Tuesday, August 12, 2008

A Weekend of (not) Racing & the Longest Run Ever

Been a wild and wacky few days since I last checked in, so here's an update.

I took Friday off from running, and on Saturday ran an easy 3 or so to finish the week with 24.5 miles of running. Add the 19.9 miles on the AT, and I call that a solid week. The chaos then began. I finished running just after 7:00am on Saturday morning (that's not a typo) and went into full-on, big time event mode. The biggest event of the summer for Great Glen Trails was Saturday and Sunday: the 24 Hours of Great Glen—a 24-hour mountain bike race. In short, this is the coolest event we do. For the most part, it draws a great group of riders, which makes it 100x more fun for us organizer types. What made it even more fun was that it didn't rain a drop during the event. It rained just before and just after, but not during. My duties consisted of getting photos and videos and the like on Saturday during the day. Here's the first of the videos I put together...more on the way.

As you can see, it was crazy muddy. Anyway, as the day went on, I took a dinner break and then headed down to help with timing and the like. I also got some (hopefully) cool night shots. I headed for bed at 12:30am and was back at the timing table by 3:30am. And, in fact, I stayed there until the event ended at 1:15. The point of all this? I got about 2.5 hours sleep, then drove home arriving at about 10:00. Yup, that's a long weekend. Event went great, though. If there was a running version of this event, I'd sign up in a second.

The real bummer of the weekend was that I missed the Bradbury Breaker. I really wish I had been able to do this race. D carried the Team Snowplug flag and rocked the house. So, I didn't do any racing, but I got to watch a lot and hear about a lot. Oh well.

Mellow day yesterday, and I also took today off. So, why not do a long run? In fact, I did the longest run ever, well, for me anyway. In college, one of the big deals was to run from campus to L.L. Bean and back. I never did it. I was never quite healthy enough to pull it off. (There's a surprise.) Today, I finally did it. I started at the Bowdoin field house and ran to L.L. Bean in Freeport, then turned around and ran back. It's 18 miles.

This was hard. It's pretty hilly. In fact, it's quite hilly. But at the same time, it was uneventful. I almost ran into a number of tourons as I ran through downtown Freeport, but that was about as exciting as it got. Speaking of running through Freeport, I did see Stephen out running with someone, but I didn't fully realize it was him until a few seconds later.

I had three goals for this run 1.) Finish (after all, I'd never run this far before.), 2.) Run the last three miles respectably/at a slightly faster pace, and 3.) Hold a 9:20 pace. I nailed all three. I finished. In fact, if need be, I know I could have run a few more miles. I felt comfortable and pretty strong at 15 miles, and did manage to pick it up a pace. Although, this was harder than I had planned, because I was well ahead of goal #3. Admittedly, I was nervous before this run, and it showed in the first mile: 8:25. Oops. But when all was said and done: 2:39:18 for a pace of 8:51. I really happy with this. For that marathon that works out to 3:51. I'd be pretty happy with that. Perhaps, I could go faster. We'll see.

After the run, I spent some quality couch time eating and watching the Olympics. (Judo on the Canadian channel in French is fascinating.) I had a slight owie in my left knee, but I know exactly what's going on. It's caused my some tightness in my quad. Ibuprofen and stretching will take care of that. So, overall, the longest run ever was a success. I'm going to definitely get in a 20-miler before the marathon, and I'm hopeful I'll be able to get in a 22. They say the marathon starts at 20, so if I can do a run that goes an extra 2 miles, I think I'll have a good mental edge.

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