Sunday, January 4, 2009

20.09K in 09


12.48 miles in 1:32:40

7:25 pace

1st Masters, 2nd girl

I am happy to report that my 8 mile run with Trish yesterday helped push all the cobwebs out of my legs and they were ready to race today. I woke up and it was 25 degrees at my house and the news was reporting areas of freezing fog. Please let the deep freeze in our mild mannered PNW end! I got myself all pulled together and included my studded road shoes just in case Forest Grove, OR was in a fog bank. That outlining area sits pretty low with a lot of bogs and swollen rivers and it's pretty much gguaranteed to be a couple of degrees colder and foggy. Darin and I made the slow drive over to Forest Grove. It was slow because I am an ice driving wimp and swear every little fluctuation in the road will land me in a ditch despite my AWD car. AWD's are great for almost all kinds of weather but that's only if the driver knows how to drive the AWD and I don't so it was creep along all the way to the race start. When we got out into the parking lot at the school it was definitely slippery. One false move and you were going down! Fortunately with all the recent snow and ice storms the roads are littered with gravel. Yes the gravel was under some bit of ice but it helped with the grip. A quick sign up, chat with the Beast and it was off to warm up. I thought I would check out the home stretch of the course and test the icy conditions. Apparently Darin had the same idea since I saw him out busting up the hill. If we stayed on the edge of the road the gravel and dirt was a nice mostly skid free ride.

The race was .01K longer this year and my goal was to do at least what I did last year. One added feature of this event is just as you are about the turn the corner to the finish you run by by cemetery. It has a certain appeal or irony to it (you can see the tombstones in the picture below). Last year I had Micheal pacing me for 90% of the run but this year I was on my own. Darin is way to fast to serve as a carrot so I was going to have be self propelled. :) The first 3 miles were indeed pretty slippery. You would be running along with a somewhat shorter stride and come across water that was frozen and it was whoaaaaaa...hold on.....stay up right. I told Jeff this would be a race with the risk takers prevail and that was true on the first 3 miles for sure. Fortunately I think I was one of the risk takers clocking a couple of sub 7 minute miles. That is way to fast so I dialed it in and found a good zone and used my watch to keep me in check. 20.09K is 12.48 miles and I knew I had at least 6 fast ones in me but after that it was an unknown. This course is not flat! It has some pretty significant hills which is perfect for me. I love the uphills because I feel I have a slight advantage there. As the race progressed and the 10K runners peeled off it was darn lonely. There seemed to be very few 20K runners and at one point I wondered if I took a wrong a turn or if everyone knew something I didn't and chose the shorter option. I was first woman for the whole race....that's because at mile 3 a girl passed me. I was running pretty hard and up comes a very young girl who looked like she was out for Sunday jog. I watched her pass me like I was standing still then fade off in the distance quickly. She was out of my sight within minutes. It was impressive. Coming in to mile 6 I knew I was doing pretty well and I felt really strong. My legs had come full circle from yesterday and I had plenty of power. The only thing I was lacking was good T-Pace cardio. I have just started working on T-Pace this season and it showed. My gear in the high range was pretty short....only about 2 beats. Generally I have about 4-5 beats to play with in the high zone and can feel the power within those beats but today it was red line in about 2. I kept a good clip though. At the turn I could see I was second woman and as we proceeded the last 4.5 miles there were no other woman close. The men were gaining on my fast and I didn't like that. I think I got passed by 3 men in the last 4 miles. I caught one back on the .5 miles to finish because there is a pretty steep hill and that helped me but the other 2 were gone.

I was exactly 10 seconds slower than last year and the course was 1K shorter. My pace was exactly the same. Can you believe it? How does that happen? I am happy with the result because last year I was in peak training for the 100K road run I was doing in February so I had a lot more pace running under my belt. Also, the 100M for Christmas Camp just ended on Wednesday and even though that seems like a long time ago it isn't. I know I felt stronger this year because my legs had more to give but my cardio was maxed out. Changing your physiology in the higher zone is the easiest and fastest to alter. All it takes is some track work and T-Pace training and you can make the adjustment. It's the Z3A and B that take due diligence and patience. The best part of the day was when I saw Eb Engleman he said, "Ronda am I seeing less of you than before"? That made my day. I love the high from running short road races. It's a fun and challenging change and I always surprise myself. I consider myself a pretty lack luster road runner but I do enjoy it.

Darin of course was very speedy and you can read his rendition on his blog.


  1. Awesome finish - and just coming out of Christmas camp. I don't know how you do it - Must come from good stock and hard training.

  2. That's amazing! After a tough week and on ice no less. Also, I covet your cute black running top.