Monthly Archives: February 2011

Double (not exactly) Polar (not at all)

Thankfully didn't see any Polar Bears on the course today.

Ran the Polar Bear Doubler this morning. The Polar Bear is a 3 mile race followed by a 5 mile race 45 minutes later. If you run both they call it the Doubler. Seems to me that double would be 3 and 3 or 5 and 5, not 3 and five. Also I didn’t see any polar bears and it wasn’t even cold out so not sure how this is a Polar Bear run. Whatever.

First up was a 3 mile race. I ran this race on a whim to gauge of my fitness level. I didn’t have any goals or expectations. I felt really sluggish in my warm up run. I obviously had not recovered from the 9 mile run Thursday night. A 9 mile pace run is not something I would normally do two days before a race but I didn’t see this as a race so much as a speed workout/fitness test. In most races, especially the short one, I take off too fast at the start. This race was no exception but I was instantly pleased and horrified when I hit the one-mile mark at 6:15. That is my 5k PR pace. I wasn’t sure what shape I was in but I knew for sure I wasn’t in 5k PR shape. If I was only running the 3 mile race I might have tried to keep pushing the pace a little but I backed off in mile 2. In mile 3 I could hear a runner breathing down my neck. I decided that if she was going to pass me she would have to work for it. I shortened my stride, leaned in, and increased the cadence. Eventually I started to pull away, never even saw her. After the finish I was delirious and didn’t think to turn around and thank her for the nice run. I may have been distracted by all the vomit on the ground in the finish chute. In hindsight it would have been better to have let her go and save some gas for the 5 mile run. Finish time 20:39

Starting the 5 mile run too fast was not a problem. I was somewhat recovered from the 3 mile but definitely had no spring left in the legs. I never even heard a warning. I was flapping my lips with a friend I hadn’t seen since last spring and suddenly the horn went off. First mile was a respectable 7:04. Having neither the desire or ability to maintain that pace I decided to relax and then try to kick a little in the last 2 miles. I cranked out a 6:51 in mile 4. Couldn’t keep that up and came across the finish with a mile 5 time of 7:14. Finish time 36:02. Not bad.

I need to get some serious speed work in over the next few weeks and lose the last of my China fat, about 5 pounds. Coming up on March 12 is the Dino 15k at Eagle Creek. March 13 is the Big 10 Hoops 5k. Then Sam Costa on March 26th, my all time favorite half mary. Run Happy!

Not Feelin’ The Love

Conditions in 2009 were also quite good.

2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 I was definitely feelin’ the love. This year unfortunately not so much. I was in the mood, but physically just wasn’t up for the challenge. On Saturday while I was romping around the woods at Eagle Creek the hardcore trail runners were in Kentucky for Louisville’s Lovin’ The Hills 50k. I’m a little bummed that I wasn’t trained for the race. This is one of the toughest 50k races you will find. The first time I ran LLTH in 2007 I was a trail running neophyte. I had never run a 50k. I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I can’t remember if it snowed during the race or not, but the trails were icy and slick. I went down several times. My knee was sore before the race even started. At the 22 mile mark I almost threw in the towel, any sane person would have. My friend Tom who was also running his first 50k was gracious enough to stay with me. He and I finally crossed the finish line after 9 hours 14 minutes. On the ride home we were both adamant about not being interested in running that race ever again. So naturally we both returned the next three years in a row. My best time was 6:30:34 in 2008. The weather and trail conditions then were about as good as you could expect for this time of year. After hearing about the conditions this year I’m not all that sorry I missed it. Maybe I’ll feel the love again next year.