Thursday, May 6, 2010

Greenland 25km Race Report

Here I am.  You all probably thought I disappeared!  I owe you all a post or two on Savannah!  But first, how about a little about running...

This morning was an awesome 4.5 mile run around Wash Park.  It was unremarkable for its distance and pace, but it felt great...and made me think about some future running goals and that they are well within my reach, even if I thought them once impossible.  Maybe it was magical because I hadn't run since Saturday and I missed it so much!

On Saturday, I lined up to run my first 25km race at the Greenland Open Space.  That's me right before the race, all clueless and happy.  The Greenland Race offers a max of 550 runners three options 8 miles, 25km or 50km.  Last year I did the 8 mile race and this year, I had my sights on the 25km.  One of the members of my pace group was volunteering at the race and snapped my photo on her ipod at the start!  Greenland Open Space is beautiful...

And Pike's Peak is the backdrop!

All week long I was worried about the weather and course conditions.  A week prior, the open space had a foot of snow and rain was predicted throughout the week leading I expected a muddy course with perhaps some snow.  Plus, the weather was predicted to be cloudy, chance of snow/rain mix, and temps between 24 - 43 degrees.  This is a course that is also known for its wind.  Fun, right? 

Thankfully it was 30 degrees at the start and the winds seems non-existent.  And the sun?  The sun was out in all its glory.  Absolutely perfect weather conditions for a great race.  At 8:00am sharp we took off.  I had three goals: 1) have fun; 2) maintain a faster pace than last year; and 3) don't wimp out and only complete one lap (one lap = 8 mile; 2 laps = 25km; and 4 laps = 50km). 

First lap was great.  I was faster than last year, having fun, and I didn't wimp out and end my race at 8 miles!  The first lap course was in OK condition.  Some mud, melting snow, tiny streams of water, snow, and ice.  The same person from my pace group who snapped my photo at the start at the aid station where you turn around for the next loop, and it was nice to see a friendly face. 

The second lap is when the wheels came off of this bus.  My mind was in it and my legs were not.  I really struggled finding enough power to make my mantra (which I adopted from my Coach) come true, "Unrelenting Forward Motion."  After mile 10, my body was done.  Things had warmed up a little and the course was far more muddy than it was the first lap.  Even though I was "done,"  I had 5 miles to go, which then become a slow and uncomfortable march.  Even so, I enjoyed being out on the trail, enouraging the strong runners who lapped me and who offered encouragement right back to me.  A few fellow runners on the course said, keep smiling, you'll get to the finish.  I had a fun time, even if my body wasn't ready for it.  And this is most important.  It has taken many races for me to have fun.  This is a gift.  Life is too short to do something you don't enjoy.  I love running and I wanted that for racing.  Finally, I feel like that happened.  I also think the small race and the fact that it was a trail race also made the difference.

But what happened?  In retrospect, I was not ready to take on the 25km.  I've been inconsistent with my training runs, especially during the week.  And since the marathon, I've only felt good for around 8 to 10 miles in my long runs.  In the past month, I have not consistently gotten 7 hours of sleep each evening.  And I have not paying too much attention to my diet.  So what does the race mean to me?  It is a sign that I need to get back to what has worked for me in the past.  Good sleep.  Good nutrition.  Consistent training - both running and strength training. 

Garmin showed the race distance 15.67 miles.  And I think there was 1600 feet of elevation climb.  Hard but fun work.  Official race results are incorrect- by about 16 minutes too slow, but the race director said he would correct that.  That's never happened to me - wanting to change the race results.

Thanks to all the Greenland volunteers.  They are there for a long time and do a great job at cheering folks on.

This weekend, I'll fill you in on my trip to Savannah...Have a great day!


1 comment:

  1. gorgeous pictures! great work Laura!!! Congrats!