Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Flashback to Colfax

Yesterday, the Denver Post ran an article on the Colfax Marathon - as it is approaching this weekend (that is me, directly under the first "T" and Justin Mock, the eventual winner far right). A year ago, I was all primed and ready to go for the race. I remember throwing down some pretty sweet work outs in preparation for the race. I can't help but feel like I am mirroring Justin Mock's blog with this post, but I have been finding myself - what with my break from running and all - in a very reflective mode, wanting to recount and love the past in order to better appreciate the future.

- I did a couple of running commutes to work at Barr Camp (10,200 feet) from my house in C. Springs - about 21 miles each way. I would run 21 miles up on Saturday, work, then cruise the 21 back on Sunday. One weekend, I went 21 miles up to camp on Friday, circumnavigated and summitted Pikes from Barr Camp on Saturday (16-17 miles), then did the 21 mile return run on Sunday.

- I was all about treadmill work with Colfax build-up. I burned out two pretty sweet treadmills at the UCCS rec. center. I was putting in 100-110 miles a week on the mill, 80% of those miles 6 minutes or faster. My easy runs were comfy at 6:30 pace and my tempos took me down to 5:25, 5:30 pace. The staff of the gym helped me out with the mills by getting an adjacent treadmill up to pace so I could jump onto it after 45 minutes or so on each mill. I remember having pretty comfortable conversations with friends next to the mill and on the phone at 6 minute pace.

- Sweetest work out. One work out that I borrowed from the Brook-Hansons running group was the 2 by 10k work out - granted, at a much slower pace. I put in a 36:30 10k, jogged .5 miles, then going straight into a 35:00 10k, followed by a mile cool down. Felt awesome.

- On the road and hills I was flying. I ran Palmer Park and Monument trail quite a bit. Enjoyed running the trails of Colorado Springs, seeing some of the local running heroes every now and again - Tony Krupicka and Matt Carpenter.

Things were good, my body was recovering really well and I was ready to run a fast marathon. My last marathon, the previous fall, was a huge lift to my spirits and confidence - took 1st at the Mountainair Marathon from Crested Butte to Gunnison (3:04 at close to 9000 feet, off of 3-4 weeks of low altitude training). Of course, things didn't go so smoothly at Colfax. Out of the gate I felt great. I was so flipp'n focused on running a good, smooth marathon. After mile 1, staying tight with the lead pace bikers, a few of the relay runners and I, unknowningly, got off course. We were told to turn around a few minutes after the error. My heart sank. Still feeding off the rush of the start, I picked up pace to recover my position on the course. My remember putting in the second mile in 5:35 or so. The combination of the erratic beginning, my hasty overexertion at mile 2 and my shattered mental game, ruined me. I tried hanging with Justin Mock for awhile, but couldn't get my stuff back together, my breathing was out of hand and my head was aswirl with what-ifs and oh-craps and where could I run next, to best capatilize on my good shape. At mile 7, I made the decision to drop out. I removed my number and jogged back to the miles to the start and immediately started looking to the Estes Park Marathon...


GZ said...

Brian - do you find that you can move a bit faster on the mill than outdoors?

Brian Christianson said...

GZ. Ya know, I think I am faster on the treadmill. Too, on days when I am dragging it is nice to be pulled along a bit by the track. It is definitely a different style of running and one that I usually have to make provision for once I hit the road. I have heard that .5 to 1% incline on the treadmill is a good mediator of the pace discrepency.

GZ said...

Brian - good stuff. I do all my stuff on the mill at .5% but I have contemplated throwing it up to 1% to get the pace a bit more real. People complain about how tough mill running is, but I think once you get your head around it (over it, stupid about it) it is MUCH easier than regular running.

Justin Mock said...

Good post. You were killing the mileage! I didn't realize that you ran Estes, so just checked the results and didn't see you - curious as to what happened? I was registered for it, but after DNF'ing at Steamboat 2 weeks after Colfax, I scratched for Estes, which was 2 weeks after Steamboat. Run enough, it'll catch up to you eventually.

Got to admit, wish I was healthy and in shape to toe the line this Sunday. Having trouble getting back to 100% both physically and mentally. Let me know if you're ever in the area and we'll get some miles in.