Some adventures in road and trail running.
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Saturday, April 7, 2007

Good things come to those who wait

Today was the Vernonia 1/2 marathon.

After the amazing weather record temperatures we had yesterday I had images of a great run in the sun down some back country trail.

I did get to run a country trail but the weather was crappy. To be totally honest the rain was of little issue as the temperature was close to perfect with little wind.

The race went well. I placed first in my age group (after they bumped me up for the other guy placing 2nd over all) and sixth over all: results.

I started out slowly where we did a little out and back up to the lake near Anderson Park. Then, after the 2 mile jaunt, we headed out on the Banks-Vernonia Trail for 11.1 miles of fun.

5 guys headed out really fast. Two of us looked at each other and said, "hey, if they can hold that more power to them!".

I ran with a group of four for about 4 miles. Then two of the guys dropped another gear and took off. I hesitated and they were gone. I think they we just basically sandbaggin' training for something else as they did not seem to be working hard enough for what seemed like a fast pace to me!
I hung out with another guy for about 2 miles and then I noticed that our splits were slowing....time to pick it up. So I pushed hard for a while and soon was on my own.

I knew that 7 people were in front of me. Good place to finish.

Then the pavement ran out and it got harder to maintain the pace as the gravel was too large and hard to keep the running groove.

Then we hit the "hill". A trestle was no longer functioning, burnt down I believe, on this old railway line. So you had a hard downhill to Hwy 47 then a hard uphill back to the railway line frontage. I tried to pound down to the highway but was a little leery of the rocks with Eugene only 3 weeks away. I hit the highway, said a thank you to the Sheriffs directing traffic, and faced the uphill. Now my ultra friends will laugh, but this seemed pretty daunting during a half marathon.

I thought again about the 7 people that were in front of me. Good place to finish.

Then I saw the poor "road" runner ahead. He was walking up the hill.
Then a little voice started in my can get him. You can pass him!
Wait...those are my words haunting me from when I pace my wife Trisha or my friend Ronda.

Well, today I practiced what I preach!
I ran up that hill, not fast but fast enough.
Rested about 10 paces back from the guy in front for about 1/2 a mile.
Then there was a little down hill.
He never had a chance to hitch up with me...straight on through with no pause.

Suddenly I was in 6th...wahoo!

Energized, I finished strong in 1:25:56.

Not my fastest but I really felt pretty good and the last 4 miles went by really fast.

All my previous halfs have been death marches for the last 3 miles so, again, I believe in my training. I had two miles where I let my mind wander and the pace showed it...focus, focus, focus! Good lesson for Eugene.

The race is well organized and the course easy to follow. The awards were a little slow in coming but they had to wait for the buses that take back to the start. Good soup!

One more week of training and on to taper time!

(by the way I did the race in all black in honor of Black Saturdays :-) )


v said...

Darin, once again, well done and congratulations! Enjoy reading your blog! Hopefully 07 will be the breakthru year!


Rooster said...

Great job Darin, I think the black outfit really came in handy on the "hill"....perfect for Black Saturday and I would consider a 1/2 marathon pretty "black". Your training is going to give you that sub 3 at Eugene and then you can come take some recovery with us (we won't be recovering)on the trails.