Sunday, October 3, 2010

Run for the Toad 50K

Not sure how I managed to plan this but I just completed my second Marathon of the Week, Run for the Toad 50K. I wasn't sure what to expect after Sundays 3:29:09 STWM. I was feeling quite recovered and was really thinking that I may be able to beat last years Toad time of 5:28:42. The weather started off pretty good. Driving down the 401 the Cedar Rd Exit was marked by a Rainbow, it was like I was going to find a pot of golf at my exit. Little did I know it would be the last time I would see the sun that day. Picked up my race kit and some Gels at he expo and one last Tim Horton Coffee.

Did my first 12.5 loop in 1:18 , pretty much where I wanted to be. There was allot of traffic with 1300+ runners on the trail but it was strangely quiet! The OUS races are usually petty social , the Toad was more like a shorter Road Race. I was over dressed for the 8C weather , had my Saugeen Singlet over my long sleeve Tech T.... stopped at 5K and stripped down to the long sleeve shirt and hung the Singlet on my belt! Started on the Gels at 8K and then again at 12K ..the formula worked pretty well at STWM so I figured it may be the ticket to success today. Second loop was a little slower 1:21 , still OK but I was starting to feel fatigued. It started raining really hard on the second loop and things were getting a little slick. A funny thing happened to me shortly after I crossed the start finish for the second time. I heard the announcer call out that that the first place Woman had just crossed the matt. For a moment I though to myself that I wasn't doing too bad if I was in front of the leading women. A moment later she flew by me like I was standing still and I realized that I had just been lapped ...she finished the 50K in 3:37 and was the overall winner! Heading out on the third loop my legs were really beginning to hurt. With less traffic on the course I decided to listen to music and try to dial out from the way I was feeling. It never stopped raining on the third loop and I was concerned that in shorts with the long sleeve Tech T I may catch a chill. On a very good note my left knee was not giving me any issues at all and I was able to run all the downhills. I concentrated on not lengthening my stride and increasing my turnover on all the downhills. I was a real victory being able to run everything today. It was on the third loop that I started having waves of good and bad moments. I was still running everything but continued to slow down. I was still gelling on schedule but it didn't seem to be as effective as week earlier. It was on the third loop that I really questioned doing this race on 5 days rest after STWM...crazy, insane , good reason to drop out all kinds of negative thoughts went through my mind. I just wanted to get loop three done so I could go to the final lap and begin putting things behind me. Knowing I would have to retrace my steps one final time made loop 3 drag on. The final few K on the loop was really really slick with muddy downhills. The last of the walkers were making their way to the finish and were having a tough time negotiating the ups and downs...really slick. I found that running was easier then walking but there were a few times when I got going and couldn't stop or I would have wiped out. Finishing the 3rd loop I passed by my truck...I was debating changing into dry clothes but I didn't want to stop moving. I deiced to make a brief stop to pick up my Sagoi Shell. I was really afraid that I would slow on the final loop and would be chilled in the rain. Finished loop 3 in 1:32! Going into the fourth and final loop I was really happy to begin putting the Ks behind me. Every distance marker I passed got me that much closer to the finish. Wearing the Shell I was quite comfortable in the steady rain. The first 4Ks of the final loop were really really hard, the leg muscles were hurting quite badly and there just wasn't allot of pop left in them. I so wanted to get to the 4K aide station but it seemed to take forever ...I kept running but was starting to take the odd walking break. I would walk up the hills and then pick a spot in the distance that I would begin running again. At the 4K aide station I asked if I was the only runner on the course ....I hadn't seen anyone on the final loop yet...they assured me that there were others behind me. Stephan Miklos said to me that he though my 3rd loop was faster then my second... this gave me a boost! With around 8K to go things started to get better. I was running more and was allot less aware of the pain in my legs. It was like my mind knew that there was nothing seriously wrong and disconnected itself from he pain messages that the legs were sending. If it wasn't a dopamine affect I figured it was my brain going numb from the endless hours of cold rain falling on it. I had a strange burning pain across my chest and was concerned that the heart was sending me a message . I took a little while before I realized that the sensation was a result of a wet shirt causing chaffed nipples ...OUCH! I was moving pretty good knowing the end was near. Some really great tunes came up on the MP3 player ...the random shuffle DJ was really doing a good job. The K markers continued to count down. I play this mind game when I get close to the end , I pretend that I am running at home and am 5K from the house and I just ran by Michale Schmidt's farm and as I go along in my mind I pass by different familiar land marks! Its always a comfort knowing your on the home stretch! Going into the final K the Dandy Worhols- Bohemian Like You came on the MP3 player ...perfect song to sing along too , a magical moment. Finished standing up feeling pretty good, last loop was done in 1:43 . The fellow gathering the chips couldn't find mine under all the mud. When he did locate it he couldn't cut it off....I had to unlace my shoes to free it ! Headed back to my truck for a change into some dry clothes. Doug Barber invited me into his nice warm vehicle and offered my a beer! We chatted for awhile , talked about the race ...he beat Ron Gehl so he was pretty happy with his 5:39 toady finishing his 250th Marathon. After sharing a beer with Doug I jumped in my truck and headed home satisfied that I "got it done" today.

Finished the race in 5:54:25 , 47th out of the 115 that started the race ...there was 90 finishers.

Spits were 1:18:44, 1:21:32, 1:31:58, 1:42:59

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