Friday, February 15, 2013

Holiday lake 2013. Year of the bonk!

So holiday lake 2013 is in the books now. I honestly had about 3 good weeks of good training since running Hellgate and made a couple of rookie mistakes along the way. Put 3 good training back to back weeks in January . Went for training run in snow on holiday and ended up maybe using too much toe strength to get good footing in sow and ended up with some tendinitis in the bottom part of my shin. The squeaky rusty feeling when you lift up your toes and have some major pain in the shin. I took it easy for the next week and it felt a little better but stupid me couldn't pass up on article 5k and raced it. Ended up running weird on left leg and straining calf a little. Stupid me!!! Last 3 weeks before holiday ran less than 40 miles for all 3. Rolled, iced, compressed injury and tried to focus on feeling fresh.
I saw Horton earlier in week and he said that I was seeded number 1. First time racing career I had been seeded #1. Kinda cool and I would be lying if I said I didn't feel any pressure. Of course you want to finish your seed and the thing about Holiday lake is that it's not really my race and there is always some fast marathoner that comes in and surprises everyone.
So that ironing did my usual bagel and coffee breakfast. Drank some good water and then took my usual pre race poop. Perfect. Had 6 gels and handheld. That's one gel every 20 minutes like my usual plan. I forgot to buy salt pills that week so I bummed 8 of them off Wade Stout!. Thanks bud! Took small warmup jog up road and then came back sang national anthem and we were off. Nothing unusual about first section. I led a little through first section. I purposely was moving at a real comfortable pace. I have to admit I have been feeling like I've been going out to fast in recent past races. I wanted to feel good this time. At least for a little while. Surprising though is that no one just bolted out. Everyone basically stayed together till first aid station. Climbing hill to aid station 1 steve(the eventual winner) made his move. He was just gone in a matter of seconds. I remember someone saying to me...Frank who's that guy out front. I said I don't know but he is either going to win or we will see him again. Deep inside I thought we would see him again cause he didn't even have a water bottle. I was wrong. Congrats Steve!
A group of 4 basically stayed together till 16. Nothing blazing fast. Just chilling waiting for someone to make the move. My plan was to start racing as soon as the steep hill about mile 20. So the hill came and I climbed it pretty hard and kept the throttle down. But 2nd place finisher on the flat stuff just left us. He seemed to be running effortlessly and also not carrying bottle. I admit I was slightly jealous and wondering if that would hurt them at all. Again I was wrong!! So me and my bud Sam pushed. He stayed on my heels and did not say a word. I think I asked him at one point how he was doing and he said good. Sam and I are used to this. We train together frequently and we end up racing every time. We are constantly trying to outrun each other and beat previous times for the loops we run. Even when we say we just want to go slow. ( reminds me of my other training bud Jeremy Ramsey).
We reach aid station with 8 miles to go. Sam actually looked strong and if I can be completely Frank(pun intended) I was afraid he would just continue to latch onto my heals and then blaze me at the end. Not sure if you have ever experienced this but running behind someone and staring at heals seems to put you into a trance. You forget where you are and it seems like you don't have to worry about racing. Just the heals in front. So I purposely told myself to speed up and try to put some distance between Sam and myself. To allow the trance to wear off and while running alone maybe he will hurt like I was. So I pushed harder. I created the gap I wanted and told myself to just go into the pain cave for 1 more hr!!!
Nothing unusual next 5 miles except I kept dropping stupid gels and didn't think I had time to stop for them. I picked up one more gel at last station and ate it pretty quick. I thought it would last. Then when I came up to beach area I felt a little dizzy. I kept running and didn't give in. Then I reached the last hill. I shortened stride and tried to blaze up the hill. My legs started to lock and I just lost all my bearings. I think I was bonking. I got to top of hill and felt like I was going to pass out. I contemplated walking but was sure if I stopped I would collapse. The real thought crossed my mind that if I passed out I'm pretty sure my buddy Sam would wake me up and help me in(Sam would you?) so I kept running. I actually hadn't bonked like this at all. I usually eat like a champ. I guess dropping 3 gels was a bad mistake. Needless to say I got to the trail and ran hard. It was almost over. Got on the asphalt and just ran as fast as my legs would carry me. Finished in 3:54:15. My fastest time ever at holiday lake and good enough for 3rd.

It was a great race for me and I was happy with the outcome. The other guys were just faster. My buddy Sam came in after me and I was super happy for him. Usually I wait until all people come through but my parents who crewed me the whole time along with my usual crew of my bro and daughter, had to go to airport. I waited around for about another hr and left. I hate not watching everyone come through. No matter wether you first or last everyone has goals and in the words of my good friends REM....everybody hurts......sometimes!! So this was great training for promise land and now it's time to get some hill training going. I love hills. Sorta! My quads were definitely sore and didn't run till Thursday. One thing Horton always says is that it's better to go into a race under trained then over trained. I want to make sure this year to train correctly. Not to overdo it and give my body the rest it needs to recover.
Terrapin is probably next. Don't think I have ever run that race to my potential. I really would like to try super hard this year!!! Hope to see you out on the trails.


  1. Admit it Frank, trail running is more fun when you're running with the slow peeps like me. Even if you get 1st at Terrapin it won't be as rewarding as witnessing my pukefest last year.