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07 May 2008

Diez Vista 50k - back in the groove

After an ignoble DNF at C2M two weeks prior to this year's Diez Vista, I was hoping to redeem myself here and have a decent race. I was feeling pretty good after C2M, since I held off there in order to not damage myself, and the training effects of the 85 miles I put in there were making themselves felt in my legs too (yes, 85 miles can be considered "training"!). Another perk was that my nuun buddy and fast dude Matt Hart wanted to run too, so he was up from Seattle and staying with us for the weekend.

Matt and I headed out to the race and got checked in, and had a few minutes to shmooze with everyone there. DV is an absolute classic, and everyone comes out for it, so there was a lot of catching up with friends there. Additionally, we had a few guest appearances from a few more of our southern brothers including fellow nuun teammate Brian Morrison, WS winner Hal Koerner, and multi-time Cascade Crest winner Jamie Gifford. With these top runners
as well as Matt from the US here, local speedsters like Gary Robbins, Darin Bentley, Aaron Pitt and Matt Sessions were also signed up, making it look like this year's DV would shape up to be a real race for the top placings. Things looked pretty competitive on the women's side too, with speedstress Ellie Greenwald toeing the line with Chuckanut 07 winner Mel Bos from Kamloops and Penny Plamondon too (making her first appearance on the course in five years!).

I started off easy, and watched Matt take off with his pace peers. I really wanted to monitor my effort today, and not blow by thinking I was a big dog too. Later, maybe, but not this time :-) The 20-odd thousand feet of climb I put in at C2M showed in my legs as I kept a solid pace up the first major climb and over the top Diez Vista ridge - I felt really steady and strong, and actually caught up with Jamie and a couple of others while putting a bit of a gap on a few behind me. When we hit the top, though, we were met with SNOW - a bit on the ground, and more coming down from the sky. Brrr. It made for some slippery roots on this very technical part of the course. Once the slope turned downhill, I accelerated and put a bit of time on the guys behind me. I kept it comfortable and in the aerobic zone, sticking to my plan of being comfortable and steady. The downhill was a made challenging not only with the footing, but the cool air kept making my eyes water, so my vision was obscured or blurry a lot of the time. I ended up on my butt a couple of times, but no damage was incurred.

I caught up to Penny at this point, and we shared a bit of deja-vu, since it was at the exact same spot five years before that we ran together in the race and first met, talking about Ironman, running, trails, etc. (Penny and Paul Slaymaker operate The Runner's Den store, and also RD the DV race after taking it over from George and Gail Forshaw.) Penny and I were running close together for quite a while, until she unfortunately got really cold in the rain/sleet and wind that we had later on in the run, and she dropped back a little.

I was feeling really good as I hit the trail around Buntzen Lake, and was on a nice, solid pace. Despite the cool temperatures, I was still downing a bottle of nuun per hour, and holy cow, I don't think I have ever been so hydrated in a race before :-) but like I always say, there is always time to stop for a pee in a race, as opposed to being dehydrated and suffering.

It just kept on being steady for me as we went on the out-and-back power line section, and since I was feeling good, for a change it felt short instead of the long drawn-out torture that section usually is. It is always fun to see who is coming the other way, and how well - or not - people are looking. I was surprised not to see Matt or Hal on the way back at all, Gary was smoking in 2nd, Darin looked a bit off but was running 4th, and Ellie was flying well ahead of any other women. I seemed to have a gap on anyone behind me, but Jamie was not too far, and he always comes on strong later in races. I always like running with Jamie, but hey, it is friendly competition and all :-)

I cruised around the lake and into the final climb up to the Diez saddle. This hill has been a huge undoing of many a runner (me included), but this year I kept with the steady pace and cruised up it. It is almost all downhill and flat for the last 5k, so I hammered into the slope knowing that Jamie wasn't too far behind. As it turned out, both he and Mel were coming on strong but remaining just out of my view, so it was a good thing I didn't lolligag too much! I crossed the finish in 5:24:48, with Jamie less than a minute behind (told you he comes on strong later on!). It was hardly my best effort at that course, but in light of the season so far, I was pretty happy with how I felt and the consistent pace I ran at for the whole run.

Unfortunately, Matt had to drop just past half way with some pain in his hip from an old bike injury. I was sorry that he didn't get to complete the whole race, but he did get the most scenic and challenging section in, and was wise in a decision not to carry on an aggravate the injury further. It was great having him stay with us, and it really motivated me talking to him about general running stuff and ideas for some epic training routes.

1 comment:

Hart said...

yeah bruce! congrats on your race. let's get some plans for later season epics going! oct"ish" works great for me.

i'm still on the mend with this hip injury. as a sucessful test i ran 10 yesterday without pain. i'm hopeful. =)

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