Following the Wilson River 50k hike-fest I felt incredibly good. I had no soreness in my calves, quads, etc. Not even the dreaded delayed onset kind of soreness ever manifested. It was weird. In some ways, I wanted to be in more pain to give myself a good excuse to go out and "Prancercise" the Autumn Leaves 50k the following weekend. You know, just jog it and have fun with friends on all those loops and out and backs. But I was left without an excuse...
All signs indicated that the running gods actually thought I could pull off not only my goal of a podium spot on the NW Mountain Trail Series but also check off a sub 3:30 50k (the very next weekend).
I had a very light week of running between the 2 events. The plan pretty much centered around recovery and one good hammering (hill repeats) tucked in the middle just to keep things primed. Come Friday I felt ready to rip--as good as any other night before a race.
Saturday morning came (along with the promise of downpours and high winds) and I could also feel just a touch of fatigue in the legs. "Nothing that couldn't be warmed up and shaken out," I thought to myself. Dennis and Pam pulled into the parking lot about the same time I did and we divulged our race plans. Dennis was doing some 12 hr. pace work for as long as he could take it (4 laps). Pam was doing some 100k pace stuff for as long as she could take it--and as long as no other female (even phantom ones-ha!) tried to take the lead. As for me... I just told them I was going to try my best and see what happened. What I meant was I was going to go out with a 42 minute 10k loop then ratchet down a bit to do 4 more at 40 min. pace.
We set off into the dark blustery morning at 7:00 sharp and I pulled away from the crowd in the tracks of leader Joe Uhan. The pace was spot on with where I needed to be. I cruised in his shadow for the first 10k. It was going smooth and weather was even starting to cooperate, sort of. Less rain, but perhaps more wind. Joe seemed to be slowing or wanting to draft a bit so I assumed the lead for most of 10k number 2. All was going awesome.
|Completing another 10k loop. I think I was still in the game here. Photo: Cool dude, name?|
So I threw down my pride there on the side of the path and consciously decided not to get upset or anything (it's just running!) and just do my best to slog it out. I tried to be extra positive to passing runners giving them smiles and thumbs up to break up my wincing from running on painful sluggish legs. It made a big difference having that attitude and just kind of going with the theme of "total meltdown" like it was a big joke or a training run gone awry.
|Done! Photo: Cool dude|
|And DONE! Photo: Cool Dude|
The miles came slowly (literally and figuratively) but they came and I finished the race in 3:47. It was a huge relief to have completed the race instead of ducking out early which crossed my mind as I neared the end of lap 4. It was cool to cheer on friends, eat tons of food, and watch the windstorm pick up even more. 3 trees fell on or near the course. Yikes!
|Mighty Salemites! Dennis, Pam, and yours truly hanging out post race. Go team! Photo: Dennis' really cool mom, Allie|
The race is sort of a "season" ending finale for me as I take a break for a week or so. I'd like to put down some thoughts re-capping how things went but I think I'll save it for a later post. For now, I'll just focus on recovering, home repairs, dog walks, and Barre 3 videos with Kattie.