Sunday, March 2, 2008

Ignorance is Bliss, My First 25KM Run

This past Saturday I entered my first 25 km Trail Run, the Dirty Duo in North Vancouver. After a winter of ski touring, basketball training, and a few trail runs I had decided that I was ready for this challenge. It was sort of good not knowing what I was getting myself into. Jen Segger Gigg has been overseeing my training and listening to her talk about 50km, 100km, 100mile races that she is always in, 25k seemed very ho hum. Plus I like the physical challenge. I have a tendency to run quick out of the blocks and move quickly up hills so her advice was to "pace myself," not quite sure what that meant since I had never run past an hour. After throwing a few gel packs at me and a couple of Nuun tablets I guess i was ready to go. Well we all took off, I was surrounded by a lot of runner types in spandex and cool looking shoes. So much for the pacing as I took off with the lead group and blasted by everyone out of the blocks and hammered up all the early hills. A half hour into the race I found myself right behind the leader thinking this is pretty cool and feeling pretty good. As the race progressed the front runner seemed to have enough of me and took off. I was then passed by another guy who really looked like the runner type(he had really short shorts) and then I spent the rest of the race battling it out with this guy who ran downhill very quickly and would pass me but I seemed to make up time going uphill and not stopping at the aid stations. I was breathing way to heavy to try to drink Gatorade since at the first station I tried drinking out of the small cups and due to the massive amounts of oxygen I was trying to get into my body there was no room for liquids and I ended up spilling it all over me. I didn't even bother at the other stations. Well I figured if I could just keep this guy(who I now know is Aaron Pitt) in my sights then I should be pretty good for the duration of the race, it felt good to chase someone. After an hour and 15 minutes I was now in unchartered waters and wasn't sure how my body was going to react. My only fear was after taking off so quickly I didn't want to bonk or have my legs just decide to call it a day  and head for the nearest pub. Overall I felt pretty good although there were times when my legs did feel like newly set concrete. There were a couple of times on some of the downhills that they didn't move at all like the should have. Even during some of the uphills I was not sure how I was going to coax a few more myofibrils to fire......but they did. Aaron and I flipflopped positions a few times and I could never get rid of the guy and he ended up passing me for good on one of the downhills in the last part of the race. I was just happy that no one was coming up behind me. I was stoked when a few of the race volunteers told me I was almost done(little did they know I WAS DONE). I ended up running strong by myself in the glorious sunshine that led to the finish line. Finishing felt amazing. I wound up placing 4th and running 25kms in 2 hours and 20 minutes. Fairly solid i guess for my first 25 and not training specifically for this sport. Most importantly I was happy with my performance and felt that I was the best I could be at this moment. I tell you, it felt really good to compete, competition has always been a huge part of my life and I realize I need it to be at my best. A quote I look at everyday is this. 
"Every champion knows that true greatness doesn't lie in the completion of a goal, it lies in the desire to chase the next one." What's next?? Thanks to Jen for all of her support and motivation. Thanks as well to all of those people who went ski touring with me, Quest basketball players who I play against weekly, beep tests, and others who have joined me on fun adventures and "training."  Congrats to Jen for her 3rd overall placing in the 50km and to Aaron Pitt for beating me and showing me how to run downhill.