I didn’t make the 50 miler, but did do the 50K, at Gombu’s insistence..more on that later..
This was the annual December FA of the NEO Trails Club. Since a winter storm was predicted for the day, and I wasn’t sure about ice conditions at Mill Park, I decided to screw my shoes. (This is a pic from the March 2007 FA, to show you the ice there!)
We had about 13 runners out for the FA-I will know more when Mike posts his pics. We took a quick pic at the start and got out on the course. Bob, Joe, and Dan ran with me for the first mile or so, and gave me lots of pointers about Massanutten. Most of it boiled down to losing weight and running more. It’s a pretty simple plan!! And get down to Virginia and run on the actual course, so I need to start looking at 2008 weekend plans.
My leg started to feel really bad just a few miles into the run. I popped some Advil, hoping it would take effect quickly. It was really hurting to run, and I was changing my stride to try and compensate. Faceplant caught up to me and Mike on the Monkey Trails, and as he is another multiple Massanutten finisher, he got me some advice and talk about MMT before he pulled away from us.
Mike and I started the second loop and I still felt like crap. In fact, I was thinking of re-evaluating how I felt after the second loop to see if I was going to run a third. But, then a miracle occurred, into the third lap. I actually started to feel good. The Advil must have kicked in and the food helped, because I really felt like my normal running self. (This is now about 18 miles in.) It’s a good thing Mike was running with me, because I probably could have made enough whiny excuses to myself to stop after two loops, and I wouldn’t have known I would feel better later! See, another ultra epiphany. Hang in there. The low may go away. Eventually. Mine did!
Mike and I also started chatting about the rest of the run. Most runners were stopping at the 50K mark. I looked at my watch, and told Mike I was going to stop after the third loop, about 24 miles. Mike tried to talk me into running at least a few more miles, to get a marathon in, but I said I was good with the 7-8 hours of running. Mike said he would do another loop, alone, to get his ultra in.
We get back to the parking lot, where Bob has hot soup for us. I tell Bob I am stopping, and he wants to know why. I really don’t have a good excuse. Bob then starts on me, telling me I am weak, I need to get these miles in for Massanutten, I’ll never finish if I don’t get back out there, every time I run 5 miles I should run two more…
“Fine! I’ll go run another loop with Mike!”
Bob got us more soup, telling us to shut up and get back out there, as he continued to talk. The snow started to fall, lightly, then more heavily. Mike and I got back out there….
Gombu and Jillian Michaels, fraternal twins separated at birth???
The Fourth Loop….
Was beautiful! The snow was falling, fast and heavy. It made the Monkey Trails very challenging. I fell five times on the last Monkey Loop, giving me a total of 7 falls for the day. I have a nice bruise on my arm-there must have been a good sized rock under the snow and leaves.
I really didn’t have breathing issues until the last loop. I noticed I was wheezing quite a bit (my doctor’s appt is Monday-yes made one month ago!) but knowing I was almost done I wasn’t too concerned-or actually, there was nothing to do about it. I’m going to try and do some research on endurance athletes and asthma-this really doesn’t seem to begin until hours into a run.
Mike and I finished up, at 535 pm, so a very long 50K time, 33 miles in 10.35 hours.
Thanks Bob and Mike for making me get out there on the last loop!