All right. A couple of days removed from Imogene and I'm starting to realize the impending 50. This is a similar year to last in that one week following "The Race" on my calendar, I scheduled another. Last year, it was my first marathon. Boulder. That race was run on a day which was brutally hot, and the organizers somehow managed to run out of water and Gatorade for the later finishers of the race. I also seem to remember results taking forever to get posted afterwards. Googling around afterwards, in part to see if anyone was injured or worse as a result of the organizers rather lax preparations, I stumbled across Brandon's blog, and that really got this ball rolling - You know, if that dude can do this stuff, why can't I? So...
Early in the year this year, I had proposed to my cousin that we run the Mount Desert Island Marathon. He used to be a sub 3 hour marathoner, and might well be close to that now if he trained for it, but skiing is his real passion. I was thinking I'd try for a Boston qualifier at MDI, but wanted to make sure that I wouldn't be wasting a plane ticket, lodging and the sundry assemblage of folks for what might turn out to be an abject failure... So I put the Steamboat Marathon on my schedule with a time goal of 3:30. If I could hit 3:30, I'd bust my ass with interval training and miserable hot runs throughout this summer and then try down at sea level to uncork 3:15. It was a hard cap.
Steamboat went well through the first 22 miles. I was well under my 3:30 goal, but two factors conspired against me in the last 4 miles. One, a not insignificant hill got in my way and two, the sun. The lower stretches of the course were very exposed and the temperature seemed to get very high. I suffered. I had opted not to don my "Sun Runner" hat prior to the race and that might have been the difference. I finished Steamboat in 3:33. Three minutes off of my goal pace. No BQ attempt this year, run for fun was the name of the game. Intervals suck, but running long in the mountains doesn't: a fifty miler would make it onto my schedule.
At first I thought it would be the North Fork 50. I've got some roots in Buffalo Creek, and a fundraiser for the volunteer fire department seemed like a tremendous idea. But, couple the high temps of July 17th with a difficult course I was already very familiar with thanks to my MTB and I decided NF50 would be a no go. I started thinking that a 50 after Imogene would be sweet. Ideally something in October, but I wanted something that didn't involve laps.
I ended up deciding that Steamboat would be the race, but I had to hold off on registering until August because of financial timing issues. When I got around to clicking the link "register now" the race was already over it's 150 runner cap. I was sad. I mailed the race director a note, "Are you going to open up more slots?" and got back, "We're going to try. Check the site regularly." Which I dutifully did and lo, more slots opened. Thanks Montrail.
So, just like last year. One week after Imogene, I'll be undertaking my first of some crazy distance. Last year it was a marathon which took almost 5 hours. This year it'll be my first ultramarathon. I'd say I have a specific time goal, but I wanted to go under 4 for last year's Boulder Marathon, so I'll just say I won't be breaking 10 hours this year. Next year - 100? Um... Doubtful.
Re: today's running. Quads are still sore from Imogene, but much better than yesterday. All else is happy. I ran 3 miles very easy in my VFF with Homey who also got brushed today. Good day all around.
Thank for reading.