Friday, April 28, 2017

A Masters Victory and a Miwok Mission

Start of the TARC Spring Classic
(I think the red arrow is me....)

OK...time for a quick shorty post here. The Spring academic semester is winding down and I've successfully survived teaching my first full course to a room of wide-eyed undergrads. I think the experience has been sobering and certainly makes me have a much greater respect for people that develop multiple courses at once.

Here's what I wrote earlier online about my experience:

"Survived my last Paleoclimatology lecture today. It's been a fun and challenging semester, but overall I'm very glad with the way things turned out. Thank you BU Earth and Environment Dept. for giving me the opportunity to teach the course and hopefully pass along some knowledge to a few young minds. Thank you also to Dave and Erich at Dartmouth for hosting my students for the day in the ice core lab. It has all been a humbling experience and one I am very grateful to have been given. In the wise words of my graduate school advisor, "Onward!"

So on to running/racing stuff.  

This past weekend I tested out my racing legs yet again by participating in the TARC Spring Classic. Normally I would have opted for the 50k distance along this course, but because of Miwok just two short weeks after, I opted for the Trail Marathon version.  The course features a 6.5 mile loop, so the marathon was simply 4 loops, while the 50k was 5. Admittedly, the marathon field was much less full as most chose for the 50k option, but still I was quite thrilled with the result. My only goal was to have a consistent run. In other words, I didn't want to have one of my usual races where I look at the pace data later, only to see that the final 25% of the race I dropped off significantly. I wanted to see a relatively flat line across the board.

I knew this would mean going out at what would feel like a very slow pace, but this race was just meant to be a fun prep what better place to experiment.

What can I say other than things went exactly as I'd hoped (See below)
While I did slow down a small amount on the fourth (and final) loop, it was not as much as usual, and my splits were really consistent. I ran exactly as I was hoping, and only stopped one time between loops 3 and loops 4 to restock my hand-helds. I never walked for more than a few steps for the entire race and managed to average a sub-9 min/mile pace for the entire event. I was pleased with this pace for a trail marathon for sure.

When I crossed the line, I found out moments later that I had actually placed 3rd overall in the Marathon...but more importantly, I was 1st master runner!  This is my first Master's victory now that I've cross the magical 40-yr line. I'll take it! My finish time was right around 3hrs 55mins, or about 8:53 per mile.

The best part of the event is that it was so close to my place outside of Boston (about 7 miles), that I actually biked to and from the start line. Needless to say the bike ride home was a little more uncomfortable than the ride there.

A fairly consistent pace, with a single 2-minute break after loop 3

So now we come to next weekend. My taper is slowing down as I prepare for my first "big" race of 2017: The Miwok 100K. I'm super excited for this race. Every picture I see of this course just looks magical and I absolutely cannot wait to run along it. I think of Rocky Horror Picture Show. I am shivering with anticip..........ation!  I honestly don't even care how I do the course just looks so damn lovely.

I suppose I'd at least like to get a new WS qualifier out of it, but really, I just want to take in the wonderful ocean-side air, and roll along some grassy mountaintop trails.  Mmmmm....I already have goosebumps thinking about it. I mean seriously....just look at this....

Along the Miwok 100k Course (credit: Runners World)

(credit: Don Lundell)

(credit: Irving Bennett)

So I just looked it up, and I would need a 15:30 finish (or faster) to qualify for WS next year.  Cool.

...Oh and I almost forgot. The running streak is still going. 120 days and counting....

1 comment:

ScottyD said...

Congrats on your 1st Masters win, I'm sure there will be more. I always say the best thing I ever did for my racing was turn 40.