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Run Efficient: Stone Cat pacing and the weeks training

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Stone Cat pacing and the weeks training

This week was fun, diverse and had a really great surprise end to it.

Monday 31st - Rest

Tuesday 1st - Eastern Trail.  6 miles, 49:04.  Hit the Eastern Trail with Dave on his bike for a quick easy run. Perfectly flat and a gorgeous day. Might've been a bit quicker than anticipated.

Wednesday 2nd -  Presumpscot Trails.  7 miles, 1:04:00.  Bit tougher run than expected. Lower legs felt sore but hit the hills with vigor. Probably could have squeezed a few more hills in toward the end but listened to the legs and took it easy for the last 1.5.

Thursday 3rd - Robinson Woods.  6 miles, 54:05.  Nice easy run to the ocean, checked out the swell at the cove and hit the Greenbelt extension for a bit before turning around.

Friday 4th -  Deering Oaks and Portland Track.  4 miles warmup/cool down, 39:00 2 miles 11:58.  Warmed up for two miles real easy with Alison walking and jogging for the first mile. Hit the track and ran two consecutive miles. I was shooting for 6:20 to 6:30 but ran the first at 6:04, and the second 5:54. Felt pretty good and relatively consistent. Cooled down a lap on the track and then ran around Deering Oaks again for 2 miles.

Saturday 5th -  Stone Cat.  12.5 miles, 2:07:xx.  I had the great honor to pace someone for the first time and Zak Wieluns was the guinea pig (well more like a jack rabbit).  We got up stupid early and Zak was nice enough to pick me up.  We then proceeded to try and find Ian and Emma to carpool and drive down to the race.  I got us a bit mixed up as to which park and ride we were meeting at so it cost us 15 minutes getting down there.  Not a good start as 'pacer.'

After all the Trail Monsters (around a dozen) were off on their respective marathon or 50 mile race, the significant others and friends hunkered down in the cold temps.  This is the first time I've hung out at a long race like this and it was very interesting to be on the other side of the scene.  I got to help Ian and Emma out on their transitions a bit and helped Nathan tie and untie his shoes due to his frozen fingers, as well as a few other runners with their transitions.  Zak had his sister and a friend crewing for him and he was in and out of the area in no time.

When Zak came through for his fourth and final lap it was time for me to get to work.  Zak had said he'd love to get under 9 hours and he was already well on his way with a buffer.  He had gone through his first two laps in around 2 hours and took it easy on his third lap.  With three laps under his belt Zak become a bit of a tour guide as we ran the gorgeous course with it's fun meandering, undulating terrain and a few muddy and watery spots.

We chatted for the first seven miles about randomness and basically kept his mind off the effort.  It was really just as though we were going out for a long run together and we were relatively chill.  We did however take inventory of his fluid, electrolyte, and food intake, and began to make a mini-game plan for the end.  After the last aid station at 7.5 we took off.  I took a chapter out of the James Demer book of pacing and put the hammer down.  It was quite the experience to give energy, feel his energy and judge the pace accordingly.  Now Zak was not racing, and was in no danger of missing his 9 hour mark, but I figured he was strong enough to get a great time.  He was.

I learned a bunch from pacing Zak and found the exercise revealing.  While he ran I listened intently to his breathing (especially because he was not talking for the final 6 or so miles).  It was clear for us which hills we could push and which he needed to recover on.  He did not complain at all, although his face often told me he was thinking about it.  I was very impressed at how strong he is and was during the race, especially the final 5 miles as he dropped to 9 minutes per. 

It was an excellent experience and I look forward to doing it again soon.  It has definitely bread more respect and admiration for the crew, pacers and spectators at these wonderful events.

Summary:  37.5 miles this week.  Only issue is slightly sore Achilles still but working on that.

2 Comments:

At November 10, 2011 at 12:19 PM , Blogger ZMON said...

Jeremy, your pacing was key and I thought it was a fantastic experience as well; the perfect mix of friend and punisher, you did a great job. I was in no shape to push myself that much those last 6 miles and without your encouragement it would of been a different end to the race...I owe you some pain:) Cheers! -Zak

 
At November 10, 2011 at 10:05 PM , Blogger Jeremy Bonnett said...

My pleasure man! What a fun time. I'm looking forward to the next run, not necessarily the pain though...

 

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