LooseCrew-JeffO: Salida Marathon PR


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

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Salida Marathon PR

Looking at my finishline photo, one thing comes to mind... Man, I'm FAT! It must really suck to get passed by a guy as big as me.
But I didn't pass anyone who hadn't already passed me at the beginning.

Planning was crazy. Starting out, I was just going to drive down, sleep in the back of my CR-V, race and go home - the usual thing.
Then Anita and Tim F said they wanted to split a room. That would be fun!
Then Paul G called and said he wanted to carpool. Okay.
Then his and my plans kept changing every couple of hours for two days.
Then I woke up Friday so sick with a cold that I almost called in sick from work. I told Paul I might not race, and that I should probably do the "wounded-animal thing" and drive off to sleep in the hills so I wouldn't spread it around. I even sent Anita an email she never got in time telling her that.
But then at 2pm Friday, I noticed my throat was okay. I didn't feel okay, but I could tell my body was kicking the cold.
Then suddenly Paul couldn't carpool because a friend was deathly ill with the flu. He was going to drive out the morning of the race.
Then he couldn't even do the race at all!
So I drove down to Salida after work, tried to eat in Salida at several decent restaurants, but someone forgot to mention the recession to Salida. It's not even tourist season and there was a 40-minute wait in my preferred restaurant, and shorter waits other places. I finally gave up and ate at Pizza Hut.

It was nice to be able to hang out with Tim and Anita, swapping stories.
We woke up at, I don't know - it was dark. Coffee. That was the only thing on our minds. I had some cherry pie and some great, dense bread from Anita.
The temperature was somewhere in the low teens, but the forecast was for the temps to shoot up to 58 degrees.

We got our packets, met all our friends that we only see at races, and walked out over the bridge and railroad tracks to the start line.

I wasn't sure how I felt. My cold was mostly gone, but I wasn't feeling very energetic. Immediately, everyone but a handful of people ran out ahead of me. Hardly anyone was behind me. I figured, so what? It's a great day to be running! Just run by effort - you know what your effort is. Put the needle on the mark and hold it.
Last year was the worst course conditions yet, and I PR'd. This year was the best conditions yet. So even though I was recovering from the last of my cold, I figured I still ought to be able to PR.
So I just kept pushing and hoping.
In spite of my cold, and the effort of the race, I continued to recover from the cold during the race. There were infrequent coughing fits that made me walk bent over while I coughed-up a lung, but otherwise it was okay.
So I thought, my PR was just under 5 hours, and a quarter of that is 1:15. Since most of the steepest climbing is the first quarter, if I can make it to the half-marathon turn-around in less than 1:15, then I've got it made.
I made it in 1:12, and the course levels-out after that. Sure there was plenty of climbing, but it was intermittent with lots of rest between. I made it to the halfway point in about 2:19. It was in-the-bag by then. My cold became less and less of a factor as the miles passed.
As usual, being used to ultras, I was still fresh and steady the last quarter of the race, so anyone who wasn't steady got passed.
There was this woman ahead of me. I don't know who she was. I never caught up and never fell behind. I wasn't really racing her, but most women don't blaze down the jagged stuff as well as me. I expected to pass her in the crags, but I never closed the gap on her through the worst of it. I was impressed.

I finished in 4:41:45, shaving about 16 minutes off of last year's time, and setting a new PR for myself at Salida.

Oh, wait, I don't seem so fat in this photo!


At 10:08 AM, Blogger Justin Mock said...

Salida restaurants - I've heard good stuff about Bongo Billy's.

Did you get the new pasta at Pizza Hut then or did you go with a Meat Lover's special?

At 12:31 PM, Anonymous Audrey said...

hi!!! congrats on the PR!!! i know, isn't trying to organize so many different schedules frustrating at times?!!? have a great week!

At 3:25 PM, Blogger JeffO said...

Justin - There's a Bongo Billy's in Salida and up in Buena Vista.

Audrey - I'm not half as busy as you in D.C.! That town is so crazy its a wonder it's not in total gridlock. If you love D.C., you'll do well!

At 4:06 PM, Blogger Nick said...

Nice job Jeff! If you are carrying a few extra winter pounds, it certainly didn't impact your race pace.

See you in Buena Vista!

At 8:06 PM, Blogger Talon said...

If you're fat, I must be an elephant!

At 2:57 PM, Blogger olga said...

Congrats from a Fat Sister to you:) Wow, what the year holds for you??

At 12:53 PM, Blogger Team Gangels Runs said...

Good job Jeff. Sweet race on a great day. You were right the last 8-10 miles were a blast. Have fun in Moab.

At 10:27 PM, Blogger Sunshine Girl said...

Doood. You are seriously like, pumped UP.


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