by Mike Roberts
Fruita Double Marathon (52 miles)
Three weeks ago, I had the pleasure of running the Fruita Double Marathon. This is a great trail run that runs along the Colorado River. There is some climbing involved (about 8,500 feet), but nothing too severe.
Besides being an awesome course, this run also holds significance to me because it is the only run I have ever DNF’d (did not finish). See, last year when I ran it, it was 90 degrees (no joke!), and I got WAY dehydrated. As a result, I had to drop out at mile 38 (along with a bunch of other people).
But this year, the weather forecast called for cloudy skies and temps in the mid-50s. So I loaded up the car, drove the five hours to Fruita, and found myself standing on the start line. My plan was to run slowly, eat at every aid station, and stay hydrated.
Everything was going according to plan (even the weather) until I hit the last aid station at mile 47. Figuring I only had five miles left, I assumed I would be ok to just run this one in without refueling at all.
See, what I didn’t realize is that the next three miles of the race included 1,300 feet of climbing (yes, this was a loop course, but my brain isn’t as sharp as it should be after 47 or so miles). By the time I had dragged myself to the top, I bonked in a serious way. As in, “I think I might pass out” serious.
Luckily, I had a pack of shot blocks on me, and after a few minutes, things were back to normal…as normal as things can be after 50 miles.
In the end, I shuffled down the last decent, and crossed the finish line in 11:33:03.
Having avenged my DNF, I can now rest comfortably at night.
I’ll See Your Double Marathon, and Raise you a Half (and change)
Feeling good about my double-marathon, this past weekend I once again loaded up the car and heading to Moab to take part in the Red Rock Relay. This 70-mile relay race has teams of six rotating throughout the run as a way to keep everyone fresh.
Me? I was running it solo.
The race started in town, headed up the canyon for a few miles, then connected with the La Sal mountain loop. There were lots of run-able hills, and the weather was perfect (mid 60s) until about 2:00. After that, things heated up a bit, but nothing too scorching (peaking out at 80).
I’m doing a charity run for my school in June where I’m running from Salt Lake to Las Vegas (http://www.mikesrun4rowlandhall.com/), and I was going to use this as my last long training run. My plan for the Vegas run is to run two miles, then walk one mile so as to cut down on recovery time each night, and this was the schedule I planned to implement for this run.
I tried to stick to my run two miles, walk one-mile routine for the first few miles, but I felt too good to do that for the whole run. Plus, I really didn’t NEED to recover for another long any time soon, so instead, I just ran most of the course very slowly. This isn't to say that I didn't walk from time to time and on the long hills, but it wasn't as often as I had planned.
And as crazy as it sounds, it was a fairly easy run. I only hit one "rough" patch (from miles 50-55), but it didn't last too long. I soon recovered, and I was even able to run the last six miles of the race (if you call a slow, 12 minute per mile shuffle running)
In the end, I finished in 12:29:10. I was hoping to simply make it in under the cutoff (14 hours), so I am super psyched about my time. Plus, I can still walk today. It's a slow, hobbling walk, but a walk nonetheless.