August 31, 2009

Green Lakes Endurance Runs 50k

On Sunday I was up in Fayetteville, New York for the Green Lakes Endurance Runs. The course was a 7.77 mile loop repeated four times for the 50k (31 miles) and eight times (62 miles) for the 100k. Results for the 50K.

With four loops to run, I was thankful the terrain varied from wide trail along the water's edge to steep rock n' rooty ascents & descents, open & grassy single-track through shadowy woods and the Serengeti meadows with a stretch of asphalt & pebble before the main aid station. The springy woods chips along the Green Lakes were my favorite footing and added relief from cambered trail.Despite a downpour the night before, the trails were pretty clear of mud baths. The temperature rose from 56 and 72 degrees during the 50k and the famed Serengeti was sunny but not roasting due to overcast periods. Still, I prepared for heat and planned my hydration and nutrition well and without incident. The popsicles at Farmer's Hill aid station were majestic! Thank you, too, for iced cola! I swear those brought back the "yip" in my "yippee!"I started the race with Breakheart Dan who was doing a different Galloway schedule than I so we didn't get a chance to see each other until the finish. It was a nice surprise to see the lead lapping runners a few times (kudos to Paul for 3rd overall in the 50k) and to chat and check-in with folks along the way, such as Barbara S. and Amy L. (who took 2nd woman in the 50k). Laurel Valley was running the 100k (which started 45 min. before the 50k) and as synchronicity timed it, I could cheer her on along the sections of two-way trail traffic.

With 150 total runners in both events, the pack quickly spread out, which meant I ran solo for nearly 6+ hours. I enjoyed this immensely and got into the zone between thinking about love, my life choices, running and the insightful conversations during the (5+ hour) ride to upstate NY with two new running friends. What a positive rush to see them out on the course. They both clocked impressive and inspiring times on their first 50ks!

Theresa (132) finished 4th overall woman and
Amy (139) took 8th overall woman.

This was also my first official 50k. I've run the distance before at GAC's 6-hour (31 miles in 5:55:55 in 2008) but never as a sanctioned 50k proper. Frankly, my longest runs in the two weeks prior to the 50k were a 10 and 12 miler. I was curious. How this would play out? Considering my low-mileage training, I am pleasantly surprised and pleased with my finishing time and endurance tune-up. While my splits weren't negative as I hoped, they were pretty consistent with no dramatic slow-downs over the 31 miles.

Below: Finishing lap #3.
With 23.3 miles down and just 7.77 miles to go!

Lap 1 —1:31:39

Lap 2 —1:34:22
Lap 3 —1:37:03
Lap 4 —1:38:41

Overall I ran, walked, and power-hiked a 6:21:44. I'd hoped to break 6 hours but not knowing the course and my low mileage, I soon recognized the goal as unrealistic for the day so in my second lap I set a new goal to break 6:30. My last half-mile was a sprint to the finish in an 8:27 pace!

If I can do that after 31 miles, I am probably not training nor running to my potential. BUT I am running happy, which matters to me more.

The Loop course with Mile Markers "M"
The Elevation Profile of one loop:What goes up must come down.

August 23, 2009

Dewy Laps at Moose On The Loose 10 Mile Trail Race 2009

A spur-of-the-morning decision to train with some friends before GLER and glean a few more ENETRS participation-points led me to 3C Race Production's Moose on the Loose 10 Mile Trail Race & Relay. Results. PHOTOS by Platt Racing Photography.

The course—full 10 miler and relay—consists of 4 x 2.5 mile laps through Mine Falls Park in Nashua, NH. The loop is flat and on trails (apart from a short asphalt loop by the start, finish and aid area). It's a friendly off-road race and place to run. As part of the NHGP, over 350 runners cut their moose molars on the "trails" in the late August heat.

If you didn't medal and want a consolation prize— check out,
"Fred, the Large Moose Trophy," (above) at Cardboard Safari.

* * * * * * * * *
Dewy Laps. For those not versed in moose anatomy, the word dewlap describes the loose flap of skin hanging from a moose's chin. Dewlap or not, sweat poured off my chin and others' as the sun got more serious. It was wicked hawt! A proper English lesson: the plural of moose is moose. More moose factoids.

Speaking of HOT! Some folks at the race asked about my running dress so here's the skinny:
my nuu-muu review. I wore my Fleur nuu-muu exercise dress to see how it feels in high heat & humidity for potential donning at GLER. Not only is it hot (sassy-like), it is damn hot—too, HOT for GLER. Hopefully the fabulous nuu-muu folks might design one with peek-a-muu venting mesh around the mid-section! I will wear my beloved nuu-muu in cooler temps, including winter with layers.

“It happens sometimes. People just explode. Natural causes.”
--Agent Rogersz.
(Repo Man, 1984)

* * * * * * * * *
Moose on the Loose. What fun it was to run, walk and talk with Brian G. on lap 1 and with NETT's Adrienne C. on lap 3. Brian wisely stopped due to a persistent pain in his leg—no need to exacerbate things! Adrienne thought she might drop after lap 2. (We abhor the heat.) She picked up her pace for the final lap, did not DNF, and instead respectfully FWAB, "finished with a break."

Also Out for Antlers: “Heartbreaker” Dan S., Sara M, speedy NETT folks Dave, Mary, and Jack among others I didn't know. Great to also run around with some NE Mountain Circuit goats and folks like Dan & Melissa, and Diane, Brian and Lori. Great job to Cathy D's team, too. They were all tricked out in spiffy shirts!

* * * * * * * * *
I mentally noted the time each loop; to my surprise my 2nd & 4th splits were the same! Not too bad for running on feeling without a watch. I plan on wearing my gps for next weekend's 50k—which is another lap deal (4 x 7.75 miles)— to help with my Jeff Galloway run:walk program.

My Moose Tracks:
Lap 1. 25:30

Lap 2. 25:03
Lap 3. 26:13
Lap 4. 25:03
Total. 1:41:49
* * * * * * * * *
Heat cooks brain. When I went to "gear up" at the race, I discovered I left one of my bags at home. Luckily my sneakers and socks were already in the car along with my cooler I remembered! It was packed with a 1/2-frozen water bottle, Hammer Gel and Recoverite, and Zico. I was missing Body Glide, Endurolytes, sunglasses, hand-held straps and my watch. No biggie.

Bottom Line. Actually, Chest Line. The only thing I suffered from not having was Body Glide! The chaffing was not from my nuu-muu but from my anatomy and foundation garment. I censored the photo above to exemplify what may occur in the dissonance of heat, humidity, sweat and friction against delicate flesh.

"Soon-to-be-smoothed-on" salves.
"It rubs the lotion on its skin."
-- Buffalo Bill (Silence of the Lambs, 1991)

August 22, 2009

Green Lakes Endurance Fun

The last weekend in August I'll head to Fayetteville, New York for the Green Lakes Endurance Run 50k.


Recently I met some terrific running folks who talked me
out of racing in Western Massachusetts and instead, into joining them in upstate New York for the GLER! This was not a hard sell because I am eager to run long (and slowly) in new places with ultra-friendly folks. What great fall marathon training, too! Plus I haven't been back to that area since the 1990s.

I'll play with Galloway's run:walk technique and aim to go the four (7.75-mile) laps, which is how I completed my first 50k with a smile. Still I must be cautious of my big toe I smashed a few weeks ago!

Way back in the age of "baggy-demin and over-sized fleece hats" I lived in Ithaca, New York, while in graduate school. (See my photo above, circa 1994, at Taughannock Falls State Park, Trumansburg, NY.) Not only did I not run then, I had no notion of running, trail running nor the Finger Lakes ultra-fanatics who scoured surrounding state parks.

Earlier this month at a gym, I ran into someone with whom I lived while at Cornell but with whom I hadn't
communicated in over 12 years! I reminisced about the paths I'd chosen since leaving Ithaca and the wealth of health and happiness running has contributed to my life since I started in the early 2000s. Full circle.

I decided to return to up state New York—a land of
marathon printmaking-sessions, Saranac beer, Wegmans chocolate-covered espresso-bean coffee ice-cream, the Finger Lakes state parks and abundant memories—and take my path less traveled by. Time to make up for some "missed miles" and what miles to go before I sleep...

Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

—Robert Frost