Sunday, May 15, 2011


This morning I left home around 6AM in direction to my race destination. I got there by 6:45AM and had to wait a few minutes to pick up my bib number and timing chip. Around 7:30AM I started my warm up with an easy jog for the first two miles of the course. It was suppose to rain  but so far the weather was looking good. The wind was a problem but the sun was already showing up.

We got together by the start line around 8AM and had to wait another ten minutes for the late starters. Then the gun went off. At start there is a little incline followed by this long downhill. Some runners started a little too fast. After the first mile in the 5:40, things started to sort out. There was a runner in the front running by himself trying to brake the course record. Then a small group of four runners, and I was about 100 meters behind them. I had no idea how far ahead I was from the runners behind me. I stayed in control of my pace, trying to relax on the downhill and pick up the pace uphill.

I passed the two miles mark in 11:36. The wind was blowing side ways making things a little difficult but I was feeling good and keeping my eyes at runners ahead. The third mile was more of the same. The rolling hills kept coming. I passed the third mile in 17:16. And fourth mile in 23:16.

It was difficult for me accept what happened after the fifth mile. But first let me describe what happened between the fourth and fifth mile. After the 3.5 miles mark there is a gradual long hill of over 600 meters. It ends almost by the fourth mile mark where the paved section ends. The first four miles are on the pavement. Then there is a gate that is used to keep the cows in I suppose. So the pavement ends and dirty trail starts.  We went up this dirty trail and we hit the  highest  point in the course. I believe it is around 1,050 ft. To make things worse started raining. The trail was already muddy from the yesterday' s rain. Then there is a steep downhill. A nice drop from 1,050 ft to 700ft. I hit the turnaround or five miles mark in 29:40. Not so bad for the conditions.

Then we had to climb this steep hill way back. The mud started to stick on my shoes and added a few ounces to my body. The runner ahead was starting to slow down and I was almost catching  him. But I just tried to stay calm and finish the climb without trying to pass anyone. So I survived the long steep climb back to the top. That is followed by a long downhill section taking me back to the six miles or four miles mark. That I hit in 37:15. My slowest mile so far. No wonder with all that mud, rain and steep hills.

So I passed the six miles mark and all the sudden my legs become a cramping mess. My calves started to cramp so bad, that I could not even walk. I tried many times to keep running but no matter what I did, the cramps would come back. I was so way ahead of the runners behind me, that it took about five minutes for someone to pass me. I was extremely upset. Imagine being in no man's land being passed by joggers. It was quite demoralizing, but I had to deal with. Basically I walked  and jogged the last four miles averaging a pace of 7 minutes and 8 seconds for the 10 miles.

Maybe I made some changes in my diet that did not work out. I have some work to do trying to find out what went wrong. But it is just one more lesson to learn. I'm frustrated but not defeated. Next year I will be back.

On Saturday I did an easy run from home to the bike path and back adding a few fast strides to loose my legs. I felt good and light.


A13 said...

How are you?
That race must hacve been frustrating, especially after you last one.
Those cramps must really suck but i'm sure you know how to deal with them. Do you change your diet? I get very tiny cramps when i'm tired, or haven't had enough sleep and excersise..
Is that the end of the racing (running) season there where you are?
Good on you for telling the bagel where to go!
Thanks very much also for commenting on my blog,I appreciate it. I had a bit of writters block lately and sometimes i wonder if i should blog at all...but anyway.
Hope all is well with you :)
Cheers A13

Honk Bonk Man said...

I am feeling better after the race is over. It is hard to accept what happened yesterday. I am in great shape at moment and have such a bad day, it was very unexpected. I survived the hills, the wind, the rain, the mud, the bagels, etc. But the cramps got me.(Lux must be laughing at me) Nobody really knows what causes cramps while you are running. It could be a lack of sodium. It could be caused by driking too much water the day before. If I had taken a sodium pill during the race I might have been in better shape. I had similar problem before but it was long time ago during a hot day. I have a couple more hard races to do this summer: a hilly half-marathon and a hilly 9 miles race. Then it is the cross country season again. Maybe you should take some time off to read a book or do something different. The time spent in front of a computer passes so fast. Thanks for you comments. I always appreciate your sexy words.

A13 said...

I've heard that adding a little Iodised salt to meals will help reduce cramp..and having an epson salts bath does some good too.
I hope you do well in your races that are comming up as I'm sure you get a great sence of satisfaction from your running.
i wish i could run like you. :) for such a distance, do you get into some kind of rhythm?
and thank YOU for your kind words.
Cheers and regards

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