Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Moab Red Hot 55k Race Report

Me crossing finish line: Video by Jim Skaggs

Took awhile to write a report for this one. Not that I didn't want to but rather I hadn't wrapped my brain about what I really wanted to say. I guess the first thing that comes to mind is that I did not meet my goal. I wanted to run a sub 6:30 but not on this day. I ran a 7:00.56- 30 minutes longer than hoped. So now- to the race.
Woke up nice and early to make sure I was all stretched out and ready to go. I have fallen into a ritual stretching routine that helps me feel pretty loose and ready to roll from the start. I made my way down the hall to meet Jim Skaggs and his wife who graciously hauled me to the start so my wife and kids could sleep in. At the start the old race juices started flowing. The wind was really blowing and I could tell it was going to be one of those unpredictable weather days. As I meandered around at the start to see some faces and give some - "good lucks" I started to remember how I was probably not quite ready for 34 miles. Once we took off I fell into a nice comfortable pace and knew that the first 17ish miles were pretty runnable and I wanted to make sure I kept a good pace. After all my longest run to this point was 18 miles so at about 20 anything could happen. I felt pretty solid up to about miles 19-20 at that point my groin and hip flexor really started to stiffen up. As we rolled through aid stations I could see a group of runners that I would most likely flip flop with the rest of the day. I decided to take it easy over all  the red rock up and downs and try not to aggravate the groin anymore more and then try to push to the end.
At one of the aid stations while I was fumbling with some gels I hit a button on my watch and essentially turned of my chrono. A few miles later I realized it wasn't on so I had no idea what my time was. Once I hit the last little climb on the course I decided to go for broke. I knew I had about 4-5 miles until the finish and I knew it was runnable so I told myself to go for it. I went through the first mile basically getting a stride going and finding the best way to run with a stiff groin. Once I figured it our I picked it up even more. I actually felt good and got my breathing in synch so the last couple miles were really enjoyable. If it wasn't for the head wind all day long I know the times would have been much better across the board- mine included. So after I crossed the line there was definitely a few moments of disappointment  but after seeing my family I realized it was time for a much needed family vacation in Moab.
Overall I realize where I am for the year and though my time was slow, I really can't expect too much more unless I want to put a heck of a lot more into it. The first 19 were great and the last 4 felt solid. So that in between part needs to go. One thing for sure is I love the trails. They may not love me as much but they will.
One special thing about race day that stayed in my thoughts- my dad. He passed away 6 years ago to the day of the race. I really felt I was spending some quality time with him and my thoughts. He never got to see me run the trails (he passed before I even started) but I know he would have loved the stories of the places I have been. Although I was slow and missed my goal, the time with him was priceless.
Miss ya pops!


Danni said...

Sounds like a cool race and I'm glad you weren't too bummed about missing your time goal. Time goals should be flexible anyhow :p

Footfeathers said...

Good job Aric!
I spend a lot of time in these longer races thinking about my dad too. You did your best on this day and I'm sure your dad would be proud. Looking forward to seeing you at Antelope.

Jon A. said...

Nice job pushing through for a strong finish, Aric. And I'm sure your dad is watching.

Aaron said...

Nice meeting you in Moab (and chatting again in Boulder) Aric. Good job out there...maybe not what you hoped for time-wise, but beat your time last year by 24 minutes still. See you around.