713.1 miles raced, 7480 meters swam and 202.3 miles biked in 2011
Race: New Year's Revolution Run
Place: Kearns, UT
Miles from home: 15 miles
With the turning of the year, I almost forgot to write this recap. Don't worry. As I am already full into 2012 this will be relatively short.
My only goal for this race was to run 30 miles. In case you didn’t click on the above link to read more about the format of this race, it is simple. Runners have four hours to see how far they can traverse an indoor track course. Bam. That simple. The clock starts, you start moving (or not depending on when you plan to start) and your laps are counted by chip timing. With the track being next to the ice speed skating oval, it was slightly larger than your standard 400 meter track. So each mile was just 3.65 loops instead of 4. This mean, and believe me, this took more math than I wished to do, that in order to run 30 miles, I had to average a 2:10.5 lap and run 110 laps to nudge myself just a hair over 30 miles.
I was very happy as I rolled into the race venue to see so many people there doing one last race in 2012. At the same time I knew this was going to involve a lot of dodging, bobbing and weaving. Having done similar races, I knew what to expect and was hoping people would try to abide by not only the rules the directors sent us but also common sense and courtesy.
The gun went off at 8:04 PM and I steadied myself for four hours of NASCAR-esque left turns. When I mentioned what I was doing earlier in the week, someone asked me if I was going to get dizzy. After pausing to see if I really needed to answer the question, I asked them if they get dizzy when they walk around a city block. I honestly do not understand many people far too much of the time.
The first 50 loops were going to go by relatively easy as my buddy Chris was going to be running with me. He wanted to get half-marathon plus of running in this morning and this was the way to do it. Loop after loop we were nailing in between 2:10 and 2:12 even though after just one loop we were already passing people. I shook my head at the people who were wearing headphones in spite of the director’s asking them not to do so. It is one thing in a road race but in tight corners like this it just leads to annoyances. Fortunately, I only caught the stray elbow here and there from people throughout the race from those who couldn’t hear people coming from behind them.
Most people tried their best to stay out of the first lane as there were some people hauling butt. One gentleman, in track spikes no less, appeared to be running a half-marathon as well but at breakneck speed. I lost track of the times he lapped me. In the lapping-me-a whole-bunch category were both Seth Wold and Scott Dickey. I am not sure they ran for the entire four hours because if they did I have no idea how I stayed as close as I did. It appears they ran like a bat out of hell, took a small break and then ran like a bat out of hell again, but I am not sure. Either way, I am sure because of their speed that I was not the only one annoyed by the one walker or two who steadfastly refused to not take up the entire first lane. Again, I honesty do not understand people.
Even as the hours went on the number of people on the track did not wane too much. Many people seemed to be here for the long haul and to get four hours of movement in. There were walkers, people in walking boots, heavy people, rail-thin people, slow and fast and all ages. After Chris finished his 50 laps and stayed around for quite some time helping to volunteer (even being my personal aid station drink-getting on a few occasions) I slipped into a zone. Soon, 15 miles became 20 and 20 became 25. With 5 miles left, I was really ready to be done. The year had been a long one and this would be the last bit of it. I could have stopped at 26 miles and gotten 2000 miles of running for the year but my goal for this race was 30. So, I soldiered on.
My friend Mark from the SLCTC came and ran a few laps with me. Too bad they were near the end when I was not much of a conversationalist. Eventual second-place finisher Scott Dickey mentioned that his nutrition seemed off and I told him that these indoor races can be tricky. Having bonked hard at an indoor trail race in February, I made sure to hydrate often during this race. While there was a display which told how many laps each runner had done it wasn’t really in sight of those running. I knew I might be close to the third place runner, a nice guy named Scott Kunz, but it did not matter. I was not here to win, place or show, unless winning, placing or showing was 30 miles of running. I wanted even laps and besides tow quick bathroom breaks and two stops to eat a PowerBar Gel and drink some NUUN, I was doing just that.
As multiple numbers of friends I knew, had talked to online or saw at various races circled and circled, or stood by and cheered for the runners with their day being done, I simply closed my eyes and ran. Every once in a while, with the track much more clear now, I would open them and see there was no one in front of me and close them again. I thought about all the upcoming adventures I had in 2012 and all the wonderful events I had just completed in 2011. Then I thought about how I couldn’t believe it was actually going to be 2012 or I had spent nearly 4 years in Salt Lake City. So much has changed since I moved here and with me contemplating a move out of the region by this summer, even more change awaited.
With one lap to go and 2:40 seconds to complete it, I slipped into a nice steady stride and relished that I would get 110 laps with time to spare. All day long I had been wearing a total Zensah outfit with compression shirt, shorts and socks. I wanted to see how well they would hold up to the "weather" in the oval. Inside places like this it can get surprisingly humid. however, the clothing not only gave me the nice "hug" I was searching for but did a great job of wicking as well, even though that is not even the clothing's major intention. In this final lap, I looked down and sure enough saw tons of salt caked on my body, very obvious on my all-black outfit. As I came toward the finish line, pretty spent, I realized I had finally nailed the hydration issue from the Indoor Trail Marathon earlier in the year. Nice, sweet revenge. The race itself here was very well. I was happy to be part of it and to help make it a success.
Finishing 4th overall in the total standings was a nice little icing on a year that was not always yummy cake. But the year was now soon to be behind me and a new one to begin. It is cliché to state that I hope this is the best year of my life and to wish the same for you, but it does not make it any less true.
Have a wonderful and hopefully exhilarating 2012, everyone. I am sure I will see many of you on the roads.