LooseCrew-JeffO: Greenland Report


Ramblings of an adventurous guy living in Denver and playing in the mountains.
For my trail adventures, visit my Trail Bum blog

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Greenland Report

Derek and Jessica know how to put on a great race!

I ate plenty for breakfast, but I didn't have enough time to warm up before the race. There were tons of people and the porta-potty lines weren't moving, so I went back to my car a peed on the ground.

The race started two minutes late and I ended up starting moderately fast.
This race is 4 laps on rolling grasslands, with occasional oak shrub. The wind was significant, but not horrible (until after the race, thank god).
The sharp pain in my left foot was gone. That one scared me more than the right foot because tht pain never stopped, even in my sleep. But that went away Tuesday.
Today, the right foot started hurting me in two spots like last weekend. It was like an ice-pick stabbing my foot. I kept altering my form, and it was manageable. Still, it was severe enough that I wondered if I was getting multiple stress fractures and should maybe convert to the 8-mile or 25K options.
I was just too stubborn. I wanted redemption for Moab and anew 50K PR. My first lap was on-pace.

Jamie Donaldson was volunteering. She is a very impressive person. Not the slightest hint of arrogance, true=blue god person and no BS about her.
She just shattered the Umstead record.
She owns Umstead. She did Badwater last year. She's a star and you'd never know it to meet her. She's very inspiring not just for running but for being grounded and level. And she does all this juggling family.

Anyway, I was feeling better the second lap, but still fighting the pain in my foot. I could tell I was not quite on-pace, but I kept telling myself to keep pushing.
I nagged myself, "I swear if you don't hurt like hell when you're done and you can run just fine tomorrow..." Oh, I felt bad about Moab. My son reminded me my lungs at Moab were full of foam bubbles that triggering coughing fits. So, okay I was jacked-up, but I should have tried to go one more lap!
At Greenland, I kept thinking how I'd rather hurt in the short-term than lose sleep each night nagging myself about poor performance.

After 12 miles, my foot stopped hurting. It started again at mile 27, but for half the race, I was cruising.
But my pace was falling off still, so I decided to go for goal 2: under 5 hours.

Yesterday, I ate lunch at a Pizza Hut buffet. I ate like a pig. Something there made my stomach gurgle ever since lunch Friday. It wasn't a severe gurgle, but I had to use the bathroom twice before the race and once during the race (off in the oaks, which didn't help my time), and my gut cramped and gurgled all through the race. In fact, the intestines were urging me to DNF as much as my foot, but I just dealt with it.
I didn't make my 5-hr goal either. The last four miles were ugly.
Final 5:08:32
That's a Greenland 50K best for me. Last year I did it in 5:21, so after a dismal week of doldrums, and a painful foot, and the worst diarrhea I've had in probably 10 years, I still managed to shave 13 minutes off.
So mixed bag. I admit trying to do a 50K PR on this course was a lofty goal. My PR was at Goblin Valley at lower altitude and virtually no real climbing. But I can try, right?
I do think I should have done it in sub-5hr, but I guess I was very lucky after this sketchy week that my legs cooperated at all!
I had a blast!
Although, I had to stay for hours afterwards to visit the porta-potties about six more times.
My gut is finally settled. It's not 100%, but it's not cramping anymore.
Man, if it isn't one thing it's another!

Afterwards, I went to Darice's party. She really knows how to throw a party. Great food, great people, great house. And she let me take a shower! (Not that I needed one.) I will be very perturbed if she doesn't hook up with a very impressive guy. They broke the mold when they made her.

I am going to sleep well tonight!!!!!


At 5:22 AM, Blogger Jamie Donaldson said...

Hey JeffO!

Great race yesterday! How's the foot today? Congrats on the Greenland 50k PR! That's great for how windy it ended up being!

At 8:43 PM, Blogger Meghan said...

Well, it sounds like this race went off well for you, a race PR at the very least. And it sounds like a fun time with good people!

I wonder if you'd shot for 5 hours all along, instead of pushing the pace a bit more early on, if you would have hit that mark?

Doesn't Tania Pacev have the course record on both Goblin Valley and Greenland? And isn't her Goblin record significantly faster? Hmmm, about 50k PRing on the Greenland course, then. Maybe it was possible if you knew your fitness was way up there from where it was at Goblin.

Hope all the aches and pains recede quickly! Congrats and be proud of pushing yourself yesterday! You're really tough for pushing through all your body was giving you!


At 9:02 PM, Blogger JeffO said...

Jamie - Thanks! It really boosts people's moral seeing friends at the aid stations. I hope you met Elizabeth handing out water.

Meghan - Tania P is one of my mentors. I guess her body wasn't ready for Greenland. I found her walking but still smiling. It was disheartening but she's been trying to teach me to race strategically and to know which races to dump -either don't run, even though registered, or be thoroughly willing to convert to the shorter distance or even DNF. Tania is a smart and impressive runner. She has her work cut out for her getting through my skull!
Thanks for the compliments, too.


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