Tuesday, March 8, 2016
Caumsett 50K National Championship, Caumsett Park, NY, 3/6/16
After my wonderful experience at the Central Park Marathon on 2/21, I ended up with pneumonia by 2/23. I have no idea how I could get so sick so fast, but I can't recall the last time I was so ill. I had 102.5 fevers on and off for three days. My chest was so congested I could hardly function. I did not leave my house for 5 full days. I couldn't eat. I woke up each night soaked in sweat, too cold to get out of bed to find dry clothes. I started sleeping with a change of clothes bedside so I didn't have to go far. My fever broke by Thursday.
While sitting home sick, I managed to design and develop a new national running club. I am quite proud of that accomplishment. I wrote to sponsors and got support in return. I got my club members discounts of races and gear in return for sharing sharing information about sponsor with my club. Kim helped me get it all set up by letting me bounce ideas off her non-stop for days. Her endurance for my obsessiveness is impressive! People have already joined and our group has blossomed. We have a photo contest and a race series taking place for prizes and a very supportive Facebook group of kind people united by the love of running. More information for my new club be found here - http://www.creatingmomentumcoaching.com/creating-momentum-running-club.html.
I did drag myself to the doctor during my illness for a chest X-ray and 10 days of antibiotics (Yes the bad kind that carries a risk of tendon rupture. I just could not bring myself to protest the prescription. If anyone looked at me or heard me speak, suggesting I might be planning to run during my illness was too ridiculous for even me to say out loud. I still managed to run 1 mile each day, but we won't talk about how this was the only time in my 5 years of streak running that I felt foolish for running. But now that I feel better, I am glad I did run those 10 minutes each day.)
I went to Caumsett because I had seven runners in one of the two events (the 50k or the 25k). I knew many were ready to race well and I had to be there to witness their hard work.
I started my race with Kim and Mark with a plan to set them off on pace to break 5 hours. This was Kim's first 50k and Mark's second. Jessica and Rich were racing their first 50ks. Rebecca was there running the 50k Nationals for the second year in a row. Nikki and Bryan were running the 25k for training, although Nikki realized she had a shot to win and make a little bit stronger effort. In addition to this ultra, I had Steven and Julian racing a 40 miler event in PA. Today was an exciting day for my runners. I get more excited for them than I do myself.
I also got to see RayK again. I realized I may not have seen him in years! How is it possible for so much time to pass. But we talk so often it doesn't feel like we are that far apart.
As soon as we started running, we did not even get 1 mile and I knew this was not going to go well for me. Kim could just tell. Ray took off and had a great run! Every step I took was a struggle. It was simply too soon for me to be running hard. My body was very tired. My muscles had not moved much in about 14 days by this time. This was more than a healthy taper. It seemed closer to atrophy.
I decided to stay with Kim and Mark through Lap 5 (15.5 miles) and then I would let them go. We were moving at about a 9:30 pace and I could hold that pace well, but I just felt miserable. I found that if I moved a little faster, I felt better but I could not hold the pace for that long.
At one point I spent some time catching up with Trishul, who is always supportive and understanding. We shared a little about goals and plans and I caught him up on my back problems and pneumonia. I decided I wanted to catch back up to Kim and Mark but they had pulled ahead by quite a margin. I dropped my pace to 8:20 and felt better moving that fast. Then I felt a shocking muscle spasm to my groin. I slowed the pace but I could feel that something was going wrong. I continued to feel spasming, in both sides now as I tried to run. I slowed more and could not find a pace that was comfortable. Soon I was running 10:30 pace and still feeling like I was doing damage. The waves of spasms when I lifted my legs eventually made it clear that 21 miles was enough running for the day.
I started walking and ended up with a guy named Joe. We walked and talked about everything. Pilots and Paws, us both having pneumonia last week, running races, etc. It was very nice to have company. I decided to walk one more lap. Walking was not sending shock waves of spasms, but running was not possible any more. I suspect that the antibiotics, plus the complete shut down of activity for two weeks, made my body too weak to handle the demands of running a 50k event.
As Joe and I walked my final lap, I got to see almost everyone I was training for the 50k pass by. It was wonderful to see so many on pace for great performances. Mark set a marathon PR en route to a 32 minute 50k PR, even with the last few miles catching up with him.
Kim broke 5 hours at her first 50k! This makes me so happy b/c she came back from a very bad stress fracture. We started over completely and now she can jump into marathons as training runs and run 31 miles nonstop at 9:27 pace!
Jessica ran a 4:25 and placed 8th OA Female and Rebecca ran a 4:07 for 6th place OA Female also taking 32 minutes off her 50k PR. Nikki took second in the 25k and Bryan ran a perfect negative split LR ending with sub-marathon race pace. Rich had a tough day, but had ambitious goals. We knew it was risky. Sometimes you just have to take the risk and leave your heart out there. He had figured out things that contributed to difficulties of his run and that is what training and racing is about.
At the 40 miler, Steven PR'd but that was a gimmie b/c he never ran 40 miles before. However he did win his AG so that is something to be very pleased with. Julian managed to master his fueling and take over an HOUR off his 40 mile race PR.
I may have not run well, but I had realistic expectation going into this race. My back felt perfect this entire run and that to me is a Win. I know I am ready to train again. I just did not want a groin strain to knock me out longer. I make a very safe choice and I am happy with that decision. My lungs are still congested but my body feels fine. I ran today and felt stronger. I have a lot of goals ahead of me and some weight I need to loose so I can feel better about my fitness. I need to be able to train to accomplish these plans.