Sunday, April 26, 2009

Bear Tracks

Where to start, this morning I ran the Bear Trax 20K at Lapham Peak State Park. It was an inaugural event in memory of Nancy Sellars, an avid endurance athlete who was killed last year by a drunk driver.

Apparently Nancy liked to run on trails, really really hilly trails. And if you're not aware, it's been raining here for pretty much the last two days straight, including this morning leading up to the race. So on top of an insanely hilly course, we got to deal with mud and standing water wherever there happened to be a low spot. And there were a lot of them.

To help illustrate how tough the course was, my mile splits are posted below. I've never been accused of being able to run a consistent pace, but given a reasonable course, even I can do better than this.

Mile 1 - 9:42
Mile 2 - 9:27
Mile 3 - 10:20
Mile 4 - 10:42
Mile 5 - 9:08
Mile 6 - 10:21
Mile 7 - 11:29
Mile 8 - 9:08
Mile 9 - 9:25
Mile 10 - 12:29
Mile 11 - 10:38
Mile 12 - 10:32

The mud made going downhill almost as hard as going up. Less than two miles in I took a spill going down a hill. Not really sure how it happened, but my lower right leg took the brunt of it. Post race investigation only yielded a small scrape and a couple scratches, but I did feel some soreness for the rest of the race.

This would be the leg I fell on, I can only imagine that my ankle is clean because of the depth of the standing water we repeatedly ran through.
As for my race, it was hard but enjoyable. I didn't go in with any real goals, but I did hope to break 2-hours. I hit the 10-k mark at exactly 1-hour and based on how I felt and the hills I knew to be in front of me, 2-hours wasn't going to happen. Ended up coming in at 2:03:14, 21/24 in age group, 72/111 in the male group, and 90/187 overall. Good enough.
On my way into the finish line there was one last big puddle. Inspired by KT, I jumped in it. Both feet, big stomp. What I wasn't expecting was the amount of water that came straight up.

As challenging as it was, the course was really nice. Around the midway point two very confused looking deer wandered to within about 50-yards of the trail and just stood there while we ran by. To top it off the race was incredibly well organized and run, definitely didn't feel at all like an inaugural event.
One last photo, my old running shoes, what used to be white socks, and a couple of dirty feet. It may just be the last hurrah for those shoes.

I actually feel pretty good right now, not really looking forward to the day after.


Tasha said...

Thanks...he's a handful! I think you got a puppy recently too? Puppy+IM training = not such a smart owner??

Way to go on the 20k, sounds like it would have been fun!

Nick said...

Nice job!

Jimi said...

Dear Robert
I just read your blog on the Beartrax 20K this morning as I was working on the website. I was happy to see you took it all in stride inspite of the conditions.
Congratulations on being an Ironman. I still remember my first one and will never forget it.
I am going to change the website and make the Beartrax a separate site. Would you mind if I used your story on the website?
Keep doing what you can while you can.

Jimi Sellars