10kTruth.com Web Letter - December 2001
Happy Holidays and a great New Year to all who have signed up for the 10k Truth Web Letter, including new folks who have found us during the past month. We are pleased to report a growing contingent of .uk and .au addresses in the ol' 10kTruth Address Book! We have big plans for 2002. Okay, we haven't a clue how this website will evolve. But, as we look forward to January 2002, when 10kTruth turns three years old, we can assure you, with 10kTruth.com, "You get what you pay for!"
"There will come a point in the race, when you alone will need to decide. You will need to make a choice. Do you really want it? You will need to decide." - Rolf Arands More at: http://www.10ktruth.com/the_quotes/run.htm
This month the Rage and Coop sojourned to Sacramento (Sack-of-Tomatoes, as someone we know refers to it) for the California International Marathon. For our two intrepid members of team Kong, CIM became a test of their genetic make-up. See report with photos at: http://www.10ktruth.com/the_races/cim.htm
Race Report: California International Marathon, Sacramento, California - December 2001 "Sometimes, you get the bear. Sometimes, the bear gets you." Actor Sam Elliott putting a philosophical spin on "The Big Lebowski". I don't know if it was a subliminal message from the California state flag, but Coop suggested this line as we reflected on what had just taken place shortly after finishing the 2001 California International Marathon.
We were ready for this one. I knew Coop was ready after our last interval on the bike path, especially after he thrust out his stomach and demanded that I hit him as hard as I could. I gave him several of my best shots and he just smirked and asked, "Is that all you got, Rage?" After throwing down a gauntlet of my own, all I remember is a nice policeman kneeling over me asking me if I was O.K. I vaguely remember some guy handcuffed in running gear getting really mad when I said I didn't know who the heck he was or why he hit me. Fortunately, we got it all straightened out before we made the long drive to Sacramento, California.
I'm guessing it was about 500 miles to Sacramento from Eugene. I was thinking that the weather would improve the farther south we went. Wrong. In fact, it got worse. We pulled into town with the wipers on full. Winds were gusting up to 40 mph. It didn't seem real cold, but it was in the low 50's and would drop into the low 40's over night. At least it was only Friday, and undoubtedly, it would be better by Sunday. No doubt. After all, we were in California, right? In our hotel room, we passed the time going back and forth between Arnold Swartzenegger in "The Terminator" and the latest live Doppler radar shot. It was one big green glob covering the entire bay area and extending east to the Sierra Nevada. In the hotel room, you could hear the wind ripping through the trees and blasting against the windows. The rain was coming down sideways.
Ditto all day Saturday. We passed time by doing the usual go-to-the-expo-and-pick-up-the-race-packet-thing and ate every carb we could possibly stand while trying to ignore the weather. We also had fun being skillfully evasive about what pace we were going to run to other fellow Eugene runners. At 4:30 a.m. on Sunday, the rain appeared to have let up only slightly. The wind looked about the same. We put on our gear and headed out to the busses. It was awful to say the least. At the start, we got off the bus and found a spot to choose our running gear. I opted for gloves and long sleeves under a singlet to add some extra psychological torso protection. I also went with a Gortex hat over the 'ol Rage dome, something I am now certain saved my life. Coop went with short sleeves, hat and gloves. Both of us wore our normal running shorts. I also put on a garbage sack. I gave one to Coop, but he skipped his. Twenty minutes before the start, an announced crowd of 3,800 "brave souls" (as per the Sacramento Bee) were unmercifully hammered by the worst blast in the last 48 hours.
The smart runners found shelter off to the side of the course and would jump in after the gun. The rest of us were left milling around wishing we could just get on with it. Every runner was soaking wet and shivering 10 minutes before the start. In these conditions, volunteers appreciate those of us pre-wrapped in garbage sacks sparing them the hassle of trying to put on wet rubber gloves before they stuff us into the body bags not to mention a bare handed grip is a lot easier when stacking us in the meat wagon. I got separated from Coop after my last port-a-john visit and didn't get the chance for the philosophical exchange to underscore the ridiculousness of our predicament before we departed on 26.2 miles of insanity.
Finally, the gun sounded, and off we went, directly into the wind 3,800 runners dodging puddles and wondering what the heck they had all got themselves into. I turned to somebody next to me and said "You know, I don't want to sound crazy or anything, but I don't think I would even play golf in this." I gave up any idea of running in the low three's (the second smartest thing I did all day, next to the Gortex hat) and opted for a modest goal of "finishing strong." I felt really bad for the first timers as if running 26.2 miles wasn't already hard enough. I really didn't know if I could finish in these conditions. I get cold real easy (please refer to Manciata's scouting report on The Rage, taking special note of the "small gas tank").
I tried to make sure I focused on effort and not pace, but like everyone else, I wanted to get done and get warm again. A 7:08 into the wind told me I needed to quiet things down a bit, but then we turned down wind plus down hill and I was still clueless. It was still howling, raining sideways and I was in need of serious counseling. At mile five, we turned back directly into the wind which would dog us all until the finish. Brown rivers were flowing in the streets. Lots of runners were still wearing their garbage sacks. I passed one guy with garbage sacks wrapped around his shoes. At every aid station, I stopped running, grabbed two sports drink cups and made sure I drank every drop. At one hour, I consumed my first goo packet. After eight miles, I felt o.k. Not great, just o.k. I knew that was not a good sign.
The sky ahead was dark and the trees were bent over. I was running slightly bent forward, keeping the bill of my hat down focusing on the pavement about 10 feet in front of me, barely resembling a runner. The gusts would hit and I would feel like they were knocking me back. I hardly looked from side to side. My shoes were saturated with water and felt like lead weights. I could feel the water squeezing up between my toes with every foot strike. I tucked behind groups when I could, but refused to have any pace dictated to me. I was just trying to finish.
The mile markers were poles with large banners that looked like perfect sails. I was amazed to see that most actually remained standing. At the half, I was at about 1:35 and I didn't have a clue what it meant, that is, is that good or bad? Way ahead of me, the leader had made an early exit to the meat wagon at mile 17, telling his wife "I am very cold. The last 10 miles, I have been freezing." It took him 30 minutes before he could stop his hands shaking enough to hold a cup of coffee. Two more elites peeled near mile 20. By mile 17, I had drank so much that I had to step into a port-a-john. One knows he has seen better days when he doesn't want to come out of the port-a-john. The sky was like Louis Gossett Jr. with a hose over my head, demanding I drop out. "I WANT YOUR D.O.R, RAGE!" I took my time in the john. It felt great in there. I finally came out and said to nobody in particular, "I WANNA FLY JETS!"
I thought I'd try to take it to mile 20. At mile 18, I normally would have joined my fellow runners with some of my best 40 yard perjury for the on course photographer, but today all I was looking for was double fisting more sports drink. When I got it to 20 miles, I was at 2:27, and my legs were already dead. At that point, I decided I was going to finish it. At mile 22, I had no comment on the motivational quote of the day: "You're almost there! Only four miles to go!" Oh man, I shouldn't let that one go, but I was too tired to comment. When Coop came by, he didn't miss a beat: "No. It's 4.2 miles to go and no, I am not almost there!" Right on, Coop!
Halfway through mile 25, I had to walk yet again. I was disgusted with my pathetic effort in the smell-the-barn zone, and so was Larry. I don't know Larry. He jumps onto the course and starts "motivating" me. "Oh, man! You can't quit, now 1490! Come on! One foot in front of the other. See? Just like this." At that point, I tried to run away from Larry, but all my speed was gone and he managed to keep pace with me. "I'm Larry. It's o.k., man. (At this point, I expected some kind of intervention was about to take place, and some of my childhood friends and family were about to appear). "If you can't talk, that's o.k. I understand." You're going to make it, o.k.? That's better. Don't stop. You are looking good!" I felt like an idiot. I wanted to say "Thanks, Larry. But if I were you, I'd get the heck back on that sidewalk before Coop comes through." I finally turned the corner and saw the best finishers shoot I had ever seen.
Waiting for the ceremonious finishers medal, I couldn't resist doing my best Rocky Balboa: "Adrian! Adrian!" but nobody got it. A volunteer replied, "The medical tent's full, buddy. Move it along." The number you might ask? 3:17. The amazing Coop finished with PR (3:36) and asked, "What the heck did that mean?" In my book, I'd say about a 3:28 or so, especially given that the winner finished in 2:22, which was about 8 minutes slower than what the course normally produces. 2,700 runners finished, leaving 1,100 who didn't show or dropped out. To sum it up, the winner, Bruce Deacon of Victoria BC, called it "the grossest wet day I've ever run in." And that's The Truth.
Some quotes from the Pioneers seem particularly appropriate at this moment. "Cowards never started and the weak died along the way." -Unknown pioneer reflecting on completing the long, hard trek known as The Oregon Trail
"August 16. Came 10 miles. Wind blew very hard this afternoon, consequently dust bad. The weather is comfortable. The nights are cold. Dust not as bad as I expected, but let one thing be considered I had anticipated suffering everything, and so found things better than I thought. But let one come not prepared to endure hardships and he will find enough of them." -Diary of Mrs. Julia Newton Wood, 1853
See more 10kTruth quotes at: See http://www.10ktruth.com/the_quotes/quotes.htm
The 10k Truth Featured Question & Answer - http://www.10ktruth.com/q_and_a/q_and_a.htm
Q: I've been doing my quarters, halves, three quarters, mile repeats for 10 years now. Man, I'm working hard and I just can't crack the three-hour marathon mark. Any advice? P.S. I did WALK a little bit during the 700-mile twelve-day Sri Chinmoy race last year. Sorry. Can you ever forgive me? After thinking about the blisters, the shin splint and all of the other agony for the past two years, I am ready to forgive myself and give it another shot next year! (2002) - MW
A: Thanks for your inquiry. The reason it took so long to respond is Coop and I just ran the California International Marathon on December 2, and my counselor is now encouraging me to "let it out." The full Rage Race Report is up, but the short answer is that once again, I too, failed to break 3 hours, so unfortunately, I can't tell you what works. While it was never a stated goal of mine in the first place, I thought I could shoot for the low three's, put myself in a favorable position for the last 10k, and hope for the best. That, too, was not accomplished. I can make all the excuses I want (e.g. it rained 1.07 inches at the Sacramento airport, headwinds gusting up to 40 mph, etc.) blah, blah, blah, but the number was 3:17. My best is 3:09, which I have run twice. I ran two others at 3:10. In each of the four races that I have run 3:10 or better, I ran the second half faster than the first. My first one I ran was the worst a bona fide bonk at 3:25 (I "ran" the last 10k in an hour). Still want to talk to me?
I know all too well that my marathon performances do not compute when looking at my times from shorter distances. While I have some decent speed for an old guy, I can't seem to put it all together in the marathon. At Portland, I ran the last 10k in 42 once, giving me hope that I could finish strong. But I have also had a couple of others (like this year's CIM) where I crawled to the house. I have done the Galloway thing, following his Book On Running workout plan to the letter (using the sub-3:00 program). I did 13 mile repeats, with nine of them at sub six (solo, by the way). I also ran 27 miles for my last long run (in about 3:30). Result: Walled at 22 (my first one). 60 days later, I ran the 95 CIM and met my goal (Boston qualifier), all by slowing down in the first half, and ran a 3:10, which I was delighted with (and still am). I think the reason I improved so much between these two races was because I was completed wasted for the first race and was well rested for the second (skipping on all those mile repeats).
For this last race (Dec 2), Coop and I started ramping up in early September. We did 11 runs over 1:45, with the last two at 2:45 and 3:00. On my last long run, I did the last mile in 6:50 and felt ready. In our long run "off" weeks, we did half-mile repeats, adding one additional each week, culminating in 10. I averaged 2:46 on my last set of 10. I felt like I could have run a few more, too. Result: I was walking the last couple of miles (see the Rage Race Report on the 2001 CIM). I think the most frustrating part for me is knowing my potential (I have run a half marathon in 1:20) and not being able to deliver. For me, I think it's not as much about preparation. I think it is more how I run the first half of the race and if things come together on race day. I am going to run more marathons, but I wouldn't trade any of my shorter distance PRs for a sub-3:00. And maybe, things will come together for me in the marathon. Hopefully, they will for you, too. - Rage Keep those questions coming for the Rage's Q&A. Q&A Archives, as always, can be found at: http://www.10ktruth.com/q_and_a/training_frame.htm
"Obstacles are those frightening things that become visible when we take our eyes off our goals." - Henry Ford More at: http://www.10ktruth.com/the_quotes/train.htm
The updated Scene in or around Eugene harkens back to a fall run up Kong by The Rage's Sister-in-Law. See at: http://www.10ktruth.com/the_result/official.htm For the complete photo essay of Kong including some spectacular new views, see: http://www.10ktruth.com/the_road/kong.htm
"Nothing hurts a new truth more than an old error." - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe See more at: http://www.10ktruth.com/the_quotes/truth.htm
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