No Pain, No Rogaine
Monday, March 26, 2012 10:57:44 AM
How did we do it?
First, we prepared ourselves. I planned and planned again, calculated various scenarios, and ran a lot (I was on business in Minnesota a couple of weeks before, and you can run really long distances there). Roni mainly complained that I was taking it too seriously, and didn't run at all - she was stuck with a baby while I was abroad.
My parents duly showed up at 05:40 to take care of Alon, and off we went. We had a ruler prepared for the map scale (1:27,500), and estimated our pace at 4.5 km/hour over the straight line route, based on experience from previous events, so we wanted to plan for 31 km, with the possibility to add or skip controls in the second half of the course based on our progress. The original plan was good and in the end we stuck to it until the end - our full route is here (My GPS decided to freeze up, so there is no nice QuickRoute map).
As soon as we started, Roni stopped complaining and started pushing. Hard. We started fast and finished very slowly, because my right illiotibial band started again after about 3 hours and from then on it was a constant battle against the pain. Our pace dropped from 5 km/hour in the first 3 hours to less than 4 at the end, but it was enough to finish as planned, with 30.25 km on the straight line route and a full marathon (42.2) in the terrain. We messed up the last control (101) by losing contact with each other, so I got to the control without the Emit card, while Roni started worrying about me and waited at the finish.
It was a great day, the weather was beautiful, and the terrain magnificent (especially the hilly part). There were some small paths we couldn't find, and a water control (near 602) with no water that cost us at least 10 minutes, but overall the map and planning were great - thanks to all the organisers.
My leg will be OK within a couple of days, but it's obvious that without the right knee pain (our stamina held up nicely) we would have had a good chance for first place overall. And that I wouldn't have finished a 12-hour rogaine on my feet. Once this season ends, I'm going to change my tactics for a period and work seriously on strengthening my weak points - right knee and ankle, and my back.