Well, tonight I am sore, and my knees are not happy. I suppose that is what ibuprofen is for. In any case, I suppose I should share the events that led up to the sore muscles. Coming from a brevet/ultra cycling background I know a little something about feeding over a multi hour event. Energy was not a problem until the last mile or so but I figured that would be the case. Waking up Saturday morning before 5 AM I thought that I really had not prepared enough for this but it was too late now. It seems before brevets and so forth I go through a big routine to get everything ready. It felt kind of strange to get the shoes on, a shirt and shorts and head out the door. I had been sick most of the week so I wasn't too sure on how good I was going to run. Not that I am any speed demon anyway. I determined to take it easy at the start and enjoy the first few laps.
At the registration table I was pleased to find that not only was the t-shirt a synthetic sports type shirt, we got a running cap too (the kind that keeps your head cool). So, I took my shirt and cap back to the car where I tossed my cheapy hat with the first marathon symbol on it (I always felt like such a poseur wearing since I haven't actually ran a marathon yet but hey, a $3 cap is a good deal) and put on my knew supercool Mad Dog cap.
After walking around a bit to warm up we got started and I watched pretty much everyone head off into the predawn hours of the morning ahead. I determined to take it slow as 1- this was a training run for me (yeah right, I am a little sorer than I usually am after a training run) and 2 if brevets had taught me anything was it is better to start to slow than blow it in the first part of the race. So, doing a nice little jog down the sidewalk I went. Most of the people around me were older types but there were a few that were younger than me. I figured since I am not fast enough to slow down to anyones pace (I'd be walking if I did) I would take my mp3 player and have my own electronic running companion with me. The first lap I really enjoyed as I had determined to smell the roses so to speak and of course, I completed the first lap having been passed by a group of people with a guy wearing an Iron man shirt in it (I really respect those guys the more I run and swim). I would stay a minute or two back from them the rest of the race. I ended up running the first 5k in 38 minutes, which is slow even for me but it was my warm up lap I figured. It turned out to be my slowest lap interestingly enough. We basically went down by the lake heading south alongside a golf course toward Tempe Town Lake (all the parks were in indian bend wash) to a turnaround 1.1 miles out and then came back and ran around a few lakes before heading back to the start/finish line to start the next lap. The lakes and ducks were a nice distraction and made the morning downright pleasant for running (the fact the temperatures were colder was nice too).
On the second lap I started to notice that light colored shorts were a bad idea even in running circles as they led to goofy sweat patterns on the backside which black shorts would not show. For some reason it just seemed to be ladies that wore those light colored shorts. I guess they never get a chance to look at their backsides. It is funny I mention seeing the backends of people as a lot of people passed me when we got far enough into the race that they lapped me (some of those guys are fast but then again some of those guys are a lot lighter than me and have only developed muscles for running and not cycling and swimming as well). Anyway, I kept laps 2-5 at 35 minutes with lap 3 coming in at 34 and change.
This is the just started, my what a beautiful morning me.
Somewhere around lap 4 I started to notice mr. black nipples. I thought to myself about how he must have forgotten to put on anti-chaffing creme (a staple for us randonneurs) as he obviously was suffering from bleeding nipples (I hurt even thinking about it). When I saw him beginning lap 5 I still thought how he must have forgotten something when I started noticing that mine were starting to hurt a bit too. Fortunately I did not become a mr. bleeding nipples though, I just chaffed a bit.from laps 3-4 I started passing people and held onto it for lap 5. At the finish line I found out the lady I had last passed was 64 and was still running marathons each year (yes, that is plural). She had only thought this was going to be a 20k race and not 25 so that is pretty much why I passed her. I hope I am still that active at that age.
I'm smiling, but am I really smiling?
The Road Racermobile. We need to get one of these for Susan to run Brevets :) (although I can't really picture her driving one of these things around :) .
Getting a drink at the fountain just before the aid station a bunch of dogs in the dog play area started barking at me and of course being a cyclist my first thought was something about dumb dogs. My second thought (probably brought on by some sort of figment of exhaustion) was that they were saying Woof woof "Good Job! Only one lap left! get out there" which was encouraging so I thought better of the dogs and ran through the start line to start my last lap (then again, perhaps one of these was the "Mad Dog" for whom the race had been named?). I had started to get tired during the last section before the dogs and had told myself I would not walk until the last lap and then only the hills. I kept pretty close to that actually. I walked 2 and half hills and ran the rest of the way. I have to say I was hurting the last mile or so but I suppose that is to be expected. Ever since seeing the clock at the start reading 2:22 I had resolved to finish before 3 hours so I probably pushed the last lap a little harder than I had originally intended so I suppose that is why I am sore but I did finish at 2:58 minutes though so I suppose it was worth it.
After the finish I chugged gatorade and water and went over to get a hamburger and goodies over at the ramada (gotta love events with a full barbeque at the end, Arizona Road Racers is an A Class racing organization that keeps the entry fees absurdly low somehow without skimping on the benefits). It was here that I picked up my finishers medal, a jar of Mad Dog barbeque sauce. A pretty tasty reward for running almost 16 miles. I finished 48th out of 54 people, not counting those 9 hardy(psychotic) souls who selected the 50k option.