatures were in low 50’s and sunny. The course was flat. Good! people would say. Not so good, I would say. I love First Call runs because Adrian is an awesome race director, and I love the camaraderie that characterize all his races. I also love the East Sammamish River Trail for my training, so there I was to share with people I know and I don’t know another wonderful run.

The heart rate monitor didn’t work for a couple of miles and as the race doesn’t have mile markers but the ones that are along the trail, I didn’t have an accurate measure of my HR or run. I decided to run the best I could without following any strategy. I didn’t drink fluids but once (instead of my regular two), and it was hot. At mile 11 I started to feel a little bit dehydrated having the typical goose bumps. My legs were tired and when I finished I felt exhausted. Shannon Perry and Michael Hsu told me the same, they felt hot, and they felt tired. I clocked 1:55:02.

After fueling myself I went home and took a short nap as I had a lot of errands to do. I had no chance of sleeping in on Sunday as I had another Half 1:30 away of home and I needed to leave at 4:45 am to be in Olympia at 6:15 am. My chance of rest and recovery were nil.

I was so tired that when the Capital City race started my HR couldn’t go beyond 77% for the first 3 miles, I felt like I was not able to move. Mile 1- 8:41. Mile 2- 8:59, Mile 3- 9:12. Get the picture?

Curiously the temperatures were the same than Saturday but overcast and non-stop rain making it somewhat a delight! Then I started to feel better, and could increase my HR at mile 4 to 80%, at mile 5 to 84% and I picked up the pace. At this point there was a group of people remembering Tony Trooper 557 slain a couple months ago. His girlfriend was there, and I approached her, hugged her and gave her my respects. At mile 8 I felt very comfortable and moved to 89% till mile 11. Mile 12 was at 91% and last mile at 95%. Guess what, I PRd with 1:52:37. Last mile was run at 7:08 min/mile in a good downhill, and with a lot of power. Unbelievable.

The race was as I remembered it from last year: 1) Ultra wet 2) The best neighbors you can have in a local race. Standing on their front yard, with tents, umbrellas, coats, hats. I had to tell them: You guys are awesome. You could be cozy in your bed with a hot cup of coffee, but no, you are here cheering for us. Thank You, Olympians...

The race had very nice and lovely hills, up and down, those hills that many people don’t like. Mile 9 to 10 was all uphill but at that point I felt wonderful. After mile 11 there was a very steep downhill, and the end was a long downhill that I could simply fly. Flats? No thank you. Gimme, Gimme Hills.

First Call Spring Half Marathon - May 19, 2012

First Call Spring Half Marathon - May 19, 2012
Capital City Half Marathon - May 20, 2012
Capital City Half Marathon - May 20, 2012 - Got 2nd in the division

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