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Monday, March 14, 2011

A New Beginning

Well its been almost two years since my last post here, but I figured its about time to start afresh. I enjoy doing this, but finding the time is always an issue. Hopefully I can make the time as it is a good tool for looking over past events and figuring out where I went wrong or in some cases went right.
So where to begin? I'll go back to last year as it was essentially the nail in the coffin to all my troubles. I started by signing up for multiple races, including my first 100 miler; Burning River in Cleveland, and then peer pressure got signed up for a few more, seven ultras or marathons in 6 months and I was done for the year and then some. Still not completely back to "normal".
It started with the Surf City Marathon in Huntington Beach, California on February 7. What started as a small group of Barrie RoadRunners turned into a crowd and I didn't really enjoy the "crowd". The area was nice and the place we stayed was nice and the race was good. I finished with a very respectable 3:23 and finished very strongly, no signs of apins or such.

Next was a back to back weekend, National Marathon in DC followed the next day by the Shamrock marathon in Virginia Beach. I had done a back to back to back before and actually ran this one well too, but the ride back was a nightmare.
Drove to DC and on a toughish course ran 3:32 (maybe a little quick for the first of a B2B). Another drive to Virginai Beach and Sunday morning we were lined up for Shamrock.
Again I surprised myself in finishing very strong and a 3:38 time.
In April it was off to Dearborn, Michigan for the Martian marathon.
A good event, but unlike the last couple of races I struggled near the end. Finished in 3:14, best time of the year and 1st in my age category. But the pain was there in this race.
I kept telling myself that all of the running/racing would be good for the 100 miler.
Next would be a short drive to Pickering for my first ultra of the year at the Seatn Trail races and I was entered in the 50k or as it turned out 56k. I had done this race 2 years earlier and came 3rd overall. This race would be a little different on the first out and back not 12k in I pulled my calf muscle and thought I was done, I walked it out and limped for quite an while and then ran, wlaked the rest of the way. THough I might quit at half way, but stubborn me continued on. I finished in 5:57, 30 minutes slower than the previous time. Not bad considering. But another injury to deal with.
Pick Your Poison 50k at nearby Horseshoe went well considering. The weather wasn't much better than the year before on I slightly different less muddy course and I finished in 5:15, 9th overall. I came through that one relatively unscathed. The trails make a huge difference.
Next was a half marathon in St. Catharines, the 12 Mile Creek Trail half. Again a good event and not easy. A massive hill at about 11 miles is a killer, I finihsed 13th overall in 1:41, 4th in my age.
Next was the one that really did me in. The Niagara Ultra. I had done this two years ago and struggled the last 10k, this time I struggled from the half way point with bad ahmstring and glute problems that would reoccur through out the remaining races of the year. Probably running on pavement the whole way was apart of the problem. Finished in 4:59 (44 minutes slower than the last time). But this race also featured as Rogers 50th marathon, so "there was much celebrating".
I was just over a month away from doing Burning River, but in the back of my mind I knew I was in trouble, I was having trouble doing 10k training runs, never mind 100 miles. I had a great night time run with a group of friends from Barrie to Orillia and back at the beginning of the month, but it just wasn't going to happen this year and a week before the race I made the decision to back out and let the race director know. From that point on it was try to get better and rehabilitate. I went to Burning River anyway and volunteered at the race sign in and took in the start, on eof the aid stations and the finish to get in the atmosphere. It just made me want to do it all the more. When race registration opened up again I was the third person signed up.
The racing season may have been shot, but it didn't mean I was done doing races. At the start of the year I had signed up for the Lochness and Munich marathons and booekd flights etc. so that were going to happen regardless.
Both races were personal worsts time wise, but the experiences of running two ammazingly beautiful races was second to none. Lochness was 4:12 and Munich 4:23.
Note: I was not nearly trained for either race. I finished the year doing another race that I wouldn't have done if I'd known I would have been injured. A group of us went to Charlotte, NC to do the Thunder Road Marathon and I made the wise choice to change my race to the half marathon and had a decent 1:41 time on a tough course. I struggled a bit, but felt better than I had in a long time.
2011 and the first event of the year is in the books. The Green Jewel 50k in Cleveland, out on by the same folks that do Burning River. On a miserable day (lots of rain and head winds) finished in 4:48 on a tough course.

Hopefully I've learned from last years mistakes and will have a more successfull year to come.

More to come, stay tuned.

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