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 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...