Thought for the Day

Sunday, October 27, 2002

Silicon Valley Marathon 2002

First, I rediscovered a fact which always seems to surprise me. I am not superhuman.

I had dreams of 3:20 dancing in my head for twenty miles this morning. I began to fall off my pace at mile 19. I just struggled in from mile 21 on.

3:44, or thereabouts. Thinking that the results would be on the web, I didn't bother to try to crowd in and see them after I finished. No splits. I can't find my race watch.

Second, this was a fantastic marathon. From everything I saw, it was as well-organized as always. As always, a skimpy expo and not a lot to choose from in the food after the race. But a beautiful course this year.

That's it. Can't write any more now.



Monday, October 21, 2002

The Relay 2002

The Red Hot Runners finished 66th out of 278 teams overall. We had wanted to compete as a mixed team, but ended up with too few women runners. We only had four women, and 8 men.
We finished in 27 hours, 2 minutes, and 19 seconds.
I ran legs 10, 22, and 34.
Leg 10 is the toughest one in the race, 8.9 miles, with a 1400 foot climb in two miles after the first mile. But there is a fantastic view of the Napa Valley after you crest that ridge and start down the other side. You can't do great time coming down because it's steep and rocky and you have to watch your footing. I was able to keep running all the way to the top, and I finished it in about 76 minutes. That was starting around 4 to 5 in the afternoon. I passed four other runners, but was passed by four myself, three of them in a pack as the course levelled out for the last two miles.
My next leg was 2 am that night, more or less level, on Skyline Blvd. I covered the 4.2 miles in about 32 minutes. Not great, but I was really feeling beat from the first leg. The really discouraging thing for me was that the only other runners I saw during the run were two who passed me.
My last leg was another tough one, a total of 6.2 miles, starting with a long, slight downhill, then finishing in the last almost two miles with a very steep uphill into a sandstone quarry. It was the hardest 49 minute 10K I've ever run. I think it was my best effort of the weekend, because I paced myself right to be able to run the hill well, and I caught and passed another team with about a hundred yards to go. No one passed me.
This is a pretty short race report considering all I've been through this weekend, but I just don't have time to work on it. But now a lot of you guys know what this is like. We had a great time.
I'm really happy with how I ran, although I'm very sore now, and I'm sure I won't get the best possible time in SVM next Sunday.
I'm not injured in any way, and the soreness is just muscles.

Monday, October 14, 2002

Primo's Run Half Marathon

I decided to run this half marathon instead of the Big Basin Redwoods for a couple of reasons, but mainly because I thought it would be easier.
Other reasons are that this is one of the biggest running events in the Bay Area, with a 5K and 10K also offered, and I've never run it before.
There were about 700 half marathoners, and about two thousand each in the 5K and 10K.
Beautiful weather in the hills east of the SF Bay. I wore a tee-shirt, but had my gloves on the whole race. Gently rolling hills.
I couldn't find my racing/track watch, so I don't have my splits.
There was a major screw up in course direction. The lead group went off course. Some time before the main pack went off, the course was corrected. Some between that point and the leaders got directed back onto the course by a shortcut. The leaders got back onto the course by a longer route.
So some people went about a quarter of a mile long, some went about a quarter of a mile short, and some ran the right course. It looks to me like I had the short course.
This happened between mile 2 and mile 4. I didn't see the 3 mile mark, an indication I was probably off the course, The split called at 2 miles was 14:40, then at 4 miles it was 28:30. I don't think I sped up at all in those two miles.
So I ran about a half marathon, probably a quarter of a mile less, in about 1:37:15.
I'm happy with that time. Even over the full course I would have been under 1:40. Considering the rolling hills and the fact that I ran 20 miles LSD 3 days before, I think I could beat 3:20 in the Silicon Valley Marathon, if I wasn't running the Relay next week. I don't know if I should count this as a new PR.
I'm going on the road to look for work, so I may not be in touch much over the next few days. I'm looking forward to reading all of the marathon race reports, though.

Sunday, October 6, 2002

Pet Friends 5K

Penny and I ran the Pet Friends 5K on Saturday. It's a fun little race, probably about 50 runners. I thought the course was short, but the race director, who has done lots of other races, said it "could be twenty or thirty yards" short.
Penny was very excited from the moment that we pulled into Spring Grove School. I think she may have actually rememberred last year's race. She started out almost dragging me down the first straightaway. There were a couple of other dogs with us at that point, but when we turned the first corner, after about a quarter mile, we had a little bit of a lead over the whole field.
We were passed just before the one mile point, we which we hit in 6:39, by a medium/small dog running a very even pace. Penny and I just aren't the types to run that way, however effective that might be. Penny has even less self-restraint than I do.
Penny put too much into the first mile. Through the second mile, we traded the lead aomngst the big dog division with a blue tick. That's a breed something like a big springer spaniel. A beautiful dog, who could easily outrun her master.
There were water bowls just before the two mile point. Penny gladly slowed and stood by the bowls, but acted like she didn't know she should take a drink. After a few seconds, I said, "Let's go." and we took off again, hitting the two mile point in 7:35, 14:14.
We were not going to catch the blue tick, and a schnauzer came up from behind. Penny actually waited for this dog to catch up before she would start racing again. Then she would slow and walk for a while, then want to run again. Somewhere in the last few hundred yards, whe decided she wanted to catch up, but she couldn't do it before the end of the race.
We hit the three mile mark in 7 minutes flat, 21:14, and the finish at 21:46.
So we took third in our division. Penny and all of the dogs had a great time. We had taken first last year, but three minutes slower over the same course. There was some tough competition.