Scatter my ashes here...

Scatter my ashes here...
scatter my ashes in the desert...

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Relentless Forward Motion

Busy week.

Today I ran the Colorado Marathon which starts up Poudre Canyon and finishes in Old Town Ft. Collins.

Runners take the bus up the canyon to get to the start, and that means catching the bus at 4 something in the morning. I woke up at 3:15, had coffee and ate breakfast before driving downtown to catch the bus.

When you get off the bus, it's cold outside, the campground where it starts is right next to the river and the air is cold. This year didn't seem as cold as last year, but I froze the whole morning, I didn't even warm up until I hit the bike path in LaPorte around 21 miles.

I headed for the portapotty line which was long and moving fast (young crowd again?) and heard someone call my name. I turned around and in line behind me was Donnalee, I haven't seen her in 10 years. I knew her and her family through the running club. She moved away to Montana about the time we moved to Arizona, we used to run together back then and today she was running her first marathon in a long time, since law school, getting married, having two kids, etc. They moved back to Fort Collins recently too.

We ran the first two miles together and her plan was to run about the pace I ran last year. I had no idea how I was going to feel, and we started out together for the first two miles, but I couldn't stay up with her. I never saw her again which means she must have had a great run. I haven't seen the results yet.

I started out at about an 8:45 per mile pace but backed off of that when I realized how flat my legs felt. My legs weren't tired or sore, they just feel like they have no turnover, no spring. I settled into a 9 minute pace and stayed there. I went through halfway in exactly 9 minute pace. In the early second half I did two long powerwalking stretches of about a mile each and that helped a lot, after those I'd bounce back and pass dozens of people.

I felt good again around 18 miles and ran with Ron from the running club for a while until I had to take another pee break. He was trying to get in under 4 hours and I didn't feel like pushing myself that hard, I wanted to stay strong. I had told Dennis I'd be done between 3 and a half and four hours, so I told Ron before he got ahead of me if he saw Dennis to tell him not to worry about me, I was upright and moving forward.

At one point on the bike path I passed this guy who was having problems, probably in his first marathon. He was bent over, then he'd stand up and look around behind him, not moving forward. I yelled, "Relentless Forward Motion! You can finish!" One of the spectators out there on the course started echoing me. I hope it sunk in and the guy finished. At that point he had enough time to crawl and still make it under the cutoff time.

When I got to the finish line I couldn't see the clock but I shut off my watch. Dennis saw me and called to me. I looked at my watch after a minute or so and it was still running, so I don't know what my finish time was, but it was 4 hours and change. Probably 4:02 or something, but I'll find out when I see the results. I ran fairly even splits the first and second half, with those two powerwalking miles.

After I finished, I saw a co-worker who finished her first half marathon, and told me that another one of our co-workers finished the half marathon in a fast time. We didn't stick around long, we picked up my drop bag and talked to a few people. We went home and took the Buffaloes for a few miles and got 32 for the day. Then I took a nap. Not a bad week, 60 miles, no breaks. Unfortunately, I neglected my sauna training this week, there were not enough hours to do everything. I can't get away with that anymore after this. The race is only 10 weeks away.

Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm I was at the Expo at the Hilton for the Colorado Marathon. I had a display set up to call attention to my fundraiser for the Foundation. I was located outside the main room so everyone saw me on their way in and out. I got a lot of interest and got a donation, and quite a few people picked up flyers after I talked to them about why I'm doing the fundraiser. I also gave flyers to everyone I knew.

I had my foam board display with the powerpoint slides on it, my laptop set up with the video of "Running on the Sun" the whole time, and a big basket of candy. People are fascinated by the idea of running Badwater, but most of them say they would never do it, they think it's crazy. I talked to maybe half a dozen people who said they might want to do it someday.

My location was ideal except at the times when things got busy and the place was packed with people. I ended up being the greeter all day as a result of my location, which was good, but exhausting. At 5 pm sharp, Dennis helped me break everything down and we ordered a pizza and took it home. I was too tired to think of cooking.

When I got home from the marathon, Dennis had the article in the Coloradoan spread out on the table in the kitchen. I saw Miles before the start and he told me a few things got edited out, but Dennis and I both thought it was good and he got a good laugh out of it.

I need to start this week making heat training a big priority. The weather has been too cool for Badwater training. I'll have to start overdressing on my runs and hitting the sauna every day I'm not at work. I have 6 weeks of training left before the taper, and 9 weeks to heat train. I feel like at this point, I could run the Badwater distance if I had a few weeks to taper. But I don't feel ready for the heat.

One of the articles I read about heat training said that if you're short on time at this point in your training, it's better to hit the sauna and spend time baking in the heat than running. Good advice.

Time to eat again...

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