Cool, foggy start to what would be a very warm day. Aid station gang in action, unfortunately I was only able to take pictures when things slowed down. It got way too busy when the bulk of the racers came through. With friends Jen and Tina, both had good races. Tina is off with her guy to celebrate what's left of the summer in Turkey. A little time away from work, training and triathlons. Finally with some of the guys from our aid station, Malik, John, and Brian (photo courtesy of Mari Miyashita). Congratulations to all who started.
Is a fast marathon a good taper workout for a 100-miler? A question I've been pondering since last night. I was out with a buddy, haven't seen him in months. Started working for Yahoo and I stopped seeing him, an interactive media designer he says he's been keeping college hours - work in the morning, work during the day, work at night. Anyway Friday night we were out at a wine bar in our neighborhood, my new hangout on Friday nights. Susan the Friday night bartender, law school student, adventure junkie, ultra runner, wanted me to take her place in the relay for the upcoming Full Ironman Vineman race on August 4th. She's the runner but hasn't been running because of an injury - wanted me to take her place. "Look, honestly the marathon is probably not going to help you on your Headlands Hundred on August 11th but don't you want to do it just to do it?". Yes, yes I do. On the other hand I really want to well at Headlands, besides the left hamstring (old injury) is in bad shape at the moment. It may need all the time that I have to heal and get stronger.
Anyway, I'll be out on the Vineman course tomorrow. I'm a volunteer for the half-iron event. The club has an aid station at mile 4, it's a down and back course so they see us again at mile 9. Maybe being out there will help my decision.
Ummm...there's no way I'm running that marathon, ahaha! It was in the high 90's out there. It ain't Badwater but I ain't no heat trained runner at the moment either. I was in early at 7AM to help set up the run aid station with Ed the aid station captain. At 2PM I left to catch a ride back with friends Malik and John. We had to run back the 4 miles or so to the finish line where Malik had parked his car. I found it quite uncomfortable once we actually started running. I was quite surprised at how bad I felt at that heat. So no, no Ironman relay run for me. Funny thing, I found out that John was actually offered the relay job first by Susan. He turned it down since he was running the San Francisco marathon the weekend before. He's anticipating a 3 hr. finish and knows he won't be in any mood to run another fast one the weekend after. Small town. I will just have to tell Susan that I discussed it with John and we both decided that it's a bad idea, she'll love that. My left hamstring is thanking me already. I do feel like a wuss right now for backing out but that's mainly a mental problem:)
Lots of friends were out there racing and it was great to see them, they were so appreciative too. A friend, Cathy Morgan, was out there plugging away. She's hoping it won't be this hot when she returns in two weeks to do the full version. I said "Sorry Cathy, it's probably going to be just like this". Next we time we meet our roles will be reversed. She's volunteering for the Headlands Hundred. Another friend, Jenn, who was also racing, will be coming out to volunteer as well for Headlands. Nice to know I'll see a couple of these guys on my race. I've decided to do it sans pacer, sans crew but anyone willing to come out to cheer and volunteer is more than welcome.
The day went very, very well. A lot of work but also a lot of fun. I was there early as I mentioned, the fog was still in the valley in between the rows of grapes in the vineyards. It's a down and back run course that takes you past wineries on a narrow asphalt road, the turnaround point is the La Crema winery. We were situated around mile 4, mile 9 for those headed back. It was so hot water was in high demand, for drinking and pouring over heads. Runners on their way back to the finish was especially thirsty because the aid station at mile 8 ran out of water. They came once to fill up their water jugs on our hose but still ran out. We were lucky, a home let us run a hose and coach Neil attached an in-line water filter.
Ed the station captain was exceptional. Two of the strangest requests we had all day he was able to take care of. One woman came in wondering if we had extra shoe laces. The speed laces she was using was bothering her feet. I cut them out with a knife and Ed gave her the laces from his own shoes. Then later in the day another woman came through looking for extra socks and Ed got her a fresh pair from his car. This is on top of picking up sandwiches, snacks and drinks for everyone at the station. Guy went the extra mile for everyone.
So no, no marathon for me. Aggressively stretching and taking care of the left hamstring now, should be fine. One more long workout this weekend and I'm off to taper. Looking forward to hearing stories from Tahoe Rim Trail 100 and the Badwater 135.