Yesterday I ran the Get in Gear 10k with Jen. It was her first 10k after having started running roughly six months ago. She did fabulously, I think she's a natural. She started out at 11:30 min miles, and ended at roughly 11:30 min miles, running even splits throughout. At the end, she felt like she was going to lose her breakfast crossing the finish line, so you know she picked the perfect pace. She didn't get caught up in the throngs of people that went out too fast, and was rewarded by coming in much faster than she had anticipated.
It was a lot of fun, I played roving photographer, running ahead at corners or other interesting locations to grab photos. It was quite an experience being in a large road race for the first time in nearly 2 years, the people just kept coming, and were everywhere for the whole race. It was interesting as I'd nearly forgotten what it's like, I'm not used to having to negotiate people on all sides, other than to pass or be passed on the trail.
It was very rewarding to help her through her first race. Those of you that have been at races with me know that she is a fixture at every race supporting me. I look forward to pacing others in their first 100 mile attempts in the future.
When I first decided to run Zumbro, I realized and accepted that if I finished, I'd probably be putting myself out of commission for much of the nice spring training weather. I made the conscious decision that it would be worth it for a 100 mile finish. Now that I have to live with that choice, and the race is behind me, I'm finding it a bit frustrating. In my head when I made the decision, I assumed I'd have some new level of aches and pains from the 100 that would take a few weeks or a month to heal. Instead, I found that my muscles healed quickly (within the first week), but I'm now stuck in that frustrating state where my body feels fine but the engine just won't go. I can only describe it as a feeling of overtraining, because last time I felt like this, it was due to overtraining. I assume I basically burned out my endocrine system with the training and the race (even though I did a very good taper and showed no signs of this leading up to the race). After a couple of days rest, I can go out and run a 6-7 mile weekday run at my normal pace and heart rate, but the next day I go out and the wheels fall off. My pace is off by a minute or two, and my heart rate is much higher (~20 beats) for any given pace. This happened to me this week. Wed - 6.2 miles @8:40 pace @ 148BPM, Thu - 5.4 miles @9:43 pace @147BPM. The numbers only tell half of the story, I felt like crap during the Thursday run. I took Friday off, and ran Get in Gear with Jen on Saturday. At the 11:30 pace we were going, I should have been idling my heart, but instead it was in the low 130's, which for me should have been a 9:30-10:00 pace. On top of that, I run around with tired legs all day. Oh well, I'm sure this is all normal for 2 weeks post first 100, but it's frustrating for someone who enjoys running most days. I'm not concerned about missing out on critical training or anything like that, it's just that my daily runs are a quality of life issue for me. Anyhow, I guess this is one of the less obvious sacrifices of running a 100 miler.