Sunday, July 17, 2011

World Masters Athetic Championships: Inspired by Many (and a Marathon PR!)

Goofing around post race at the Expo!
Finish Line of the Marathon Sunday morning
On Thursday night late,  I arrived in CA for the World  Masters Athletics Championships. These races are held every 2 years in many countries across the globe, this year the events took place in Sacramento, CA from 7/6-7/17. I came out to run the marathon on 7/17, volunteer and generally check things out.

I choose this marathon as a practice for the 100k in the Netherlands. The timing was right: 9 weeks prior, it is a loop course, flat (like Netherlands) and international in attendance. I figured this would be a good venue to practice pacing, patience, wearing the uniform and generally doing a reality check of where I am “at”.

On Thursday morning, I reported for my 10:30-3pm volunteer duties. I was assigned hurdle mover and spent hours moving hurdles up and down and to and fro, depending on the event. What a gift I’d been given. I watched and experienced passion and drive and form emerge from seasoned men and women with strong yet aging bodies as they were immersed into competition. These guys and gals are my role models of possibility as I continue to collect birthdays and continue to seek to satisfy my passions of running, freedom and adventuring!
I am not a track person historically, yet learned alot witnessing the 60-75 Men's 4X 100 heats! Wow! These dudes have legs and speed mine only dream of! Wow, Wow, wow!
 Friday was a day of details, spectating, rest and readying. I went to bed at 9pm after using a sharpie to mark some splits on my left forearm. I planned to run a sub 3:05. This number came to me in relation to a downhill marathon I'd run 19 months ago, and on finding the recommend conversation for a 50k road time of 3:43ish (my last road 50k(2010) conversion was a 3:04 marathon).Check out the Race Time Equivalent Calculator from Running Times.

The Marathon. 5am, 7/17/2011.

This course was 2 miles looping around Sacramento State Campus with the balance of the miles sharing 5 loops on the bike/hike paved path (same as used for AR 50) to equal 26 miles. The remaining .2 miles took place from river to finish line on the campus. Marathon started at 5am.

I arrived at 4:00 and walked around, had a English muffin w/ Nutella and ½ banana and thermos coffee breakfast before hitting the extensive port-a-pottie lines. 20 minutes of easy warm up, brought me to race start in time to hang out for 5 minutes before the gun. To my delight, I saw Tony waving to me!
Tony! Thank you for your enthusiasm and support!
 Tony is George’s Mom’s brother (George’s uncle) and he has been a guardian angel to me in several west coast races I have run: Sharing assistance, enthusiasm, and fabulous supportive energy! Tony lives in The Bay Area and got up at 3am too in order to cheer me on.

After saying hello to Scott Dunlap, one of the few other runners I was acquainted with, we were off! The first 5 miles were too dark or tree covered to make out my watch, yet at mile 7 I learned I was 5 minutes ahead of pace! Perfect! Coach Howard and I discussed as readying for the World 100k, my 1st half would be 5 minutes faster than 2nd half.

The miles went fast: flat and moderately rolling sections…It was so neat to be out there with all ages and nationalities and motivations. I can’t say thank you enough to my fellow runners from EVERYwhere who cheered me on! I hope most of you felt encouragement from me…thought during the last 3 miles I used hand signals instead of words, as I was feeling the effort!
To tell the honest truth, I didn’t care about place this race. I was running for time and to stay within myself. I have vowed not to go “to the depths of the well” again until Netherlands in September. Last time I went there was Bear Mountain 50M on May 7th.

I worked hard at times this morning, yet dipped into the well for a little while. No well diving today. No dorsal fin. I think dorsal fin was intrigued and fascinated at the prospects of aging fantastically as I was!

Kathy Wolski of TN and I swapped places a few times during the run...
Me and 1st tough girl Sally from NZ post race! Yay Masters!
The Polish team (my ethnicity) get points for highest team spirit!
I finished 3:01:30, 4th woman, 52nd overall (less than a minute behind 3rd place Christine Kennedy, 56, USA, 3:00:48. Sally Gibbs, 48 of New Zealand was 1st overall in 2:52:53,  and behind her in 2nd was Sara Gigliotti, 37 of USA, 3:00:43.
On the podium with 2nd place F40 Verity Breen, 44, Australia, 3:07:26, silver medalist, Veronica Acuna, bronze  of Argentina had to leave moments before the slightly delayed ceremony. It was cool to have the National Anthem played in my honor (1st place age group)
I kept pretty well to my plan, though my first 5-7 miles faster than planned. It was dark/ie: sun not yet come up or overcast and it was 47 minutes in before I could read my watch! Still, great practice for what is to come on 9/10!

Thank you to Tony, the other amazing athletes, volunteers and weather of central CA for providing a really satisfying and neat experience!

Gear and Fuel:
USATF Nike Team USA uniform from USA 100km team kit,
Bodyglide! (uniform shorts chafe lots) …Yet nothing Bodyglide couldn’t assist with! Yay!
Saucony Tangent 4, Dry Max Mini Crews (yes the feet were and are happy!) As much as I love Montrails for anything, dirt, I am lovin’ lightweight road shoes for fast 100% paved courses.
2 Cliff Shot blocks, 1 Cliff Mocha gel, Gatorade and water from aid stations.
Post race: Clif recovery drink, shower, warm clothes and meal with Tony!
(Ice bath followed later).
Next up: Several days of adventuring around Central/Northern CA on a budget... camping/hiking/maybe cycling...we'll see!), and Stinson Beach, CA, Ie: Table Rock 25k on 7/23. 


Scott Dunlap said...

Great to see you, as always! Congrats on the GOLD and the PR...I think you easily have a sub-3 in you.

We expect great things at Worlds! ;-)


amy said...

Great job, Annette! You were on my mind many times at WS a few weeks back, as I thought back to pacing you there a year ago and singing camp songs climbing out of Rucky. Glad to see you're running strong and training is going well for Worlds!

Rachel Cieslewicz said...

You are so amazing and inspiring to me. Great job at Table Rock yesterday. I wanted to say hello but never got the chance. Good luck in all of your endeavors.

Sabrina Moran said...

I love this post, Annette. Congratulations on a fabulous race! You are so strong! I love that your sweet personality shines out in all that you do and write.

(Mary) Shannon Johnstone said...

Annette, you are one of my heros! Really!! I am in awe of your ability, humility, and attitude. You are one of the golden ones!!