Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Tahoe 2, Sean 0, Draw 1

That's my record this year at Tahoe. I dnf'd the TRT 100 in July, just dnf'd the Tahoe 72 on Sunday, and the draw is WS.

I went to the 72 with pretty high hopes; definitely a sub-10, but really thinking more along the lines of sub-9:30. So I went out fast. As it turned out, too fast, but really, after averaging 5:26 at the Bigfoot 10k a week earlier, low-7s/mi seemed superduperpuper easy for the first 20 miles (which I went through, at Spooner Summit, in 2:28). I easily ran through 50k in 3:49, and hit the 1/2 way point, 36 miles, in 4:23. Hm, I thought, if I keep this up, I'll easily be the first person to run sub-9 (Rae Clark holds the record of 9:06).

I had slowed a bit by 40, was shuffling slowly and puking LOTS the next two miles (non of the little spit-up pukes I occasionally do - even Fatboy would have been proud!), and walked very slowly the 43rd and 44th miles. I was freezing, puking my guts out, couldn't keep anything down, and was just having a miserable time. Eventually my crew drove back towards me to see what was taking so long (I had been hitting my 5 miles splits between 35-40, and now it was well over an hour). I saw the car, walked up and got in. I had made up my mind that I was done, and I was. Sure, I probably could have sat in the car for a few hours, warmed up, maybe eventually got some calories in me, and walked/jogged the final 28 miles in 7 hours, but really, that had absolutely zero appeal to me. Going back to the hotel, showering, sleeping, then eating sounded waaaaaaaay better. So that's what we did. And I was (and still am) confident in my decision.

No big brain-teaser about what went wrong here. I ran too damn fast too early and for too long. That's the way it goes. If I could have held that pace, or even slowed just slightly, I had a good shot at the course record. And I believe the only way to know your absolute potential is to go for it from the start. Many times you end up crashing and burning, but occasionally you uncork an incredible performance. Fatboy often reminds me that's how Eric Clifton got all of his course records, many of which still stand after more than 10 years. I'm not in any way comparing myself and times to Eric's, but I do respect his philosophy. He has definitely crashed and burned a lot, but DANG he has some sweet records.

Anyway, so I think I'm changing up my racing plans for the rest of the season. I had wanted to finish my 100th ultra by the end of the year (I'm currently at 95), but I'm scrapping that plan. I think I'll just run one more ultra this year (Sisters Poker Run), and really focus on trying to break that magical 2:40-marathon barrier at CIM. After Boston, quite a few friends actually suggested to me that I try again at CIM this year. I hesitated to commit because of my ultra plans, but always kept it in the back of my mind. I'll still run the fun short fall races that I've come to love (McDonald Forest 15k), but really re-focus back to the roads. If I keep my training strong and consistent, and run the kind of marathon at CIM that I did at Crater Lake, then I definitely believe I'll break 2:40.

I must rewind a minute and congratulate Oswaldo Lopez on his victory in the 72 (no results are posted yet, but he was on pace for right about 10:00 with 16 miles to go), and Peter Lubbers for his hat-trick of Super Tahoe Triple victories! Way to go, guys - you're both studs!! And, of course, I would be a bad person if I didn't thank my uber-crew extraordinaire. In the first time ever crewing, all of my wants and needs were met flawlessly...thank you.

4 comments:

Brad Mitchell said...

Sorry to hear of the DNF - a real bummer - but you know when you've had enough.
Good luck breaking that 2:40!

Matt said...

Good effort Sean! Major kudos for going for the record. As a great poet, or was it a lame yet fondly recalled big-hair metal band from the 80's, once said: "It's better to burn out than fade away!"

Rod Bien said...

Nice try, bro. It happens.
Man, Oswaldo Lopez. That's crazy. Two weeks after a sub 21 at Angeles Crest. That boy is in shape!

Anonymous said...

Hey stranger...Looking up results and came across your blog...Good to hear you are still at it, but sorry to hear that Tahoe did not go as planned...rest up and tackle your next big adventure!

Janine Fraser