A Staten Island triathlete and endurance coach ventures into the ultramarathon realm where there are seemingly no limits to human endurance. In 2013, he successfully finished the Grand Slam of Ultrarunning (picture of 2013 Grand Slam finishers above; I'm second from right), becoming only the 282nd person (since its beginnings in 1986) and only the fourth New Yorker to finish four of the oldest and most prestigious 100 mile ultramarathons in the U.S. in only 10 weeks.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Thoughts - February 20, Cherry Tree 10 Miler Report

Last night I went to sleep with the howl of the wind.

This morning, well, the howl of the wind was still there. Oh, and the thermometer was at 22F.

Aw crap, another cold race to run.

The Cherry Tree 10 Mile Run, put on by the Prospect Park Track Club, is run entirely within Prospect Park.

Since I have run in Prospect Park on occasion, I was familiar with the course. The loop there runs around 3.5 miles, give or take a couple of tenths. So a 10 mile course would be just about, but not quite, 3 loops of the park.

Turned out that I was right. The start of the race was down a bit from the finish.

I also know about the one hill on the course (click here to see general pics of the course). The one I was about to climb 3 times. Yes, the hill is a molehill compared to some trail ultras, but I really don't push the pace in ultras. A short 10 mile race is a different story.

The race also had a relay element. The 3 loops made a 3 person relay possible, with the first two people running 3.5 miles and the last person running 3 miles.

3.5 miles is but a trifle! I am a relay of one! I'll do the whole 10 miles, thank you.

With the temp about 25 degrees at the start, I did dress differently than in the ultra last week. I dressed in shorts and a thin long sleeve shirt last week. This week? Long pants and a heavy long sleeve sweater.

The reason? Last week I was promised a high of 46F down in Virginia. This week I was just promised a cold, windy day.

The start was not too bad. We were going downhill and the wind was sort of at our back. It was good to have that time to warm up before heading into the teeth of the wind on the backside of the loop.

The hill did surprise me on the first loop. I took it a bit too strongly and wound up pretty much sucking wind as I neared the top.

The second and third time around, I was a bit more systematic. I also passed oodles of people struggling up this hill. It's definitely good to have stamina!

The pace was quite consistent. I did record a 7:20 pace on a downhill mile and a 8:10 pace on the uphill time, but most of the other miles settled at around a 7:40 pace.

The result? 1 hour, 17 minutes, 34 seconds. I was expecting 1:20. So, I was happy with the result.

I wasn't in danger of fading either. That's the best part. It was only a week after my 50k, and my legs were just about recovered. I cannot say that with any of my previous marathons.

I keep reiterating that point...recovering from an ultra is generally faster than recovering from a marathon. I know it sounds backwards, but it is definitely true. And there are valid reasons behind it.

I'll list my reasons tomorrow, for fear that this post will get too long. And I have a shower and a nap waiting for me in the near future.

Have a great Sunday and President's Day everyone.

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