Last Tuesday, I did a hill run that had me thinking I'm in shape to run the Superior 50K in 5:00-5:08, rather than the 5:15-5:30 all my previous training had pointed to (no, I'm not going to explain how I arrive at the numbers). Wednesday, I had pain in my right iliotibial band, one of the banes of the hill runner, so I was wondering if I had spent myself in one meaningless training run or if I was just sore; I couldn't run downhill. Thursday, I could run downhill, if I limped, favoring the right leg. Friday was better, but I was still babying that leg. I needed a good run.
Saturday, I headed out, starting well under 7 minute miles. It was tough, but comfortable. As I approached 7 miles, I recalled Helen having put in 7 in 50:03 (if I remember correctly) at the end of a training run and my wondering at the time if I could do that. I was well under 50! My leg started to have twinges on the downhills, so I backed off the pace and did another 3 at about 7:15-7:20. Then my right heel hurt very badly, so I shut it down and jogged another hour to make it a long run.
Not the greatest run, but promising. I now feel I could do Superior in 4:52-5:00. Given that I want to break 4:40, I still have a long way to go, but it at least seems possible. Not bad for a guy who wasn't able to climb a flight of stairs in November! Even if I manage my 4:40, it still doesn't mean much to anyone else: among the masters, Darrin Johnson ran 4:02, Andy Holak 4:16, Steve Schuder 4:18 and Rick Cleary 4:22. That's some rarified company.
I just hope Helen doesn't decide this race is more important than Miwok!
Aid Station: Eugene Curnow
12 hours ago