8.31.2008

Finding zones

Last week kicked off the running season in Florida. There was a 5K that I skipped but it drew a good crowd of 1500. The race was won by a Myrtle Beach, SC, resident who was visiting. Her names is Zola Pietersen. You may remember her as the barefoot 18 year-old South African who unfortunately got tangled up with Mary Slaney on the track at the 1984 Olympics with Slaney taking a bad fall. Both of their dreams of Olympic glory were dashed. Yes, it was Zola Budd and she is still fast.

I broke my nine year record for monthly mileage today with an 18-miler. August provided five Sunday mornings to go long so it was natural to pile it on. I finished with 172 miles and no injuries.

The run today began early enough to put down six before 7 a.m. and the usual meet-up on Park Avenue. There was a good crowd and I mixed it up with Jack, Jergen, Chris and Christy. I stuck with the last two until the end of the ten mile loop. Chris was unusually erratic in his pace, going out fast with Ed and then at varying speeds. Christy was just plain fun to run with. She's booting up for New York.

My effort was to find a zone or two. My early miles were a combo of heavy breathing, tight upper torso, stiff legs and scuffling feet. I eventually found a nice stride and regulated deep breathing. It felt just about right. I held it for awhile and found it again later when I knew my stores were running low and I just needed to hang on.

It was the inclines that had me remembering the hills of Rhode Island and the steady cooler pace I kept up there. I avoided the panic yips and kept it going through to the end. But, boy was I tired.

14 comments:

Runner Susan said...

I remember watching the Zola Budd incident with my HS Track team. Was she still barefoot?

172? Show off.

Runner Susan said...

I remember watching the Zola Budd incident with my HS Track team. Was she still barefoot?

172? Show off.

Runner Susan said...

double your pleasure!

Joe said...

So the famous Zola Budd lives in Myrtle Beach?? Wow...she was famous. When I lived near South Africa, she was in the sports pages all the time as a teen-age running hero. She'll never be forgotten for that tangle with Mary Decker...herself a teen-age phenom from an earlier era.

Solid, solid month...172 leaves you in a good place for Chicago.

robtherunner said...

Nice job on the mileage. Sounds like preparation for Chicago is going well.

BettyBetty said...

I do remember Zola and I wasn't in High School. Sigh.

Maddy said...

You had an amazing month!

Fantastic job!

Will you at least wave when you blow past me in Chicago?

I remember Zola - There was an article in Runner's World just before the '84 olympics and I was so excited to see her. Until she pushed Mary Decker.

Funny thing is about two weeks ago my husband asked me if I remembered the barefoot runner. Who knew she was right in our own backyard.

Runner Susan said...

I tried out some new shorts this morning - turquoise - that are looking favorable. I was thinking maybe a coral shirt? Or red. I like red. What are you thinking, long or short sleeved?

CewTwo said...

I don't know about you, but I will be happy when Chicago is put away and in the can!

These training runs are long and tedious, but I am doing them. I know that I will finish the marathon now! I just don't know if I can finish the training!

Maybe massage (and I'm still experimenting with on-the-run nourishment...

Rae said...

Wow! 172 miles is some serious mileage! Way to go! I can't believe Chicago is getting so close.

peter said...

An 18-miler in August in FL. Now that's impressive. The famous Zola Budd. A commenter said she pushed Mary Decker-Slaney. I remember it differently, that she just clipped the heel of Slaney who went down. Feisty as Slaney was, Slaney probably pushed Budd then! I can still see that enraged look on Slaney's face as she was getting up from the track, chin thrust forward no doubt trembling with rage. It's my mental image for the pithy saying, sh*t [just] happens.

Darrell said...

172 miles is some nice marathon training. Congrats on staying injury free. Keep it up for at least 36 more days.

jeanne said...

you are always meeting famous people! oh i remember zola budd, i watched the whole thing. i think i was married by then. i'm old.

that's some serious mileage, buddy!

Just12Finish said...

Zola Budd - cool!