Sunday, September 21, 2008

Animas Mountain Mug Run


Today I ran in a local trail race, the Animas Mountain Mug Run. They call it the "Mug Run" because, instead of giving out t-shirts, they give you a handmade coffee mug (see the picture to the right). It's supposed to be 6.6 miles (Sandy's Garmin said it was 6.1) and has about 1500 vf of elevation gain. But first, a quick update on my running progress:

Ever since Imogene I have pretty much felt like crap whenever I try to run kind of hard. I had a disastrous tempo run the Weds. afterwards, and then last weekend I went for a long run on Sunday. This was another disaster; I got through 10 miles okay, but then my stomach fell apart and I bonked severely. I had to visit the restrooms at the park at about the 11 mile mark and then I walked/slow ran the last 4 miles to get home. I can only describe the way I felt as "fluish," and I felt the same way the night before after doing a short, easy 4 miler. Then I went to do speedwork with the local running club ( at the high school track on Wednesday evening and felt okay (1200/4:40, 1200/4:50, 800/3:00), but during the last repeat I had to pull up to take a "pit stop." I don't know what all of this is about, but I wonder if I was actually fighting a bug of some sorts. The Mug Run was a "C" priority race for me, so yesterday I decided to do a "semi-long" run in the late afternoon. This was the first time I actually felt pretty good during a run since Imogene, so I did 11.5 miles in 1:42. This was probably a bit long for a run done about 14 hours before a race, and I felt it today.

Anyway, I learned a few things today during the Mug Run. First: If you're doing a trail run that is largely on single-track, be very careful where you place yourself at the start. I started way to close to the front, and the problem on a narrow, uphill trail is that once you get slotted in a place, you feel compelled to keep up with the people around you because otherwise you're holding people up. This meant I went out way too fast on the steep first mile and would pay for it the rest of the way. Second: The one thing that has been missing from my training this year is sustained anaerobic threshold work. In short, I did my first mile too fast, and then was smoked because I haven't had to sustain that kind of effort for any races to date. Three, and finally: Stay away from chocolate donuts the morning of a race. I know better than to try something new on race day, and really should know better than to eat a donut anyway, but you know, they just looked so good ( and I thought, "what the heck, its 2 hours to the race start." Well, apparently my system does not digest a donut in 2 hours.

Final time: 1:08:45. I was 30th out of 53 males, but I beat most of the women!!!! I was hoping to break an hour, but just felt tired from the day before. However right now, I need the miles from Saturday more than I needed today's race, so I think I made the right choice.

P.S., This time, Sandy and Miliya actually made it to the finish line in time to see me. Picture to the right.

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