Saturday, August 25, 2007

Pre-Headlands 50k

Wow, lots of fast runners for tomorrow's race. Should be interesting who makes top 10 and in what order. I already made a comment on Scott Dunlap's blog about the people to watch for.

I'm just happy that I'll be making the race. Although my wife isn't. She'd rather have gone early, but, dunno, though I'm no obstetrician, maybe there is an advantage to staying in the womb for the full 38-40 weeks. If I had missed the race for that reason, I was going to still get the T-shirt and then print "DNS" with the date & time of delivery, and his weight and height.

My last good training run ends up being last Wednesday, 15th. That day I drive the car to the dealership for the pre-paid 5,000-mile maintenance, take their shuttle into snotty, gated community at base of Mt. Diablo, run up to the summit and down a different way. Return missed calls from dealership that car is ready, keep losing reception. Driver says he wouldn't pick me up in Alamo, only Danville. I call my wife, she confirms the Hap Magee Park along the Diablo to Trampas regional trail borders Danville, so call the driver back, tell him I will be there, and kick butt for 45 minutes through Alamo and barely make the day's penultimate pickup, and before 680 gets too nasty-crowded. Great 4 1/2 hour run!

Friday 17th is supposed to be another long run, before I do overnight shifts all weekend. Unfortunately, my son gets a febrile illness Thursday, is sent home from preschool and has to stay home Friday. He's up a few times at night screaming. By the morning he's more than recovered and bouncing to play. I cannot justify leaving him with his mother all day, so I scrap that plan. During his afternoon nap, I sneak out to do a loop on the trails near my house. At the bottom of a gentle incline, I suddenly wipe out, my filled bottle explodes Gu2O all over my face, and I get trail-rash all over my L side including a large gash on my left palm that any deeper would've needed stitches. Luckily no orthopedic issues. In retrospect, it happened because there the sun gives way to shade, the dirt is a little loose, and I am not watching very close.

My first two overnights are tough. Sunday I wake up late morning, and I'm back during my son's naptime to do the same trails as Friday. I'm really careful not to wipe out. I come back and shower as my son wakes up. We start playing. I start getting chills. He starts playing harder. I start feeling nauseated and weak and tired. Plus my shift that night starts at 9pm instead of 11pm. I bail and feeling guiltly go to bed. I wake up sick. But barring death or dismemberment, I must work. Every chance I get, I lay my head by the computer, and I even lie down on a stretcher a couple times. Luckily the shift starts slowly and by the time things pick up I'm not feeling as sick.

Still, it takes a few days to completely recover, so Monday and Tuesday, when I'd normally do training runs, I don't run. Wednesday's too close to hammer a lot of miles. I run the same trails for 100 minutes. Thursday I run 50 minutes to work, and drive home the car I left there Wednesday.

Much more than a taper than I'd normally like. Maybe it will work to my favor-- I'm probably too fidgety with running to taper enough. On the bright side, I didn't get right BEFORE the race. In any case, Headlands 50k is too competitive a race to expect to place highly.

It'll be great seeing everyone there. As long as I don't check my phone afterwards with a message that my sister-in-law drove my laboring wife to the hospital...


rick said...

What a week Mark. Wipeout, trail rash, and sickness. Great race. It was my first ultra and it's always been competitive, like the Miwok 100k. Hope there's less excitement next week. Be rootin for you. Chikara's going to be there as well, at least that's what he said when I spoke to him last.

rick said...

oops I thought it was next weekend but now I get too check results instead. My mind's been preoccupied with the UTMB, the Cascade Crest and a couple of IM's. Sorry bout that.