Week two [and a funny thing happened on the way to the finish line]

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Week two went something like this:

Monday- rest
Tuesday- 8 miles and 10 x 100
Wednesday- 11 miles (longest treadmill distance ever.. who am I?!)
Thursday- 6 miles recovery run
Friday- rest
Saturday- 18 miles- 4 mile warm up, 10k at marathon pace, plus 8 miles all on the Noland Trail!
Sunday- 10 (painful) miles with my dog Bella, followed by lots of naps on couch (for both of us)

Saturday was a lot of fun. The Noland Trail was pretty tough, although it was much wider than the trails I ran in Richmond a few weeks ago (so plenty of room to pass). It is very hilly and there are tons of “steps” which was the toughest part for me.

Evil steps. This hill was much bigger in person.

Getting back to the race itself (and the funny story). Trail races are a funny crowd. I was too busy to notice what was going on with the race until it started because we were a little late arriving and I had 4 miles to run before the race. It was very peaceful on the trail for my warm up and I felt really good running about 7:30- 7:45 pace. Pete met me back by the starting line with my Oiselle jersey and I took my place near the front. When the gun went off, I did my best to run close to 7:00 by staying relaxed, but I ended up coming through the first mile in 6:26. I should have just slowed down after that, but I was feeling good and was not breathing hard at all. I told myself to keep it under control and make sure I didn’t go much faster than my lactate threshold. Overall, I average 6:55 per mile for a total time of 43:00, but the course was not certified and there were no mile markers after the first mile… I really didn’t care as long as the effort was there and I was more concerned with getting in the rest of my run afterward.

No mile markers, just dirt and trees. It was a nice change from road races.

The best and worst part of the race was this idiot guy that was running near me for most of the race. He kept flying down the steepest hills and sprinting up the steepest hills like a rookie high school cross country runner. I guess my perspective was different than usual since it wasn’t actually a race effort, but it was like he had never run before. Eventually he wore out… or so I thought. About half a mile before the finish I heard this ridiculous heavy breathing and footsteps behind me. About 200 meters from the finish he blows past me flailing his arms and sounding like he was about to die. I have never in my life heard something like this, and there is no way to describe it. I guess you had to be there. I completely lost it and laughed out loud at the guy.

Trying to hold it together in the midst of ridiculousness (pretty much the story of my life). It is not easy to run while laughing.

Immediately after the finish I changed my sweat-soaked shirt and finished my long run. Pete agreed to run the last 8 miles with me, and although it started off well I felt bad because I could barely manage 8:30 pace in the last 4 miles. I kept my cursing to a minimum though, since there were lots of families out for nature hikes who probably didn’t care how many miles I had left.

Panoramic view of the ocean in Newport News after the race and long run.

After some amazing food, we rested up and went out for the evening with friends. I was pretty sore on Sunday but no major problems to report. Definitely nothing like the soreness I experienced after the Richmond trail race (where I could barely walk for a week). Two weeks down, six weeks (well, five and a half) to go until the marathon!

Do you have any crazy finish line stories? Ever tried using a race as a workout?

2 thoughts on “Week two [and a funny thing happened on the way to the finish line]

  1. That course looks beautiful! I know what you mean about the hills looking bigger in person. I ran a race with a huge hill in the first 1/4 mile and I took a picture and it looked almost flat! How are we supposed to brag if the camera doesn’t capture it the way it looks?! đŸ˜‰
    Great work on getting your long run done with the fast stuff in the middle!

    • Yeah it wasn’t super fast but it felt fast! I’m still a trail rookie. I really like trail races though, they make me homesick for NY where there are tons of trails. That’s all we did in high school, run around in the woods and up huge mountains.

      Pictures never seem to capture the moment accurately, you’re right. I guess we’ll have to invest in a 3D camera? Does that even exist?

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