Yeah I know all my fellow marathon/Ultra friends. I am sure I have let you all down by running a...a....yeah...a...measly....15k! Gail and I went down to Salem today to run the Willamette Valley Road Runners Zena Road Race. It is North and West of Salem in the West hills. I have been having a hard time getting motivated this winter. Yeah I have done the Christmas Marathon, and yes the Redding marathon but my training has been very light. I don't even have any idea how much I have run since my coolruning.com website was shut down in early December. I have looked at others but just haven't transferred my data over. So not knowing how much I have run doesn't help with the motivation. So a few weeks ago I figured I would try and do some shorter runs to get me "juiced up" again.
Gail and I met my dad there before the race. My 73 year old father race walks and loves to win. Hope I have half the energy he has. Registration was nice and cheap at $10 day of race. No medals, no big awards, just some ribbons and light snacks at the finish.
This race isn't easy for sure. The first 2.5 miles are big time uphill. Just as much as any ultra. In an ultra I would have walked 80% of the first 3 miles for sure. But the fact it was only going to be 9.3 miles I figured I would gut it out. Now as you all know I am a big guy and this train starts "REAL" slow. I didn't break a 10 minute pace until 2.5 miles or so. After the big uphills they have real big downhills. I haven't done any speed work so the ol' legs wouldn't move too fast. The Garmin said 6:24 was my fastest pace on the steep downhills, not bad but not fast for how steep they were.
By mile 3 I was sub 10 for the race pace. The rest of the race was mostly rolling hills and was a challenge for sure. I remember why I hate short races! They hurt too much. Ultra's are so different, the pain is mental, emotional and fatigue. These races its lung and leg burn. No one passed me the entire race, but that isn't saying much as I start so slow.
My final time was 1:22 and change, it worked out to a 8:58 pace or so which made me very happy with all the hills. This was fun and it didn't take all day. Gail ended up at 1:33 which was much faster than she thought she would do.
This is my speed year. Last year was quantity. Next up is the Mud at The Hague, Hagg I mean. After that it may be the Pacific Rim 24 hour run. I am still not sure if I get that day off from work or not. I have no clue how long I can run but it will be a good test. Especially doing that loop after loop. Last year I just did the 50K then called it quits. I do want to find some 15K to 1/2 marathons to run this spring. The 1/2 used to be my favorite. Last year I never did any run shorter than a marathon. Should be a fun year if gut gets smaller than "San-Tee Claus!"