LooseCrew-JeffO: Rim Rock Run 2008


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

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Rim Rock Run 2008

Two years ago, my middle metatarsal cracked at the 20-mile mark. By mile 21, the bone had broken clean in two. Ouch. The last 1.5M were excruciating and slow. I could have had a 3-hour run, but instead, droves of people passed me and the time slipped to 3:12:52.

Last year, I was exhausted and stressed and didn't want to risk an injury to wreak my revenge - but I knew that only a sub-3-hour RRR would be enough to get revenge.

I did it. 2:59:21 That averaged to 7:57/mile - the fastest pace of any race in my life for any distance.

The weather was fantastic! The drive out the night before was pretty bad on the passes, with a semi-truck getting winched up after going off I-70 near Vail Pass. The temps at the start were in the mid-30's, but there was only a 2mph breeze and the sky was virtually clear, so the sun warmed us pretty well.
I had done almost no running during the week and was feeling good.
For some reason, there weren't as many runners as there have been in past years. I'm not sure why. There's new race directors last year and this, but the registration experience was the same (Active.com), the bus shuttles and post-race party were the same (except the micro-brew beer was replaced by canned Bud-light and Coors-light (YUK!) The trend with all races is that we suddenly have to register within hours, minutes, or even seconds in order to get in before a race fills. There is only one difference. No race-day packet pick-up or registration. While I can understand no race-day registration, not letting you pick up your packet on race-day is just plain crazy. I had to play hooky from work Friday, sneaking off that last hour, to get out in time.

I'm not much of a climber, plus I forgot to take my asthma meds, but I told myself it was too short of a race to matter. I pushed until it hurt and kept a steady pain-level. I got passed by several on the climbs, then as it leveled, I'd pass them back. And this continued until we topped-out and I took off like a rocket (a very old, heavy, slow rocket - like a Saturn V rocket carrying a lunar lander and rover and extra fuel, and stuff).
Then came the downhills! Yum! I concentrated on leaning forward and having clean, efficient form. No side-to-side motions, high cadence, landing with my toes directly under my knees, don't let any pressure land on my heels, but do it by landing far enough back - not by raising up on my toes (it's pavement after all).
At mile 17, a pesky blister became evident, and tried to slow me down. Indeed, I didn't push back with each step as much as I could have, and it had to slow me down, but I tried to make up for it with even higher cadence.
It wasn't looking good. i kept figuring and re-figuring and it kept looking like I was going to hit 3:07, but it's hard to figure with this race since you climb slowly the first several miles. The last, though, are screamin' downhill with 6-minute miles. So I told myself to persevere as if it was always do-able.
At mile 20, there was quite an impressive spray-pattern from someone blowing chow on the shoulder of the road. And yet, that person was still ahead of me! And a little follow-up pile a bit after. I reminded myself how lucky I was to still have all my jets firing and already into my free-fall towards the finish.

To keep the blister from slowing me, I tried the sadistic approach. I decided to see if I could TRY to make it hurt, and if it swelled and popped, I'd get brownie-points!

There are a couple of tunnels we have to run through as we drop into a canyon. At the bottom, there's smooth walls lining both sides. I couldn't resist letting out a hoot to hear it echo off the walls. (Apparently, this is a guy-thing!)

Somehow, I'd nearly caught Paul Grimm (I guess it was my taper all week). He still finished ahead of me. I was 11 seconds behind, and the last guy to get in under 3 hours.
Bernie Boettcher had a great finish in 2:18 and scoring 4th place. In past years, with a larger, more competitive pack, that still could have earned him 1st place. So 4th is deceptive - he had a fantastic pace and finish.
I don't know any of the other leaders.

Next year, I need to do more hill and speed work. I need to get rid of my sand-bags. If I can shave time off my climb, and keep the same pace on the flats and downs, I can easily shave another 5 minutes off.

This was the last race on my calendar, but there's at least one more I hope to fit in before the end of the year. I've done 23 "events" so far this year. What a year!

I forgot my camera again, so these photos are not from the Rim Rock Run, but from the 9.2 mile hike Paul, Karla, and I did on the Kokopelli Trail afterwards.


At 10:36 AM, Blogger olga said...

Awesome, awesome, awesome...you got fast, you finished a 100 miler, you explore like hell...life is good, ain't it? :)

At 4:23 PM, Blogger Talon said...

AWESOME man! Such a fun run, and even better when you can kick ass! WTG!


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