Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Pick Your Poison 2011

First, a non-running event that touched my family. On Sunday, we had to put our 17 year old cat Babe to sleep because of a sudden (and severe) health issue. Although I knew it would be hard on the kids who basically grew up with him, my wife and I were surprised by how hard it was to let him go. It was a heart wrenching experience. Now our house, that used to be alive even when we were out,  feels hollow and empty when we enter. I always think I see him out of the corner of my eye and my heart sinks when I remember that he's gone. I miss you Babe.

I ran PYP for the first time last year and I thought I knew what to expect. I knew the course had changed from an email that Pierre had sent on the ous-l mailing list stating that "annoying flat part in the middle is now more hills". Somehow, it didn't register.

It was a beautiful day with pretty much perfect conditions. The course was in great shape with very little snow and water on the ground, a welcome relief after Seaton. I got lost a couple of time, once early in the race after wrong directions were given to a group I was running in and another time after I pretty much jumped over a marked log placed there to prevent idiots like me from running down that way. 

My main goal for this race was to eat more calories. In a great many races last year and then again at Seaton, I've been bonking at around 30km and I've decided to increase my caloric intake by taking an extra 200 calories an hour. Another important goal was to run slow enough so I wouldn't set myself back. Earlier in the week I had pulled something in my left lower calf and I still had some pain there. I almost didn't do the race but I decided to at least start and take it from there. I really need the mileage. It turned out that the pain didn't get any worse. I didn't take any Tylenol until the very last loop, and even then it was more about my right ankle than the calf.

The new course was indeed harder, but I managed to run a really even pace. I never bonked and the last loop actually felt like my most solid one. I did have my first cramp ever going up one of those hills. Didn't last long but man does it hurt. I'd had cramps after races but never during an event. I think that I was somehow protecting that left calf and working some muscle group more than usual. Anyway, by the time I got to the top I was fine and it didn't happen again.

I ran the last two loops by myself and really enjoyed it. As I said, I applied just a bit of pressure on the last loop, keeping in mind that my leg was a bit iffy. The last uphills came just at the right time and I finished in 7h05min, about 45 minutes over last year although I felt I ran at about the same effort level. I guess there WERE more hills. I believe my ranking is actually better than last year although I'm not sure about the total number of runners. There were definitely more DNF this year.

Really nice race, well organized, fun to run. Thanks you Adam (RD) and volunteers!


Sara Montgomery said...

Good race, JD. Glad your calf held together.

Very sorry about Babe.

Derrick said...

Hey JD,

Sounds like it went well. Good stuff!

Sorry about Babe as well. Always tough.