Sunday, August 31, 2008


I had a great week after Green Lakes and after Monster Marathon on Sunday I am officially starting my taper for the Iroquois Trails 100 miler.

Total mileage for the week= 71 miles

Monday= Rest
Tuesday= easy 3 miles down Warren Rd. in morning; easy 5 miles in evening with Finger Lakes Running Company crew
Wednesday= 4 miles around SUNY Cortland campus in morning; 6 miles through Buttermilk Falls State Park in evening
Thursday= 10 miles on Black Diamond Trail and Cass Park add-on in morning; one hour massage in afternoon
Friday= Rest
Saturday= 17 miles through Cayuga Heights, Ithaca College and downtown loop w/ Jason C.
Sunday= 26 miles at Monster Marathon in Virgil, NY

I knew this was a debatable week as far the timing went for the 100 mile run. I went back and forth about taking it easy or doing some more relatively high mileage. I decided to play it by ear and see how the body (and mind) felt. Tuesday I was definitely still sore from Green Lakes 50K. By Wednesday I was feeling a lot better and I treated myself to an hour massage on Thursday for my birthday. By then I felt so much better but I still decided to take a day off on Friday...mostly because of other obligations though! I still wanted to squeeze one more quality back to back long run weekend in before the big race. Initially I wanted to do 30-40 miles on Saturday and then do the Monster Marathon as a training run at a much slower pace. Well, since I only did 17 miles on Saturday I figured I would see how I felt in the race in Virgil on the same course as the 100 miler.

I really like this local race put on by The Finger Lakes Runners Club. Usually Becky Harman is the race director but with her being in California Karen Grover and Tim Ingall took the reigns and as usual did a wonderful job.

I started at 8 am with a tough group of guys...Michael Wunsch, Chris Byler and Scot Jacobs to name a few. I started off w/ Chris and Michael but by about mile 3 or 4 was all alone in third place. I didn't mind this at all because of the staggered starts at this race you are always going by someone or approaching a runner coming at you. Honestly the way those two were moving from the get go I had no intentions of even attempting to catch either one.

The weather was great... shaded and cool for most of the first half marathon and lots of smiles. I must say it is so great to see and hear Bob Talda volunteering w/ his daughter at these trails races. His bellowing voice and enthusiasm are so motivating...Thanks Bob!

At the half-way point I stopped in at Scotie's car and refueled for round number two. I couldn't believe how much energy I had especially after running a hard 50K the previous Sunday and 17 miles the day before. I guess I'm in prime shape for Iroquois.

I climbed Greek Peak again and finally made it to the top. As I got further into the race (probably between 17-19 miles) people were telling me that I was gaining on the second place guy (Michael W.). This coupled with the fact that I was feeling amazingly good prompted me to kick it in to a higher gear to close the gap. I was having so much fun along the way too. I exchanged words of encouragement with other runners and smacked high fives.

Around mile 21 I caught a glimpse of Michael through the forest. I picked up the pace a little and passed him by and wondered where the leader (Chris Byler) might be. Well, after inquiring briefly from a search and rescue volunteer I accepted the fact that it was humanly impossible to catch him unless something bad happened. He was flying!

Traversing down the mountain was fun. I kept asking others questions like, "how many of your friends are running over ski resorts on a Sunday morning?" I think this sort of perspective was good for people regardless of how fast or what place you are in. I came into the finish area with a time of 3:46 and change... good for second place overall. This race was a huge boost of confidence for me going into my taper.

Once again thanks to the volunteers and it was great to catch up with locals and see some newcomers finish their first half marathon on a very demanding course. However, I didn't see the monster this year! did anyone else!? No more races for me until I complete the mother of all races...The Iroquois Trails 100 on September 20, 2008. Until then see you on the trails and happy running!

Quote of the week: "Running up and down a mountain is not just any old 10K road race. It's an adventure, a taste of excitement; it's a realization that the human body---your body---is a tough old thing. And that you're the boss of it, you can make it do this strange thing---this defying of gravity! Steve Ovett meets Sir Edmund Hillary."----Douglas Barry on Irish mountain racing

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