I woke up at 315 am-"this was a dumb idea". The dumb idea was getting in some extra miles before the 50K race. Of course, staying in the nice warm bed was the good idea..but I was out the door by 430am. On the radio, Joe Walsh came on singing "Life is Good" and was back to ready to get on the trails.
I got started about five am. I started on the Pine Lane Loop because I knew that trail better. A few more inches of snow had fallen, but not enough to really change the trail conditions. The trail was well covered and rutty. I knew the trail would evolve over the course of the day due to the temps and the hundred or so intrepid runners out there.
We had gotten *lucky* and the race started in the 20's, and it didn't move from there. I ran the Pine Lane Loop and almost got back to the Boston Store for the start of the race. As I ran through the line I was about five minutes past starting time. I started down the "easier" loop (The Brandywine Falls) and tried to catch up with the 50K runners. I wasn't sure how long this loop was.
The runners started to come back at me, Dave Peterman in the lead with a close pack just a few minutes back. I whipped out my camera to snap some pics of everybody while everyone was still fresh!
I never did catch the 50K runners, and headed back to Pine Lane. On this loop the aid station was open (I was too early on my early start) and I shot the breeze for 5 or 10 minutes with Bob, who owns property down my way. Then I decided I really should get down the trail!
As the day went on I saw more and more tired faces out there. The very slow trail conditions were tiring; the trail was uneven, you really had to watch your feet. I realized my neck was very stiff and my back was stiff. I tried to straighten and not hunch over so much, but I was still trying to get the best possible tracking.
As I hit the Brandywines Fall AS for the second time, I realized I wasn't going to be able to get any extra miles in. With the time limit of 430pm, I would be good to get another Pine Lane Loop in, and that would be my 50K!
As I was heading back toward the Boston Store, Dave Peterman passed me, going in for his win. Then, just a few minutes back, was my neighborhor, Gabe Rainwater, chasing Dave down!
There was few folks left on the trail. Some would stop at the marathon mark; others I knew would go on for their 50K race.
I felt good out here on this run. I ate well and hydrated. I really wasn't too tired nor did my ankles ache as bad as they did on the Buckeye Trail two weeks ago.
I finished up and got my AWESOME finisher's jacket and some equally awesome chili!
Big Thanks to Tanya Cady for another well run and organized and caring race. Thank you to all the great volunteers for giving us their day and staying out in the cold weather all day!
I have some good pics to upload, I will get to them tomorrow!!