Yes, I ran a hard race 6 days before a 100 miler. Yes, I know that's stupid.
I knew Ron Daws a little. We both belonged to the "train harder than anyone else" philosophy, though his body broke down only at 130 miles per week and mine at 40. I remember racing against him once, an indoor mile, when I was 22 and he about 45; I won. You don't forget beating a former Olympian. I'm sure I was on the losing end at least once, but you don't remember those.
At the race, there were a number of (overlong) tributes to Ron. Steve Hoag (2:11 marathon at Boston) and Lorraine Moller (ex-wife of Ron and about 2:28 marathon; I think she still has the fastest marathon in Minnesota by a female Minnesota resident and had the New Zealand record until Allison Roe came along) reminded everyone how Ron just pushed everything - and everyone - to the limit. Gee, that sounds familiar...
The course got changed due to road construction and I wasn't going to bother trying to figure out the changes; just follow the guys ahead of me. The plan was to go out comfortably, and when the pace seemed tough, slack off, because there's a 100 Miler in 6 days. I hit the first mile in 6:45... and then sped up. I was just under 20 minutes at the 3 mile mark.
Then things got messed up, as the guys I was following made a wrong turn. It wasn't immediately obvious because there were markings and pylons showing we were on the course; we just skipped a loop. When I figured this out, I turned around and sheepishly said hi to everyone coming toward me for a while. I had decided to wear my Garmin (the course had always been marked in kilometers and I wanted to know miles; this year it was in miles), so when I got back to the wrong turn and there was a mile marker there, I could tell I added 1.74 miles. This was a blessing in disguise, as there was no temptation to race any more.
I was passing people the rest of the way, starting from second-to-last and moving past 40-50 runners by the end. I'd slowed to 7:15 miles, then slowed again at 10 miles to 7:45 and cruised in the last couple at 8:00.
Garmin total: 17.22 miles in 2:08:36 (Co-incidentally, that's exactly Derek Clayton's world marathon record time from 1968. It lasted 15 years. 1968 was when Daws ran the Olympic marathon.) Heart rate average = 165! (max=181)
Before and after the race, I got to talk to a bunch of people, from Bruce Mortenson and Jerry Heaps, who I raced against when I first started running, to people I'd never met, including one who told me his son Mike's a big fan of this blog. [Hi, Mike! Good to have at least one fan!] There should be at least two other descriptions of this race from my blogroll soon.
Now, maybe I should rest before Zumbro.
RIP Steve Wilkinson
1 day ago