Thursday, March 26, 2009

Post Race Recovery Part II

Went for my first post-surgery run today. Two weeks from today since the surgery. Two miles. The wind's there but not the will.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Post Race Recovery

This is the absolutely worst post-race recovery I've ever had. I scheduled what might be running-related surgery for the Wednesday after the race and that surgery was completed Wednesday after over one hour in the operating room. I won't go into the gross details.

I've been off my feet for 48 hours now; looks like it is going to be a while before I run again.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Old Pueblo 50 Mile -- Tucson March 7, 2009

March 7, 2009 I completed the Old Pueblo 50 Mile run in Tucson, Arizona, with a time of 10:45:47, or 48th place.
This would be my seventh ultrathon, not counting pacing duties.

The weather was perfect. We had a start in the 40s and it never got above 70 degrees in the desert flats.

We started in the dark. I had to buy a flashlight the night before, incorrectly thinking I could get away with a dark start. There were lots of runners. I blew past the first aid at Granite Mountain, about 3 miles, without stopping.

The ascent up to Gunsight Pass was lots of fun. I am glad to say that I ran most of it. The greatest part of the course was the downhill from Gunsight Pass to the desert floor – a long descent and very technical. I worried the whole way about twisting my ankle but I survived well. I had a fast runner on my tail who could never catch up to me until we got to the flats, and about 2 miles into the flats he caught up and complimented me on my descent. As he was pulling ahead, three large dogs came out of the desert and contemplated approaching us. My companion actually ducked behind me and I held my bottle out for defense. We ran past them quickly. We pulled into the aid station at 19 miles, Helvetia, and away he went.



[See one of the dogs in the background; I am just coming off of Gunsight Pass.]

I like to run these ultrathons without keeping track of the mileage so that I can get mentally into finishing, and at the Box Canyon aid station I was pleasantly surprised to hear that I was at the 25 mile mark. I had a pretty good time of about 4 ½ hours.

The ascent up Box Canyon was tough. I was passed by runners as I walked, but I proceeded to pass them all later.

The last ten miles were delightful. Rolling trails, grassy fields, beautiful views. As I pulled in to the last aid station for the final four miles I was feeling terrific; no injuries, no blisters, feet not all that tired.



[Rolling into mile 46.]

I ripped past a few more runners. A fellow older than I am in a green shirt (see the photo; he's behind me) passed me at the last aid station and that was all she wrote of that. In the last three miles I came within 100 feet of the runner who would eventually be right ahead of me, but he pulled ahead several hundred yards with a strong finish. I came in around 10:40 (to be corrected when I get the exact time).

Many thanks to my brother Davy for motivating me to do it and ignoring all my excuses not to do it. Especial thanks to Davy's friend Dave, from Gilbert, with whom I kept exchanging places (and pleasant conversation) for over 30 miles until I finally pulled it out in the end.

I spent another hour with my brother at the end. It was getting cold.

I thank the race directors, Lynda Hendricks and Steve Burton. This is one of the finest 50s.