Thought for the Day

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Lost Weekend

OK, So I did that. The Pemberton Trail 50K on Saturday and the Lost Dutchman Marathon on Sunday.
And I wasn't alone. At least four of my fellow Marathon Maniacs did both events, and my friend, Melissa, who was not even registered for Lost Dutchman until the afternoon after running Pemberton, ran the whole race with me Sunday.
Melissa has now proudly joined the ranks of the Marathon Maniacs, and she does it at the exalted Iridium level, a level it took me two and a half years to achieve. Awesome.

photo by Jamil CouryPemberton Trail 50K

Believe it or not, the hardest of the two days for me was Saturday. I started out thinking that two weeks off from marathons was enough recovery time for me to run well for the 50K. After all, it isn't a tough course for a trail run, and the trail should have been easier on these old joints.
As it turns out, I'm not as tough as I thought I was. I wasn't fully recovered from three marathons in the previous four weeks. I felt pretty tired after the first few miles.
I hit the wall hard after 17 or 18 miles.
Pemberton is a two lap course, and there's a rough, rocky section about two miles out from the start. The first time through was a breeze, actually kind of fun. The second time through I was just trying to keep my feet under me and not fall down.
There were less than 150 of us running this race, so I spent a lot of time running alone through the desert. This Haiku came to me as I covered the desolate miles on my aching legs:

when the race day comes
it doesn't help to regret
the workouts you missed

Something to remember every day during training. Sitting here now typing this up, I'm thinking along these lines:

easy to register
for unknown levels of pain
far in the future

With about 10 miles to go, I started walking every significant uphill. I was thinking ahead to Lost Dutchman, and I was unsure about being able to run it at all if I didn't try to conserve energy.

photo by Melissa WilliamsLost Dutchman Marathon

Lost Dutchman is a fun race with lots of little things to make it interesting. That's why Runners World named it one of the Best Little Marathons, or something like that.
We got bussed out into the desert, under the weird rock formations at the base of the Superstition Mountains, where we warmed ourselves sitting around presto logs, waiting for the start.
The main difference between this start and Pemberton was that I had dreams of running well on Saturday. Sunday morning, those illusions were gone. I knew I just had to keep making forward progress, so that was my only goal.
And that turned out to be remarkably easy, if painful.
I wore my Marathon Maniacs shirt, which I hardly ever do, simply because I have so many other commitments and affiliations. But it's always good to get cheers from fellow Maniacs and comments from other marathoners when I do wear the yellow singlet. It was a good choice for a race that was going to take a long time and require a lot of encouragement.
Of course, as is usually the case, we saw a lot of the same people over and over again all day, and we made some new friends. Melissa was happy to tell anyone who would listen that we had run 50K the day before, and many people became fans.

There were no blood sugar issues either day. I checked three times during the 50K, and I was always above 120 and below 170. I went totally by feel through the marathon (by feel and experience) and was at 91 after the finish.


Mike Fraser said...


jpnairn said...

Thanks, Mike.
There are lots of long races in the Valley of the Sun during the winter because it's just too hot to have them for most of the year.
Our races thin out in the summer.
I did a quick look in for running events in Tennessee, and they don't seem all that rare.
Where are you looking for them?

denise said...

I'm terribly jealous with ur bloodsugar control! I have alot to learn from all of my new Triabetic friends! :-)

jpnairn said...

Sometimes the magic works, and sometimes it doesn't.