Sunday, December 23, 2007

Round and round they go did she meet her goal!

Before dawn on Saturday with the temperature reading 35 degrees and the rain gently hitting my windshield I made my way out to Champoeg Park. Micheal, Bill, Steve and I all drove out in a convoy and when we got there we found Bushwhacker and Susan parked by the locked gate. It was 6:58 in the morning and the sign at the gate read, "open from 7am to 8pm". Okay.....where's that ranger? Doesn't he know it's time to open the park? Of course I know I am among like minded folk when immediately we begin trouble shooting the problem and come up with plan B. The time is now 7:05 as we all began driving to another area of park when another set of car lights appeared. Could it be the ranger? Sure enough it was and he was exactly 5 minutes late! I got a kick out of 6 type A personalities who think everything is and should be on time! The funny thing about this part of the story is that I have been running with this gang for over 7 years and we will never change, don't want to change but can serious laugh at our freakish ways....ahhhhhh how comforting.

Last weekend I drug my family out to Champoeg to measure the route. Yes, I wheeled my 6.2 mile loop, marked it every quarter mile and I had a starting line. Once Micheal took care of the questioning/concerned ranger we all made our way to starting line. Bill was planning on running one loop with Bandit, Susan a couple of hours, Trisha 3 hours, Micheal, Steve, Bushwhacker and I were in for the full 50K!. I had to run 25-27 miles at an 8:25-8:30 pace after a good 30 minute warm up. The plan was to run from the start to the other end (3.1 miles) for the warm up then begin the pace running. That would mean we would run 5 full loops giving us 31 miles total and 27.9 at pace.....I know that's more than the max but it just made sense. :). Every 6.2 miles we would use our cars for aid which meant we could run with just one handheld and gels each loop picking up a new bottle each time. It was dark when we started and with a devilish look in my eye I was ready for the day. Off we all went for the warm up and chatter was thick as we made our way down the dark path in the cold rain. On our way out we scouted for markers and found most but I made small disguised marks so we had to search......nice job Ronda.....making the markers so small I can't even find them myself. :).

At the turn we took a gel and away we went! Micheal was using his watch for pacing every quarter mile and making sure we hit 2:07 or under. Immediately we were to fast and for the first 3.1 miles we worked on finding a groove, trying to feel the pace and getting comfortable. The cold rain continued to fall and it wasn't warming up but we were all prepared with extra clothes and gloves if we got soaked. While Micheal kept track of quarter mile splits I kept track of 3.1 mile splits and I was shooting for 26:15 per 3.1 miles. The first three loops were easy and non eventful with comfortable breathing and splits that were better than 2:07. My heart rate would hover between 157-162 which is top of 3A and just slipping in to 3B which starts at 161. I was shocked at how fast I could run in my 100M race zone of 3A. Of course this was flat course on pavement but I wasn't expecting it to be this comfortable. As we continued coming in under 26:15 we worked hard to slow down but the fear of being too slow must have been a bigger concern driving our stride. Micheal kept calling out numbers between 2:02 and 2:06 which doesn't seem far off but the seconds add up. After the 3rd loop we lost Steve. He had enough of hard surface and he had worked hard. It was just Micheal, Bushwhacker and I for the last two loops with Trisha out there finishing up her 3 hour run. Bushwhacker decided to pull ahead and Micheal I continued our work. The lack of pace degradation was nice and surprising, being able to hold the pace with no heart rate creep was sweet! Near end of loop 4 my body began to give me signs I have been right quad twitched for a minute, my butt was getting fatigued, my feet were frozen and a bit numb. At this point I realized my 100K race in February will not be cardio challenge. The real challenge will be how well my body holds up after 40 miles and what kind of pace will I be able to maintain after that point. Since all of our loops were fast Micheal proposed that we really focus on hitting 2:07 per quarter so we pulled back and made some them but in the end we were still speedy, in fact is was one of our fasted loops. Bushwhacker maintained his lead all the way to the finish. Micheal and I came in smiling and proud of our 4:19 50K....I am pretty sure that is fasted time at that distance for me. I was stoked to be able to do this first big run in this phase of training. At the start 5 loops seemed like so many but they just flew by because the company was so great. I think I could have done another 2 more at that pace....not that they wouldn't have been painful but I could have done it. Here is the results of our work! I could not have done this without one of my A-1 pacers, Micheal!

Back when I got my December schedule I remember reading through it and this run stuck out like a crazy. I thought.....are you kidding.....25-27 miles at that pace......that's like a marathon! Now its a done deal and I made all the paces pretty effortlessly. I thought I would be hammered up today and the 2:15 run on trail would be like the tin man without his oil. When we arrived at 53rd ave. Tom was already out on the trail warming up but apparently forgetting it was still dark at 7am so he took a fall. Now he was a muddy mess. Another treat for the 2+ hour run today was a Beast sighting! He came to join us, yeah! My friends love me so much.....Steve brought me a Christmas present which was a calendar with pictures on sweet....but then he gave it to's a calendar full of pictures of him and's so I can keep track of their races and travel arrangements for them! Love the gift guys......always looking out for me.....wanting to make sure they made my life easier.....what a crack up! Now that Tom was dirty, Steve gave me such a thoughtful gift we were off for 2+hours of Z3 running. Once we got going it was doable, some fatigue in my legs but I wasn't sore a bit. I am pumped because I know my fitness is coming around nicely and I have shot at a good road run in Feb.! This run marks the end of a Build 1 week and my miles are up there. I am scared to see what they are at this time next month. Oh Mommy................

Other happenings: Christmas Camp starts tomorrow with our first group run.....yeah!!!! My abs and arms are sore thinking about it.:). Alex is out visiting his Grandparents and does not seem to miss us one bit.......doesn't he know we are his parents???? Bill and his elves (the dogs) have been busy, busy, busy down in the shop area with the door locked and a note banning me from the premises. I can smell paint and occasionally hear a power tool working.....he making me something for Christmas! I can't wait to see what it is! He knows I will try to sneak a peak so he has the dogs down there to notify him if anyone comes near. When he hears me approaching he screams, "get out of're rotten"!

I got pinched on Friday and didn't get good news. I gained .56% body fat and micro speck of muscle. Why.....Mark suspects a couple of things. One, I screwed up on my food the last couple of weeks. I didn't eat all the calories, I was off on my timing waited sometimes up to 4 hours before eating then cramming to get the calories in. 3 pounds of See's candy arrived on Monday just to be followed by 5 pounds of Godiva chocolates. I ate a total of 3 chocolates and when I confessed to Mark as if that's the reason he laughed and said, "sorry it's not that simple, 3 chocolates are not going to do anything." The second reason he believes I gained fat is because the training load is ramping and my body needs to make another adjustment. It needs to be sure I will feed it or it will store. Of course I was bummed but then I saw it as a good reminder that I need to feed my body if I am going to make it work hard. My first reaction to the news was your standard girl reaction.....let's cut the calories. When I said that Mark he said If it keeps happening then we will up the calories but certainly we will NOT drop them. I was thinking.....okay I promise to be a good girl and eat all the food and spread the meals better....please don't make me eat more food. ha, ha, ha, ha......That is just weird but that was my thought! I won't see him again for 3 weeks because of a planned vacation. Bill and Alex have taken the chocolates out of sight and hid them well so I won't be tempted. I love them!!!!


  1. Ronda,

    Right on schedule! You are fast! Maybe it's the micro-bit of muscle you gained...the good with the bad. Can't wait to see what January brings! By the way...when's the last time you tried: brown rice, chicken and broccoli. Winning combination...I think I'll have it again tomorrow...and the next day.... Keep up the good work. :] Merry Christmas Rooster.

  2. Hey, where can I get a cool calendar with pictures of Steve and Tom? That's an awesome Christmas, or anytime, present! You're so lucky.