To sum it up: I went to bad places in my head and for all but a few instances was able to pull myself out. This race ended up not being about time but about enjoying myself.
Part of the past few months have been to get ready physically and mentally for training for and then to train for and complete a 100K. I think the thing I remember most about the 50K was the places I went to in my head, I cannot completely block them out, and they lingered through most of 2015 (it started at the one year mark after finishing that 50K) made it a rather miserable year for me (and probably those who had to deal with me). The last few races have been about not getting so wrapped up in how horrible an athlete I am compared to other people.
Goal A: 2:45
Goal B: 3:00
Goal C: Do not die
My result: 3:30
Full Results: here
I think I knew at the 10K split off 3:00 wasn't going to happen, I really struggled with just throwing in the towel and hanging a left on the New London Turnpike and not going back in to the trails. I gave myself a mile and said, well you could turn around. But I was running out of water and water was to be had at mile 9. I only had 3 more miles for water or to be done, suck it up buttercup.
This was about completing 13.1 miles on the trail. Johnny said his GPS consistently measured 13 miles, and with the in accuracy of GPS on trails lets give it 10% extra, so this was more like 14 miles if it was actually measured. This was one of the debates in my head for my lack of motivation to keep running and to power walk/hike a considerable amount of the trail in the last half of the course.
I missed this race in 2015 (it was an off year for me in so many aspects), 2014 was 2:54 (after having run most of the course as a warm up to get to my total long run mileage for that training cycle), 2013 incomplete course. All the last three years the course markings were removed for large sections. Well 2013 I missed a marker, or maybe it was trampled down, in any event...
Let's jump back, A goal of 2:45 wasn't completely unreasonable, 3:00 was more reasonable. But enough of that, it's not about time it's about growth.
The course was great, technical and had lots of flat and fast areas with beautiful views from both areas. Mike puts on a great race, period. They have always been unforgettable experiences that challenge me and help me improve my mental toughness.
A big shout out to Seth, manning the aid station at mile 9, he listened to me whine and ask what was the shortest way back and took the most horrible picture (really do I really look like this? rhetorical, don't answer it)
Anyhoodles, he told me the shortest way back for point to point and reminded me the worst was over. I sucked it up and rambled down following the orange arrows, for the next few miles when I saw a spot I THOUGHT was the New London Turnpike and could take a straight shot back (with my luck with directions this could have ended badly). Then I was SURE when it was a slight jog on the NLT. I went left, back on the marked course, and ran it to the most adorable couple with a friendly and happy black lab. I petted the lab for a bit and talked to them and then ventured onward. Remembering it was a beautiful day, right foot left foot, and STOP TRIPPING ON THINGS!!!
At the finish I had a nice chat with Mike and a gal I cannot remember her name... Mike reminded me about my enthusiasm for the series from the beginning, and that made me remember why I started running and truly what it means to me. It is fun and it makes me feel good, when I let it. When I don't, I have a year like 2015 that I think may take me a year to recover from!!!
Beth -- Remembering life is a journey, for some it is far to short, this reminds me to enjoy every step of my journey and to thank all of you who ceaselessly support me, Thank You.