Sunday, January 18, 2009

Buckeye Trail 50K Report-Life is Good

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!!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Buckeye Trail 50K FA Run

This was, officially, the Art Moore FA Run. It traditionally takes place on the Rocky River Reservation, in Cleveland. But it's run on asphalt trails. So when Pebble and I were together, after the URINEO FA, he mentioned he was going to run on the BT instead of the traditional course, I said hell ya! and joined him.

It turns out
Rob and Michelle also have the same idea of not running on asphalt, although they show up early, as they are planning on getting 50 miles in!

Brian and I wait for Michelle and Rob to return to the vehicles, and we start off from Pine Lane trailhead. We are going toward the Boston Store, and then follow the BT.

It's a beautiful morning for a run, a little cold, in the 20's, with the forecast of a high around 30. I'm wearing a new mask for my mouth, and this one seems to actually work. My excercised induced asthma really kicks in after hours outside, but this mask is loose enough to not choke me, and I do keep on on my face for at least more than half the run.

I stopped for this shot and a bathroom break, and that was almost the last I saw of Brian, Michelle, and Rob for the day! I did see them on some hills on the Pine Lane section, but then that was it!

I was heading downhill, almost done with Pine Lane, when two deer meandered over the trail in front of me. You could tell these deer lived in the Cuyahoga Valley (no hunting_) National Park because they didn't fear me at all. So I fumbled to get the camera out and snapped a shot.

I encountered a few runners on this section too, none that I knew, except some woman yelled "you're training for Burning River, right? I read your blog!" Which amused me. Back in the day, it creeped me out that I was identified from the blog, now I'm just used to it, and take it as quite a compliment!

I hit Boston Store, with its "always open" heated restrooms and topped off my water. I think I scared a few "day runners" with my garb. One runner said " you look like you're off for a long run today" and I shot back "yeah, just 50K today, training run". He looked properly awed/amazed. Or so that's what I believe!

This next section of the Buckeye Trail, I have ran parts of before, but it's been a few years, so lots of it seemed new. There were some very runnable parts of the trai, which I thought was great! After Slim Pickins, this trail seemed very well mangeable.

As I kept going, I kept an eye on my water supply. I was carrying two handhelds, for 40 oz total. I had drank one dry, and the second bottle was half gone. Brian had mentioned he thought we could get water at the Bridle Stables, but not being from the area, I wasn't sure where I would encounter these. I had already decided to run either 15 miles out; or run until noon and then turn. I didn't want to be on the trail after dark since I had no light.

I was just contemplating some snow for my water bottle when I saw big buildings right off the trail. It was the stables and there was water! I refilled, rearranged clothing, and went a short way down the trail. I stopped at mile 14, around 1140am, and decided to turn back and run. I could make up the extra miles when I was back at my vehicle.

I bonked myself around 18 miles. I think I fell behind my calories. I know I was dehydrated due to the limited amount of water available. I was getting the crabbies, unlike the Trail Goddess usual happy disposition!

A little bit of it was the trail conditions. This well used trail had frozen, which meant there were many sections that were mud, which had now frozen into ruts. My ankles were getting quite the workout. In fact, by the time I hit the vehicles, one one foot was aching badly from wear and tear.

I was quite happy when I hit Boston Store again, after all, it was only 4 miles back to the trailhead at Pine Lane. On this section of course, I started the wimping..well, I'll have 28 miles in, isn't that good enough? And if was one of my NEO Trail Club members, that answered this question for me. I could see Slim's face, saying "Oh Kimba, you only ran 28? That's no ultra. Why didn't you run 31 miles? It's only 3 more".

So, by the time I got back to the trail head, AND saw Rob's car still there, there was no way I was going to wimp out! They were already ahead of me in mileage, and still out there! They actually met up with me, as they were finishing their 40 miles. That gave me my incentive to get my last little miles in, as I puttered around the trailhead, and finally got the 50K done!

Then it was off! In a rush to Colleen's. Colleen is the "Purple Lady". She is the scribe and historian of the Mohican 100 Trail Run. She knows all history and all runners. Every year, after the Art Moore FA, she has a dinner for all involved in the Mohican. It's always a great spread and good to see all the different runners out there!

I got a chance to ask Rob about the Forget the PR 50K course at Mohican. I got to sample Leo Lightner's homemade mozzarella AND congratulate him on his age group record (ages 80-85!!!) at the JFK 50 Miler. I got to see Fred Davis pull out his 20+ year notebook to discuss races with folks who weren't so familiar with Fred's running past, now that was priceless!

Mike was also there, with his darling daughters. It was good see both him AND the girls!!

After a few hours of cheer, I was starting to fade, so I made a quick exit. THANK YOU Colleen and Deb, for the nice food and community spirit that you spread!!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

1st Run of the Year

The sun was shining brightly, the temperature was a balmy 20 degrees, and I couldn't wait to get out for a trail run! This is Salt Fork State Park. I was running a bridle trail, called the blue trail. Not a soul was out here.

The trail was a bit rough. The mud had frozen, which was good, but there were many rough spots where the horses had really chewed up the trail. But hey, it IS their trail.
It felt good to see the sun and soak up some Vitamin D!

A nice 5.25 mile trail run for the new year!