For someone who raced her last race of the year last weekend I worked awfully hard this weekend.
It wasn’t quite as hairy as that elevation chart makes it look but it was hard enough. I kept up with the group until we got to that little pointy thing right before the big climb. Then I just fell back and could not keep up. Toward the top a guy was nice enough to come back down to get me and let me suck off his back wheel until we caught up with my guardian angels Dana and Maggs. By then I was shot because although I had a bottle of Infinit on me it only had 300 calories in it and I was too busy keeping up to drink very often so by the time we got to the top of the climb, 35 miles into the ride I’d consumed a whopping 100 calories (on top of a bowl of oatmeal before I left the house). Not good. I was D.O.N.E after that ride. Shot.
Too bad I had already decided to run 18 miles on Sunday and committed to meeting Dana to do it. There was no turning back so we met at 8:00 and off we went. Just to show you how deceptive elevation charts are over distance this is what it looked like:
That run is fundamentally flat. You know you are going slightly down on the way out and slightly up on the way back but it’s really flat. We were doing great for the first 15 or 16 miles, constantly calling out 9:15! time to slow down as we checked our pace but by mile 16 I was done. I had to stop repeatedly and catch my breath but I refused to walk very much. Just can’t handle it. Running time was 3:09 for a 10:28 pace but reality was 3:35 for an almost 12 minute pace. That included stopping at Whole Foods to use the bathroom and stopping several times to fill water bottles.
But none of that is the interesting part of the story. The interesting part pertains to my performance at the Nike Women’s Half last weekend. As you may recall, I ran that race in 2:10:41 which is a very reasonable pace, particularly considering that the course looks like this:
That elevation map counts – that’s a tough run.
Anyhow…. Wednesday night we had a board meeting for my race club and when I got there someone congratulated me on the race and said, “You’re a real runner now”. I fairly glowed with pride. Then on Sunday I went to a party of people from my race club and another guy, a man quite famous for busting ’em off on everybody remarked, “You’re not slow any more”. Oh man. Oh man, oh man, oh man. That was so nice to hear.
And on the wings of my newly bloated ego I will keep training – for nothing. Because I can and because it works. I really does.