Sunday, June 3, 2012

1:59 for Twenty

I ran an easy 5.5 miles on Thursday night in Cabin John (making it 15.5 for the day) and then an easy 8 the next morning before work. I was feeling good. The running is boring, but sometimes that's what it takes.

On Saturday Karl and I drove to Lake Needwood. We explored new trails and at one point I ran with a frog in my hand for a quarter mile. Due to all the stops it took us about 7 hours to run 10 miles. At the least the pace was easy.

On Sunday I drove up to Edward's Ferry for a chance to run the now infamous "Duel Ferries" loop...twice. Although I've made the trek to Poolesville two time this spring, I've yet to attempt the 20-mile distance. My goal was to cut the pace down until I was hovering near 6:00 per mile, then contain that pace until the 15-18 mile mark. I wanted to put myself in a position to take down the course mark the evil Chris Sloane set earlier this spring, but that wasn't my goal per se. I started off easy, but quickly found my stride running in the 6:10s for the first 5 miles. I finally dipped below 6:00 around 7 miles into the run. My breathing was noticeably relaxed. In fact, I was hardly breathing at all. I took a moment to reflect a little and was thankful I'd come this far in my training. Now 6flat pace felt like a jog.

I steamed ahead through "Kansas" but, the sun, although shining brightly, wasn't nearly has hot as in run's past. A pleasant wind blew across the grass fields and chilled the sweat on my brow. The unseasonably cool (high 70s) weather was rare for a "Duel Ferries" run. Today was a day to take advantage of that fact. But, no sooner did I have that thought did I spy a couple of giant black vultures mauling the remains of a carcass on the side of the road. As I rolled closer, the critter looked like a fox. "Poor fella", I thought, only to discover a moment later it was actually a possum. Good. Omen avoided.

As I approached the half way mark (1:01:30), I saw a shirtless Chicken Tender Stalker mingling near the old dilapidated white house. I grabbed a quick slug of Gatorade and drained the fox kidney in the bushes and then began to chase Andy as he, strangely, surged quickly ahead. I was running 5:50s and CTR was likely running 5:45s, but I wasn't running with him. So I lingered behind the chicken-loving starlet and yelled out "aqua" around the 12 mile mark as a signal for him to take to the water pump coming up in a mile and a half. I wanted water, but I also wanted to run with him. Thankfully he heard me. When I slowed up to grab a drink, a biking/camping couple was filling their respective CamelBaks. Not in the mood to wait, I pulled out my revolver, fired three shots in the air and ordered CTR to start pumping water. The couple, now wide-eyed, backed away from the pump and I had my fill. Soon I was refreshed and back on my way.

I hit 15 miles in 1:30:30, but the CTR was gone. He had headed back towards Edward's Ferry via the towpath. I knew the record was in sight, but I wanted to hold my pace until the last couple of miles. My pace hovered between 5:35 and 5:45, depending on the ups and downs, over the next couple miles. I felt super strong. 17 miles came and I realized I "only" had to run 3 x 5:40 miles from here on out. It was very doable since I hadn't really started pushing yet. "Kansas" came and went and I began to focus all efforts on getting home. The vultures were gone, but the possum stared up with his last dying eye. I closed in 5:29 and ran 1:59:03, which apparently is the record. The old record was 1:59:30 something.

It was my longest run in about two years and my best week of mileage (84) in two years. And, it was the easiest hard 20 I've ever run. I can't remember when I've felt this good running so long so fast. Later in the day I hiked 3 miles and worked out the kinks.

It's all very silly to post so much about a stupid training run. Yes, I agree.


642 618 613 612 603 - 31:23
608 600 600 558 553 - 29:59 (1:01:22)
552 550 548 552 547 - 29:09
547 546 541 544 529 - 28:27 (57:41, 1:59:03)


Anonymous said...

Did the watch stay running during the water breaks?


KLIM said...


Anonymous said...

Klame. Next time get Nuggetz to supply you water via bike so you don't have to stop.


KLIM said...

When was the last time YOU let your watch run during a piss break Tugboat? This wasn't a race...

Anonymous said...

In no way am I trying to diminish your feat or contest it's legitimacy. Up to this point it's only been a "gentleman's record" (no standardized timing.) I only raise the issue because if you and Benedict intend to fight it out all summer for the record, there needs to be some sort of standardization. A water/bathroom break could range anywhere from 20 seconds to 3 minutes. Probably best to use the split function on the watch and get the splits of any cessation from running while the course is being contested. It would be interesting to have 2 metrics: Total Running time to complete course and total elapsed time to complete course. While the former is more useful for your own training logs, the latter is the truer determinant of which harrier has covered the ground in the shortest amount of time.


KLIM said...

Again, it's a training run, not a race. "Records" naturally "happen" when one runs routes and loops over and over again. I have no interest or intention of creating a set of rules.

Andy said...