Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Winter Park Road Race 10K... with bricks.

As many of my friends will note, my decision-making has been getting worse and worse in recent years. I'm impulsive and random, and I believe it is one of the few reasons that people still keep in touch with me: They honestly want to know if my masochism and irreverence has led to my death.

I have no intentions of getting so 'over my head' that I kill myself (though, good intentions are known to pave the road to internal hemorrhaging), but I freely admit that my near-term plans include several activities that are destined for soreness and/or injury. It's not yet May 1st, and the rest of my calendar is already packed:
  • May 12th: Operation Giveback UCF 10K (*)
  • May 19th: GORUCK Orlando (*)
  • June 23rd: Tampa Prison Break Run (*)
  • Aug 30 - Sept 2: GORUCK Ascent
  • Sept 8th: GORUCK 9/11 New York City (*)
  • Sept 29th: Megatransect
  • Oct 20th: GORUCK DC Scavenger (*)
  • Nov 4th: Tampa Wildhourse 10K Trail Run (*)
  • Nov 18th: Miami Beach Rock 'n Roll Half Marathon
  • Dec 1st: Tough Mudder Florida (*)
Whew. Man, I've never seen it written down outside dates on the calendar. Just the list exhausted me. I might actually be a little crazy... maybe the voices in my head are right! This makes my investigations into a Ragnar relay and a 50 Miler ultra race that much more idiotic, but I've never been known much for my self-control. Hell, it only took about a week for me to look at the Barkleys and go from, "That's insane. Who'd sign up for that?" to "Oh yea... I need that race director's email address. I'm so gonna do that."

But, back to those already-registered-for races above... Those asterisks after a good portion of them? That's to denote which I will be doing with a rucksack full of bricks. Yea... you got that right. The character in my novel, Shawn Kidd, seems to be defining me just as much as I defined him. I want to test myself and commit to an honest challenge. Why run another race when you've already done that? For a PR? That's all well and good, but who cares about PRs? Do other people care about YOUR PRs? I doubt it. The only person that cares is you. Why? Because, you challenge yourself to improve. Well, what better way to improve than to increase the challenge?

I'm already two races in with bricks, and I love it. I haven't focused on training as much with brick-laden runs as I did for my GR challenges, but those training runs are on the horizon. Still, I'm doing 30-35 miles unloaded per week without much trouble, and a short 7 1/2 mile maintenance run from yesterday turned into a 13.1 mile, half marathon PR simply because I felt so good that I didn't want to stop running.

The first RuckRun (Hmmm. Need to work on that... any suggestions? BrickedRun? RuckRace?) I did was the Winter Park Road Race 10K on March 24. It was a warm morning (for March in Florida), but I didn't notice. I certainly was sent some interesting looks as I toed the starting line with my GR1 packed with 6 bricks. (BONUS: I didn't have to check my keys, phone, and post-race gear at the start... just threw 'em in the bag. Sweet!) Other runners asked what I was doing. I said I was prepared for a little burglary along the route (WP is an upscale neighborhood). Several tried to lift my rucksack on my back. Most wished they hadn't. 30-35 pounds on an unexpectant wrist can be quite jarring. As the sun crested, we were off.

As it was my first BrickedRun, I freely admit to sandbagging. The cobblestone streets (see? nice neighborhood) were a constant threat, especially with my additional weight. I saw two women face plant after tripping, and they didn't have my bricks to contribute to their pain when they went down. Plus, I honestly wasn't sure what pace I should be running. How fast is too fast? How much sooner do you bonk when you have what amounts to a small German Shepherd on your back? Beats the Hell outta me...

As it turned out, I needn't have worried. My slower start pace meant that I was passed by a significant portion of the runners through the first 3 miles. But, as always happens with experienced racers, I quickly made up the distance. Most racers are too inexperienced to keep from shooting out of the blocks or simply refuse to pace themselves even when they know the last 1/4 of a race will be Hell for them. I was just getting into my stride at mile 5.

Sweat poured off my TAC hat, and I could feel a chill on my back where wetness formed under the pack due to simply being covered up. Something worth noting in cooler climates, hypothermia... it could be a real issue when you force yourself to sweat when it's really not that warm out. Of course, Florida humidity will do that anyway.

At mile 6, I saw the finish and kicked it up several gears, confidant in the knowledge that I was going to finish strong and not bonk. My only regret as I passed under the line with a 68 minute time was that I hadn't pushed myself harder. But, I also knew that many more RuckRaces were on the horizon, and avoiding injury and maintaining a proper training and development program would make up for any first race frustrations.

Of course, then I grabbed a friend, and we did the Orlando Corporate 5K rucked. The pace we set was good, but his training wasn't quite to my level. I pushed him significantly faster than he was comfortable with, I think, ("I'm getting dizzy... No, I don't wanna go to school today, Mommy.") but we still finished in less than 31 minutes. Given another shot, I have no doubt we could get in under 30, but that's one thing I know will be right around the corner... another shot. The list up top says all there is to say about it.

You know what... I'm going to do that Miami half marathon rucked, too. Screw it.

_ Best Blogger Tips

No comments:

Post a Comment