In the last month I have been pushing the possibility of a 24 HR race to the back of my mind, but finishing my first 6 HR race has brought it back to the forefront. My 2nd thought after the horn went off for the end of the 6 HR race was, “If this was a 24 hour race, you would still have 18 hours to go”. For those who are curious, my first thought was to make sure I planted the flag to mark my position at the right place so it didn’t look like I was trying to cheat and get an extra 6 inches.
So what if I did have 18 hours to go? I can’t imagine having to go 18 more hours, on the other hand, until this time last week, I would have put money against being able to go 6 hours. The 6 hr race has made me both more and less confident at the same time. More confident in the fact that I can push myself further and harder than I thought I could. Less confident because I was enough of a bloodied mess after 6 hours and 18 more wouldn’t make it any better. As I have blogged about before, I will be (injuries withstanding) in better shape come December, but I won’t be in “Let’s kick butt in a 24 HR race” shape. So I decided to go back to my May post(link) where I set out my 24 HR plan and see where I was compared to the plan. I decided to make you suffer along with me. I provide some mid-term grades just to be random (like this blog wasn’t random enough):
1. Get more efficient at running. Grade C: I have made some improvements in my bio-mechanics but my knee limits some of the other improvements I would like to make. Need to work more on my hips to help my gait.
2. Run slower – Grade B: I found a pace that works for me, but need to get in better shape so I can hold it longer.
3. Walk faster. Grade B plus: I did get under 14 minutes/mile (my goal back in May), but I think I can do better (and need to since I will do more walking than planned).
4. Learn something about ultras and 24 hour races in particular. Grade B: I have been reading some books and articles. I have learned a lot. Need to look more into my specific race and read some accounts. The race can be hot during the day and cold at night.
5. Resolve muscle imbalances. Because of my knee surgery, my left quad is smaller than my right and this causes all sorts of torques that need to be eliminated in the longer distances I will be covering. – Grade F: I have somehow managed to make this situation worse. I think it is because my right leg compensated for the left while the knee was hurt. This one is going to be tough, but I need to start scheduling my strength workouts for my legs and tracking this.
The place I get my massages. If only getting massages had been on my list. Enjoy the flowers if nothing else.
6. Get serious about stretching. – Grade D Minus: Very haphazard when I find time for this. Need to schedule and track this one as well.
7. Really do some strength training, particularly for my weaker leg. – C Plus. I have worked on my left leg, but not consistently enough. Same for upper body work. However there has been some overall improvement, so at least there is some progress.
8. Figure out hydration/fueling. – Grade B minus: Decent for fueling, more work needed on hydration.
9. Let go of work. – Grade Incomplete: I have done this mostly, but it is causing problems at work. They are used to me doing the work of several people and only doing my work is causing increasing amounts of friction. This friction is hard on me because much of how I define myself via my work. This one will need some special attention.
10. Get used to the fact that at the end of this process I am not longer anonymous. – Grade A minus: Done deal in my mind. Still working on the selfies.
11. Cringe at the fact that this sounds like rehash of New Year’s resolution list – Grade A plus.
Well, it looks like I have some work to do, but I will at least acknowledge that there has been some progress as well. Right now I don’t plan on signing up for Across the Years (the 24 HR race, not the 6 day one) until the fall, so I still have time to make another assessment or two (great for blog posts).
This year Civic Holiday is Monday August 4th in Canada. Although nationally known as Civic Holiday, it is known as Simcoe Day in Toronto,British Columbia Day in British Columbia,and New Brunswick Day in New Brunswick. The concept is that the holiday can be named for each local area if they so desire (Peter Robinson Day any one? (side note Peterborough was named for Peter Robinson (side, side note Peterborough is known as the gateway to the Kawarthas))). The holiday is not generally observed in Quebec, Newfoundland and Labrador or Yukon. Not celebrating a holiday is not too civic if you ask me.