Thursday, November 11, 2010

2010 A Space Oddity

I had three goals for 2010.  I had a lot of things I wanted to do, but only three that could really be considered goals.  Those three were, PR in both the 10k and Half Marathon, and complete a 100 mile event.

Then, some funny things happened on the way to the Forum.  For starters, I didn’t even run a half marathon, all year.  I did PR in the 10k, minutes after learning Nathaniel had been in a car accident that brought a house down....well at least a garage.  My 100 mile attempt, while a great learning experience, ended much the same way Nathaniel's car and said garage did.

So, I thought I’d salvage what was left of a Summer of hard work with an attempt at Qualifying for Boston at the Tri Cities Marathon, in Richland WA last weekend.  I needed 3:30 to qualify for Boston, 8:00 minute pace.  It’s not so much that I’ve gone out too fast in the last few, it’s more what those early miles have taken out of me mentally. 

Just before the start.
 Halloween Day, I ran my smartest and probably best marathon ever. I didn't hit the split button on my watch, I just was casually aware of my time.  I know the first mile was 7:47.  I know at mile 6 I was 12 seconds behind pace.  I know at mile 9 I was about 30 seconds back.  I know that I went over the half marathon mat just under 1:46.  I know that miles 14 and 15 were both just under 8:00 minute pace because I was worried that I was slowing down, but thought it strange that nobody was passing me.  I was more relaxed being a minute behind pace than I’ve ever been being a minute or two ahead.  

Mile 14 and blue skies.
 Mile 16 was up and over the cable bridge with the now very strong cold winds at my back.  The short distance with a tail wind wasn’t worth the tightening in my back.  Coming off the bridge I slowed quite a bit and tried to get my back loose.  Once I got back up on the river path with the wind in the face my back felt better, this was really the first time, at mile 17, that I really concerned myself with my
time.  I was now 2 minutes back.  I felt strong and was ready for work to begin.  The wind was now 25 mph straight into our face and would be that way the entire 10 miles coming back in.  I ran as hard as I've ever run in a marathon from 17 to 20, but my times were 8:15, 8:21 and 8:23, this felt like 7:30 effort and maybe it was.  The wind was so strong at times that it would blow me off line, at mile 20, almost 4 minutes down and not able to get close to 8:00 pace.  I went through a very strange 2 minutes of pragmatism arguing with desperation and realized, it was over.  I took my foot off the gas and enjoyed an easy run in.

While 2010 won’t end with a long list of accomplishments, it might be my most satisfying year running.  The run from The Dalles to Sisters really cemented my love for multi day journey running that will be a big part of my running in the future.  I also think I truly understand some things that I thought I knew, but I really didn’t comprehend.

I’ve got a lot of ideas for 2011, but all of those decisions will have to wait until after Dec 4th.

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