Monday, March 2, 2009

USA 50K Championships

My wife and I took Friday off from work to use for travel. We arrived mid afternoon in Long Island and met our friend who brought us to Caumsett State Park. I managed to jog the road trip out of my legs and felt very excited to be on the course that in a couple days I would have to run around over 13 times (2.35 mile loop). I got a good night sleep and right after breakfast we went back to the course to stay loose and focus on my game plan. One section of the course seemed very susceptible to the wind and knew it would be a tough spot. Later on that day I took about 3 naps. I just moped around and hydrated. My folks, friend Latch, and my wife all made a huge feast of spaghetti, stake, salad, and garlic bread. I stocked up on pasta and bread and hit the sack early knowing I would not get the best night sleep due to my nerves. The morning of the race I felt loose and ready to roll. When we got to the park it seemed very unorganized and nobody seemed to be in charge or know what was going on. We hopped a Budget rental truck like a bunch of refugees and got dropped off a few miles later. The course was not set up, the finish line wasn't set up, and worst of all not even the race director seemed to know where the starting line was going to be. Ben Nephew and I gambled and followed a man that said he was the announcer and was going to the start. We were the first three there and it was 3 minutes before the gun was supposed to go off. Finally about 15 minutes later a mob of people showed up, a guy with spray paint made a line on the pavement and in 60 seconds we were off. Michael Wardien took off at 5:20 pace and soon was out of sight (he was attempting an American record of 2:47). I wanted to see who was going to be the players and held back for the first lap at about 6:20 pace. I realized nobody was going to run the race that I wanted and dropped to my goal pace of 6:00. Actually I was a little under for a while. The air temp was fairly manageable but the wind like I anticipated was brutal on the back side of the loop. We would drop into the woods and I would get fairly sweaty then break out into the open, fight the wind for 3/4 of a mile and the wetness would freeze. This was a 3 hour cycle that I guess I just got used to. I felt strong early on, and Dave Dunham and my family gave me lots of support. It was around 20 miles that I was a bit nervous about my condition. I was holding onto my pace but was overwhelmed that I still had over 10 miles to maintain. My wife later told me that Dave was also noticing my struggle. It was at this time that he told me to stay loose, relax, and let the training take over. I took some fuel from my wife and before I knew it I hit the marathon split in just under 2:37 which would have been a PR. This was very encouraging and I dug in, and felt very confident that I was going to hit my goal. My last two mile splits were 5:45 and 5:36 and I finished strong. I took home the Silver Medal and 75 bucks. I was and am very happy about my training cycle and performance. I have never before achieved this level of fitness for myself and look forward to this spring and the rest of the year. I want to thank my wife for her support the last few months (I can get cranky) and Dave Dunham for his guidance throughout this last cycle. Next up New Bedford Half Marathon.
2nd Place Justin Fyffe 3:06:49 (6:01 pace)
3rd Place Ben Nephew
5th Place Dan Verrington

3 comments:

  1. Dude, AWESOME JOB!!!! You should be very proud of your accomplishment and you deserved it my friend! Lots of work you put in and it paid off!!! Huge things from you this year and New Bedford watch out!

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  2. I posted some pics at:
    http://s153.photobucket.com/albums/s209/davedunham/2009%20US%2050%20KM%20championship/

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  3. excellent work!

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