After running the Odyssey 40 miler last weekend with its 9,oooft of climb and recovering pretty well, I decided last minute to go ahead and run the Great Eastern Endurance Run (GEER)100K this weekend as a way of getting a super endurance beat down to build from. I thus am abandoning my original plan to run the Towpath marathon (Oct 7th) in Ohio after spending next week in Chicago. I'm driving home Friday afternoon/eve and not waiting around in Ohio Saturday for a Sunday race...no need to be away from home if I don't need too! After a year away, I am not eager to be away much anymore.
After last Saturday's 40 miler I took two days off to rest up and felt pretty good the rest of the week doing 9,8, and 6 milers on Tues, Wed , Thurs...decided I would go to GEER, took Friday off and managed the TOUGH 62 miles with nearly 16,000ft of climb in 14:03. Good enough for a top 15 finish out of 80 entrants.
The 100K was absolutely beautiful. we ran along the blue ridge mountains with views of Charlottesville, the Priest Mountain. We ran on all kinds of surfaces: 5miles blacktop, miles of crushed stone roads, dirt road, jeep trail, and miles and miles of rocky/rooty/and even some soft pine needle smooth trail. All on one of the best marked courses I have ever been on.
All things considered it was a very good weekend despite getting up at 3am..driving 2 hours...running for 45min in the dark with no lights(whoops bad planning) running all of the daylight hours, then running for another 45minutes in the dark with my trusty Petzl headlamp and driving 2 hours back home....ugh tired. Best part about the race was the hot Lasagna at the finish line!!!!
I LOVE ultras!!!!!!!!!!
I started out conservatively following others with lights, then bombed down the first big downhill, settled in after a pit stop of trail and ran with good VHTRC friend and eventual women's 100k Champion, Michele Harmon, from mile 19 to 39. We then went back and forth with each other as we both took good spells and bad patches at different times. She pulled away from me on the climb from mile 51-55. And finished in a great 13:17. Congrats!
I made one big mistake... I ran miles 40-47 in 61 minutes. It was downhill, shaded and cooler, and beautiful...what can I say I fired up and trying to gain some time back after a long uphill climb. I simply over-ran, fell behind in caloric intake, and then bonked at mile 49 big time. I could not climb back out of it until mile 56. And even then I never returned to the good feeling I had enjoyed the first 8 hours of the day.
Another SOLID stomach run with NUUN and clif shot blocks doing the trick all day with some nibbling off the aid station tables as well. Gorgeous weather with temps 55-80-60 and sunny.
Now I have very clear plans for my JFK prep. Rest! With no long runs the next 4 weeks, but some quality marathon pace tempos set up I hope to run the Marine Corps Marathon On Oct 28th in the 2:50's.
In the running world news, congrats to Scott Jurek on defending his Spartathon 153 mile race title in sub 24 hours! And to Mark Godale on finishing 16th in 30 hours. And to the little Ethiopian hero Haile G on setting the marathon world record!!!!!! Amazingly at age 34.