Saturday, March 17, 2012

Kiss Me I’m Irish…And Wearing A Dress!

This morning was the annual Green Dress Run here in Albuquerque. Ken Gordon, a friend of
mine, directs the race and it is part of the handicap series put on by the Albuquerque Road Runners. The handicap races are all free to anyone who wants to show up and the start is staggered based on your 5K time. I have actually never raced a 5K here in Albuquerque just some 10Ks and my 5K PR is on a flat course run in Boston, which of course is sea level. The Green Dress Run is not at sea level. In fact, it starts at 6000 feet and I think the high point is something like 6300 maybe plus a little. It will also never be mistaken for flat. While not terrible it does pack in about 600 feet of climbing in 4 miles and the majority of that comes in two big climbs.
The idea of the handicap runs is that, theoretically, every runner should finish at the exact same time if they all have a good day and run the race hard. Of course everyone is also impeded by the fact that they have to run in a green dress. Some dresses prove to be more of an obstacle
than others. You basically have some people out there in what amounts to a ball gown but many choose their dresses for the ability to run in them. My dress was a loaner and its cut is very good for running but the fabric is jean material so it gets pretty hot. Most of the rest of the Outlaws, including the GeekGrl, ordered cool green cheer leader’s outfits. I wish I would have had one but maybe next year.

I wasn’t really sure what to put down as my handicap because I have been putting in a lot of miles and because none of those miles have been ones where I have really been pushing for fear of aggravating my recently healed injury. I went ahead and gave then a 5K time of 25 minutes, which is 5 minutes slower than my flat, sea level 5k PR so I started out 28 minutes after the first runners. The very fastest runners started out around 35 minutes after the first runner. I
started at the same time as friends and fellow Outlaws Mark and Miki, who are typically as fast as me. Mark’s 5K PR is also 20 minutes though I don’t know where he ran it.
It turns out I could have given myself a much bigger handicap, at least another couple minutes.
I past several people and ended up having the fastest average pace of any run I have ever done in the foothills and I even stopped once for a drink and then walked once to drink a second drink while I was going uphill. My final time was 32 minutes. This is very exciting to me because it’s an indication that I am probably going to come into Boston very fit and fast, at least fast for me.
I think I’m going to add in a little more hard effort running in my training but won’t go wild.
It’s probably time to start hitting the lower parts of the mountain and throw in some longer runs at marathon race pace. I think this is shaping up to be a great season!
The Bataan Death March Memorial Marathon is next weekend. I probably won’t try and race
it but I will try and run it well and I hope to break 4 hours.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

It's More Than Talk Now

Today I received the following e-mail

"Hi Stan,
I have three more 2012 Grand Slam of Ultrarunning registrants. Could you please add them to the slam list at your website? Thanks for your help.

Steve Baugh

David Peterman, 49, OH
Brian Pilgrim, 45, NM
Craig Wheeler, 50, KY"

Here is the 2012 Slam list that is being referenced.

So there it is, I got into all the races, paid all my fees and sent in my $80 to officially be considered an entrant in the Grand Slam of Ultrarunning. If I finish I will be the 8th New Mexican to do so. Here is a list of those New Mexicans who have finished the Grand Slam. Just over half did it back in the day when Old Dominion was still one of the four you could use to complete the series.

Year Grand Slammer Total Time for all four 100s
1991 Steve Mahieu 85:21:56
2000 Bobby Keogh 108:57:30
2001 Bobby Keogh 105:11:13
2001 Myrrl McBride 115:40:56
2001 Fred Abramowitz 112:08:52
2003 Dennis Drey 110:04:55
2004 Cathy Tibbetts-Witkes 116:09:29
2007 Pat Scott 105:03:50

Other Slam stats include:
The Slam has been run since 1986 and has been completed 251 times by 221 individuals. A few like Bobby (above) have done it more than once and two guys have done it six times. Actually I think one of them is going for a seventh finish this year. On average, 43% of those who start the Slam finish the Slam with a high one year of 70% low of 26%. There have been more years where it has been upper 20 to 30% finish rates than years where there has been high 40s or better. The average age of a Slam finisher is 44.7. I am 45 and my 46th birthday is on the day the last race of the Slam begins.

As far as my training and injury goes, I've been back to running but it has been a delicate balance. In the last three weeks I've run a 50 mile week, 61 mile week and finally a 70 mile week. I haven't decided how much I'll run this week but I'm thinking at least 60 but preferably I'll repeat a 70 mile week just because next week I do need to drop to 50 to get in a rest before the Bataan Death March Memorial Marathon on March 25th. While the injury seems to be getting better it keeps whispering to me and every once in a while it gives me a sharp poke. At this point most of my miles are on relatively easy terrain and relatively modest paces but eventually I need to start doing things like trying to run fast, trying to run down mountain slopes and trying to run on rough terrain.

Fortunatly for me I don't need to do the running up and down mountains or over rough terrain until after Boston, which gives me another month and a half to heal and strengthen some more. In all honesty I don't really have to run particularly fast at any time this season. As I have been reminded running Boston is just the victory lap for all the work I've put into running over the past seven years and while I want to do well at the All National Guard marathon time trials the possability of me actually earning a spot on the All Guard team is virtually zero even if I were completely running at 100%, the times of the "slow" people who make that team are about one minute per mile faster than my fastest marathon time. However, that doesn't matter to me either. The fact is I get to go and represent my state and possibly motivate some other young people in the New Mexico National Guard to train hard and take my place on the team next year.

Next up, the first race of this epic year, Bataan!