Definitely, I was nervous about tackling 26 miles today. I limited myself to one drink and went to bed before 10. When both Jackass and Dave said to me so you’re running a marathon tomorrow I got all freaked out.
Ended up getting a later start than I wanted, got a little lost in the section passing by the Pinto heading to the parking lot. I had no idea that was a Pinto, then again I've never studied it. Just find it so odd to find junked out cars in the middle of the woods and wonder if perhaps Jimmy Hoffa's body is in them. So I ran by the Pinto three times. Feh, whatever, in for a penny in for a pound.
|Pinto (I took this last year)|
There were a few water crossings. At this one, I thought, Galoob you are an evil man.
Then I got to the 10K return I had about an hour left and about 6 miles. I can't run 6 road miles in an hour (without Mike B or Crutch egging me on) so off I went on the 10K return, met up with Crutch who was back tracking from the finish so he could torture me, um meet up with me and see how it was going.
I had accumulated a few scratches at that point. Avoiding some of the muddier areas.
Caught up with the WTAC crew, most commenting on my bloodied legs. This one seemed to be the favorite.
Caught up with Crutch, Tony, Monica, James, and met Louis. This would be James’s first ½ marathon distance and Louis’s first trail race. James committed to running with me, he can definitely out run me, but wanted to run with me. OK, sure, I let him know that if he needed to motor along at a faster pace, I’m fine with that. He stuck with me the full 13.1 miles. Tony, Louis and Monica ran the 10K, Louis was working on overcoming his fear of rocks. Perfect trail for that, lots of rock gardens. He came through unscathed.
After a brief course recap by RD Extraordinaire and a comment to take his cell phone number in the event you got lost … good lucks to the WTAC guys … we were off…
Johnny did ask "Was the course was marked to your liking?". I mentioned one part wasn't and it wasn't until he got to that part (the Pinto part) he realized what I was talking about. Someone removed the course markers. Bastards.
Miles 1 - 3
James and I hung back, I told him this wasn't going to be a fast pace, are you sure. He was good with letting me lead and following my pace. We passed a few groups of people trying to find the right pace. I was already in for about 2 hours on my feet for the day. We chatted a bit, there were a group of guys behind us carrying on quite the conversation. Once I took my only tumble they passed us. Pshew. I don’t do so well with people behind me, I’m used to being alone. I caught the edge of a rock under my shoe and there was no amount of speeding up or hopping to prevent the inevitable WHOMP to the ground. James said after the race he thought I was a goner at that point, and we were only a mile in. HA! I’m a tough old broad.
Once we were on our own we chatted a bit more, school, work, where you grew up, the typical stuff. I was dying to know how old he was. I could have checked the last sets of race results but never did. Finally I just asked, he’s 21 and I’m 46 so that was out of the way. That was good. Then he launched into how much he respects and admires the stamina of us old folks! HA! LOVE IT!!! I remember 21, my mother would have be 43 and my dad 44, they seemed kinda old. What I remember most was my paternal grandfather (my only living grandparent at the time) came in from Cleveland to celebrate the eldest grandchild turning 21 and open the bottle of Pinch Scotch he won in a bet about the sex of his first born child. When his first born first born turned legal drinking age, he could open the bottle. Nice family tradition. (This is the side where a shot and a beer for Santa came from) Dave and I are hoping Gizmo makes it to 21 so we can open my bottle… Oh, if you were wondering on what he bet, he bet it would be a boy or a girl. And made the same bet with the same group of guys for each of his children and grandchildren. April 2nd would have been his 96th birthday. I have a bottle of Cutty Sark I toast to him in his honor. I missed this year. I will pay penance and toast twice.
|Awww.... me and Grandpa Lazor, 1967|
We tromped along at a reasonable pace, I got off track, yeah talking and running don’t always mix. We got back on course quickly. Thanks James!
We talked about my upcoming ultra and what the course was like.
We passed a guy.
Mile 4 - 6
Eventually caught up to two gals in front of us, and they had gotten a little concerned at one point where there weren't a lot of flags and backtracked. I assured them they were going the right way. They took off, and we didn't stay close to them, just in sight.
NB: Always best to backtrack if you think you are lost, you quite possibly could be.
Then we got to the part where the flags stopped, and caught up with the gals again, and I spied Erica looking lost. I had mentioned to her there was a tough place and go left at the log. Nice directions to give someone in the woods. DOH!!! Erica was back and forth from that point three times and just couldn't find a flag. We all got pointed in the right direction and up to the parking lot. I knew the point where the second time I thought “Galoob you are an evil evil man” was coming up.
I had mentioned to Erica to go way right at this point. She did remember that. Even though she was convinced she was going to be last, she is a very strong runner and I was pretty sure she’d be ahead of me (and James, who had decided he was my pacer at this point, I like that, it really did help to have him with me to keep me moving forward).
We all went right and got over the board bridges. James though it might be fun to splash through. Um, there will be PLENTY of other opportunities, trust me.
After this crossing was where I got lost last year. It was BRILLIANTLY marked, so I took back all my evil evil man comments.
We all trotted along until we met up at another tricky stream crossing. This one we all slipped into the water! The rocks were dry on my first run through and easy to navigate. Wet, um, slippery now with everyone passing this place before us… Erica had a tough time with this crossing and James helped her across. Plus James got his feet wet, he was double happy, knight in shining armor and wet feet!
Took Erica a while to catch up. I figured she would eventually. That crossing had her a little freaked, totally normal.
We got to the 10K return and now this was all new to me.
Miles 7 - 13
Eventually Erica caught up and the 5 us were running along, Erica passed James and I and then the two gals in front of us.
I spied a sock off the trail and said, "Don't pick up socks on the trail." James wasn't clued into what that meant as it was mentioned in the "How to be an ultra runner" video. Big moment for me to explain that when you crap in the woods and don't carry toilet paper. Ah ha!
So the four of us ran along quite contentedly for a few miles until they needed to stop, calf cramps, and it was back to James and I. Nothing looked familiar from my first venture out in the woods, but once I heard the peepers in the pond I knew we were soon to see the finish. The glorious finish!
We were just under 3 hours at 2:54 this put me at 5 hours running for the day. Results here. (I placed 3rd in my age group. My first time placing in my age group, whoop!!!)
There was one point of, I can’t possibly ever run 30 miles and that subsided into, I could do this all day. James wasn't sure what to do with my, “I’ll never be able to run 30 miles.” comment. Sorry!!! I was thinking out loud!!!
Nice to see everyone at the finish! Monica and Louis and Tony met with success and were a little concerned we had gotten lost. Rightly so!
Everyone looked happy and content with their race and a few comments that they were glad I had finally showed up. Ha ha!!
So 5 hours on my feet, 24 miles. I think I’m about ready for a 50K I should be on my feet for about 7 hours. The first 13 miles off the course will be quite similar to Big River, just steeper climbs. The last 18 miles will be through old and new growth pine forest sans roots and rocks just relentless hills. Thank you Seth and Johnny for your comments about time on your feet and back to back runs being a big component of training. I’m not getting in the miles on my schedule and that has me a little wiggy, I am getting in hours and running on tired legs.
By the end my legs were pretty bloody and John commented that the transfusion tent was over yonder. HA! I have no idea how I manage to get so banged up, I just do. Blood, water, mud, roots, and rocks that is what it is all about right?
Seth had a couple of his home brews for me!! Crutch gave me a couple of his beer winnings!!
All in all a great day!!
Beth, with only one small chafe so the shower didn't suck!