Sunday, July 31, 2011

Headlands Marathon splits

my headlands marathon splits (all times are from when I leave the aid station)

Rodeo Beach to Tennessee Valley 5.4 mile 1:18 14.4 min/mile
Tennessee Valley to Muir Beach 4.1 58 14.1
Muir Beach to Tennessee Valley 3.8 1:01 16
Tennessee Valley to Golden Gate 1:11 5 14.2
Golden Gate to Rodeo Beach 1:18 8 9.75

Wow. talk about negative splits!! 2:29 for the second half, 3:15 for the first half! I don't think vie ever been happy about my time from Rodeo to Tv over Hill88--something about that hill cramps me, and the best I he for is survival. Coach Ken loooves it and keeps talk in about a Hill 88 88 repeat race. The middle TV hill is also tough. Coyote ridge was resurfaced about. 2 years ago and now is at best rutted and uneven and at worse a clay mud morass. I'm not sure the last segment is 8 miles-- but I was running solidly and passing.

Last night I worked on my pace chart for Headlands 100...
6:20 for first loop
6:40 for second
8:15 for the night loop
8:45 for final 25

It seems very doable to me--I'm budgeting 19 minute miles over the night. The y factor is aid stations--I'm only budgeting 5-10 minutes too each. No major stops, just changing clothes for the night and ahovelling in soup and cals.


NyTimes article about Glacier National Park http// me want to go back again.

Night Loop

I wanted to get in a night loop on the Tennesse Valley > Muir Beach > Tennessee Valley section of Headlands 100. By my pace sheet calculation, I'll run this 7.9 loop from ~9:30 PM to midnight--aka, DARK. I pulled into TV around 10:15 and started running down TV road. The beginning was okay, but then I increasingly began to scare myself into a tizzy.

What if there was a new Hillside Strangler out there? Every squeek sounded ominous. I turned off my light, and the dark was near absolute. As I began the climb up Coastal Fire Road I tried to reassure myself that I would see anyone approaching me...unless they were wearing night vision goggles like in Silence of the Lambs (cue screetchy scary music). I went from telling myself I'd cut the out and back down Muir Beach, to turning on Fox and cutting the loop down to 3 miles. As I got closer to the car, I pulled out the key and had my phone on 9-1, ready to push the last 1.

As this blog post is proof of, absolutely nothing happened to me besides my own stress. It was beautiful to be up above the city, looking at the lights spread out, but I was too nervous to enjoy it. I run quite often in the city after dark. I've run in the dark by myself above SCA. I've hiked hundreds of miles by myself (some in the dark). Just something about today freaked the bejabbers out of me, and I'm glad to be back home.

I wore my "One" shell jacket, wool socks, fleece hat, gloves, and Sugoi tights. Got hot almost immediately, took off gloves. Also took off hat and unzipped jacket. I was just debating whether I should take my jacket at all on the night loop, when I got higher and the wind picked up. Yep, I should take a jacket. And a pacer. My headlamp held up fine, and I experimented with using my handheld.

My split chart is in draft form. Right now it shows a 30:12 finish, which would be fine by me. Thank god it's not Hardrock with two nights!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Headlands Marathon

I got lots of sleep prior two nights and ate well day before Headlands Marathon ( ( breakfast sandwich, Delfina broccoli raab, Chow summer pasta).
Ken & Mrs Coach Ken gave me ride, so plenty of time to pick up bib, take a few pre race snaps.
Ken trash talked in the car that even with me running an extra 1.2 at the beginning to make the 25 mile loop into the marathon, and him running the 50, he would beat me. NO WAY.

Started off down road at relaxed pace, right around the middle of the pace. Right when we got back to the parking lot, my right knee started painfully pulling where the tendon attached to the knee. It was so bad I even debated quitting. I tried to walk it off. It was a foggy moist day so I didn't have a good sense of the field, but as I walked up Hill 88, everyone passed me. Two blond guys with Texas race shirts visiting, who said "we hope to see some views". And when I thought everyone had passed, the last few people passed and I was truly alone in my pain.

After emerging from a battery, saw two runners coming towards me. "Are you lost" I asked. "No, we're waiting for you cause you're last". I felt doubly bad--they were waiting for me, and I wouldn't wait for them later. "I like being last, don't wait for me". Once more at the top they waited again, and I urged them not to wait.

Passed them both on Wolf Ridge, then picked off one more runner coming into Tennessee Valley aid station. Karen was there, along with Carol and Larry, PCTR stalwarts. I emptied pebbles out of my socks before starting the Pirates Cove loop.

My leg felt a little better, but still no oomph. Two bikers passed me up Coastal Trail with jerseys that said "Flour + Water", "Pizzeria Delfina". As I passed them at the top, I said "your outfits make me hungry, all the great restaurants!"

Slow descent through Pirates Coves, with a couple stops to adjust my shoelaces. It wasn't raining, but it was very moist and my shoes kept moving around. In the fireroad into Muir Beach I could see the people ahead of me coming back up. No sign of Ken or Mike Weston--they must have at least 20 minutes on me.

Coyote Ridge was a thick clay mud. When I tried to jog, my feet felt ilke they were five pounds heavier than usual. A half inch of mud was caked on. At the top, I knew that I'd done 3 of the 5 big climbs (hill 88, Pirates Cove, and Coyote Ridge) and started a brisk descent back to TV.

Walk up Marincello, and then I was in the hunt. ~12 miles left to go, and I felt good. I wished I had more Scoobies, but otherwise all systems were positive. On SCA I started to let myself go. I started passing people. Even with streams of runners coming back, I still wanted to go faster. Soared past some runners on the paved road to the Golden Gate Aid Station. And best of all, right as I was coming in, Coach Ken was leaving. The station was out of Coke and pretzels, so after filling my pack, I was quickly out.

And now the Mr. Jeckell side of me came out. Somehow, at the beginning of the race I'm pretty "ok" with being DFL. It gives me a feeling of control and power to know that I can only pass people. In the late stages of the race, I want to BEAT BEAT BEAT the people in front of me.

Going up SCA, I unexpectedly see Greg!!!! coming down! YAY!!! No time to chat much except "I've got to beat Ken and Chuck Wilson who are just ahead"! I pass Chuck Wilson (yay, I'm faster than a 62 year old running 50 miles) and Ken (who's slowed down). Then I just want to get faster. and faster.

Greg rabbits me down Rodeo Valley Lagoon, then turns off to get his car and meet me at the finish. I yield the track for a runner going up, then twist my ankle on a grass pot hole. OWWWW!!! I can still trot along though. Keep going…keep going…just like I have in training runs. I pass more people, but barring an exorcist like spin of my head, there's no way to see if they're 50 miles or marathoners. Then Greg passes me in the car, and then the FINISH!!!!

I thought I would break 6 hours. When I was feeling good pre race, I'd hoped to break 5 hours which would help me qualify for future races. When my leg was feeling bad, I let go of all time expectations and decided I was just previewing the Headlands 100 course. So I was pleased with a 5:48 trail marathon finish. The weather was cool and moist, which was good (never got too hot or thirst) and bad (trail slick and muddy).

Should have done different:
Wanted more Scoobie snacks
hat? I was cold in some middle sections
Snapped at Greg when he blocked trail--felt bad immediately.

Did well:
Kept going even through bad patches
Thanked Aid station volunteers for volunteering
Said "Good job" to other runners when passing or crossing paths
Helped out of towners with race tips like "It's all downhill to the bridge (except for a few rollers)
Helped Ken refill his bottles at the 25 mile turnaround, on his way to a PR

Do I feel ready for Headlands 100? Yes! and no. I don't think one can ever feel "ready" for 100 miles. I know the course well. If I keep moving, I can stay ahead of the cutoffs. Taking off 12 minutes for the extra 1.2 miles, I did 5:35 for 25 miles, or 12:40 pace. I never felt like I was pushing super hard. If I do my first loop in 6, my second in 6:30, and my third in 8, I'll have 75 miles in 22 hours--jut in time for one more loop as the sun rises.

To get for HH:
Starbucks Frappucinos (multiple)
extra hat and gloves for each drop bag
Change of socks, shirt, shorts, shoes in case foggy wet.