Monday, May 28, 2012

Green Jewel 50K - 2012

Green Jewel 50K – Mar 12, 2012

I got up at 4:30 am this morning, the earliest I remember ever getting up for a race. I had to pick up the bus at 5:30 am from the finish at Brecksville (my hometown) to drop us at Rocky River for the start of the 50K. Because of a salamander migration and crossing, the park roads were closed and did not open until 5:45 am, so we had to wait in our cars for half an hour.  The buses left late and the race started at 7:30 am instead of 7:00 am.

I could not decide what to wear, vest or jacket, shorts or pants? The temperature in the morning was 37F and the prediction was cloudy and low 40s. Because of the strong winds, I decided to dress warm (jacket and pants), and I am glad I did! It was really windy and cold and those dressed in shorts and short sleeves froze their butts off :).

I took some pictures before the race, and then dropped the camera with my drop bag.  Brad Polman, Josh Stacher, Susan Lewis, and Rose Nicastro.

My goal was to run at 8:40 pace, for as long as I could, and aim to finish at 4:40, a 10 minute improvement from last year. I followed a group of 5 friends that had a similar time goal:  Josh Stacher, Rob Lisy, Jim (last name unknown), Rose Nicastro and Susan Lewis.

Here is a picture of me before the start:

There were aid stations every about 5 miles.

The first 5 miles were within the plan: 8:33, 8:27, 8:30, 8:24, 8:12.  Well, sort off. Clearly these guys were going faster than planned.

Then, Rose and Susan dropped back. I followed the other three, who started going even faster.  Miles 6-10: 8:12, 8:09, 7:59, 7:52, 8:14.

The course had some hills, but it did not seem to make a difference. I told them I did not think this pace was a good idea and we were going to pay at mile 20 and they laughed at me :). Miles 11-15: 8:07, 7:58, 8:12, 7:47, 8:32.

At some point I asked for their marathon PRs: 3:04, 3:06, 3:16. Clearly, I was running with the wrong group, but I decided to follow them until I could not keep up any more. The miles were going faster with company. Miles 16-22: 7:47, 7:48, 8:00, 8:29, 7:58, 7:49, 7:46

At around mile 23.5 I started falling behind. Then a huge hill was at mile 24, which I walked. My friends gradually disappeared ahead. Miles 23-28 (running alone): 8:14, 10:33, 8:33, 8:20, 8:33, 8:13. I crossed the marathon mark (26.2) at 3:34, a very respectable time, especially considering the large hill that I walked. (Compare this to the Miami marathon 3:50 five weeks ago!)

The last 3 miles were downhill, I picked up the pace and passed one more runner (Mel Terwilliger): 7:35, 7:38, 7:06, 7:09 (last .2)

Top: I have just crossed Brecksville road and I am heading for the finish, with about 1 mile left.  The finish is mostly downhill from here (Yay!)  You can see Mel, in the back.  Bottom: Sprinting to the final finish, while Courtney Russell is taking my picture.

*** My final time: 4:14 *** That's an improvement of 36 minutes from last year, and very respectable (for marathon) pace of 8:10. Also, a big time 50K PR for me! My overall placement is not great (20/123 runners, not up to 5-10% I am used to for trail races). This tells me that there are some very fast runners running this race! (My friends finished between 4:05 and 4:10)  Brad Polman 3:58?  Wow!  Connie Gardner 3:52.  Holy crap! J  I have no intention of running this race any faster in the future. I’d rather put all my effort into trail races, where I think I can beat Brad J

My wife came at the finish to cheer. She did not know about the 1/2 hour delay so she thought I was running within the plan. She did not know I was actually half an hour ahead of the plan! I felt tired and did not have any appetite for the pizza at the finish.  Thanks to Liz, I have pictures from the finish.  Here Vince is handing me the finisher's package:

I came home, took a shower and started shivering!  I had no appetite at home, even though I did not eat much during the race (passed aid station at mile 5, water at mile 10, some coke at 15, slice of orange and peanut butter sandwich at 20 and water at 25, nothing else). I was a bit nervous about not eating during the race, but I did not feel I needed it and it did not make a difference. Another observation: I did not need to go to the bathroom before or during the entire race. Two girls sitting across from me in the bus, went to the bathroom in the bus (yes, the bus had a bathroom) three times each!

Overall, I am very pleased with my time and PR.


Kotoula01 said...

Do you think that the low carb diet is keeping your bowls happy so you don't have issues during the races? I am starting low carb, and so far in my half M training it feels good. Everybody is fear mongering me about the low carb and the running...I need to lose some stubborn pounds that just won't come off. Thanks for the blog. I enjoy reading about your races (and Liz too)

Kotoula01 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Kotoula01 said...

Wow your comment thingy is really confusing. It keeps telling me to redo the captcha, and prove that I'm not a robot. I don't have time to fuss with it so I hope the comment gets posted. Cheers.

DrT said...

Yes, the comment was posted... Yes, we do not have any issues with that (I did not have before either). If anything, it has helped :)