It was a fun day, the weather was perfect and Anne, Logan, Rebecca and Evan (who had to drop due to injury) ended up cheering me on at various points along the course. I ran a pretty good race, with near even splits. It was fun running with some of the fast boys and I am still amazed at Wardian’s time and splits (3:00 for the first 25 miles, 2:33 for the second!).
I now had 12 days to prepare for my next race at the Pinhoti 100…
Recovery went OK during this short time, running fast (sub 6 min./miles) was pretty uncomfortable, but other than that I thought I felt pretty good. We drove to Alabama with both boys, stopping in Knoxville on the way out. The boys were fighting off colds and did not sleep well, so neither did Anne or I. When we arrived in Sylacauga, AL the hotel had lost our reservation, so we had to head across the street to the Holiday Inn Express (a nicer hotel, but a little more $$). At packet pickup I learned I was not listed to ride on the bus to the start in the morning. Luckily, Troy Shellhamer had a crew and was able to give me a ride and some early morning amusement with banter about the Louisville tri-athlete community and several references and quotes from Talladega Nights (the race was run in Talladega National Forest).
I got up at 3 AM, got dressed and headed off for the hour and a half drive to the start. After milling around a bit in the cold, the race started. Karl took off and a few others followed. I was content falling back a bit, at least until the sun came up. Things were going fine for about 10 miles. After that I just felt completely spent; not good when you still have 80+ miles and 16+ hours to go. I kept trudging along hoping to bounce back, but by mile 20 I was already in my “100 mile shuffle.” There was nothing really physically wrong; I was just completely exhausted and depleted. I trudged along a little further, but finally gave up realizing my body was telling me this was just too much.
Anne and the boys picked me up and we headed to the Mellow Mushroom for lunch - gotta love the Mellow MushroomJ Stopping when I did gave us some extra time to spend in the South and we had a good time. The next morning I talked to Karl for a bit, congratulating him on a great run with a course record 16:42 and win #31. He’s thinking about putting on a “Speadgoat 100” next year. Sounds painful, but I am definitely interested; especially if I am unlucky in the lotteries.
This month has taught me quite a bit about my running and both the mental and physical demands of frequent Ultra racing. Hopefully, I can learn and continue to improve with perhaps a bit more consistency. I’ll probably stay local for the rest of the year, and there is no shortage of races so I should be able to “get my fill.”