Sunday, March 8, 2009

I finished Catawba Run Around, now what?

2009 Catawba Run Around: 35 miles, 10:30

For most of the hikers I saw on the Appalachian Trail yesterday, it was a perfect day. Who could ask for anything better than 78-degrees and lots of sun on an early March day?

I'd rather have had 45-degrees and raining.

The 2009 Catawba Run Around is over. I finished, in a slowest time ever of 10:30 (two hours slower than last year). But it was a tough run from the get go. Here are my excuses (you know what they say about excuses, right?):
  • I started out too fast. Note to self: ascending Dragon's Tooth early in the race in the top 6 is not a good idea.
  • It was hot. No lie. I bet it hit 80-degrees in the mid-afternoon. And there was not a cloud in the sky.
  • I wore the wrong shoes. Where was all that mud I predicted?
  • Nutrition: I didn't eat enough early in the race and ran out of water 4 miles short of the 3rd aid station
  • The reverse direction is TOUGH! The climbs seem so much steeper in that direction. It's not just my imagination either. Run organizer Keith said the same thing.
  • My training? I don't know. I finished ahead of some great high-mileage ultrarunners, but could I have done better with more training mileage?
I do know that I am not sore today. I have no injuries from the run. My legs were strong most of the way (except for some of those climbs!). I credit that to the sprints and squats I've been doing.

I really feel like my biggest adversary was the unexpected heat. When you do all your training in 25-40 degrees, 65-80 degrees is a bit much.

I felt worse than I have felt in a race for a long time, and mentally it was a big challenge. But on a day where many dropped, (Yo Adrian!) I finished.

For now I'm going to keep training the way I've been training. Short, high intensity runs and lots of non-running workouts. I need to start focusing on that 5k goal. I have a 50k to run in July, but it is on very forgiving trails compared to my other ultras. I think I can do well there on 25-mile weeks and high intensity training. As Hellgate approaches, I need to spend more time on the mountains. That is the one element that I think was missing from my training for Catawba.

At least I can count on more comfortable temperatures for Hellgate.

Run hard out there...


Sophie Speidel said...

Two words for you:

Hill repeats.

Great seeing you, Neal!

Neal Jamison said...


Two words for you:

Yes Ma'am!

David Ray said...

The heat came fast this year. No time for acclimation yet. Good run on a tough day.

Jud said...

More lunges! Looking forward to the HIIT Marathon.

Neal Jamison said...

Ah, the HIIT marathon. Stay tuned for more on that.