Saturday, March 10, 2012

February....shhh! No Bad Weather..

Not to jinx it but wowsa the February weather was great for training, no serious cold spells and importantly no snow! Which all meant a good 2nd training block and great first race of the year.

Building on the first month of the preparation for Ironman St George on May 5th, February was a 4 week build month focusing on longer hours and gradually a bit more tempo work.

So the numbers for the 2nd month of three build weeks and one recovery week were:

Hours: 54hrs 50mins
Miles: 665.37m
Bike: 27hrs 58mins
Run: 17hrs 22mins
Swim:9hrs 29mins

The best thing of the month aside from the consistency which is key to Ironman training was the first race of the year at the ICY-8hr Trail Run held at Lake Anna State Park. Yep, the race is simple, whoever runs the most miles in 8hrs wins! The course was all trail bar a few hundred of pavement and there was a long loop (8miles) and short loop (5miles). So the rule for the day, which was pleasantly nice weather for February, was to start slow and probably get slower.

Having never raced on my feet for 8hrs (Ironman races don't count) I was in the land of the unknown and this was also my first trail ultra race since 2007, as I said in my last post this is all part of a bigger plan! So I headed out at what seemed like an amazingly slow pace of 8:30min/miles and surprisingly this felt good on the sloppy trail conditions. My plan was to run the long course for as long as possible and then begin to calculate the time and how many smaller loops I could fit in before the horn sounded.....remember you have to finish your last lap before the 8hrs, if you don't the lap counts for naught!

At the end of every lap I was back at ground central picking up a new bottle from Sarah and getting some nutrition, quick and simple. For 4hrs this was great and the pace was relatively steady....then it started to hit home, not only did the temperature drop but so did the pace. It was a slightly odd feeling, I was stuck in one gear. I walked the major hills and yet the lap pace (on the short lap now) was consistent at 10:30min/miles, no faster, no slower.

Doing the calculations and managing to stick to the pace gave me a final of 46.1miles in 7hrs 52mins and a 4th place overall finish, just a few miles off the winner! It may sound odd, but I loved the race and will be going longer at the 12hour race in September. A great start to the season and hopefully it bodes well for the races to come.

1 comment:

TerribleTerry said...

Bravo, that's quite a run.