Sunday, May 26, 2013

Pineland Farms: DNF in the Muck and the Mire

What is viewed as a relatively easy course was transformed into an entirely different beast today. The mud came up to our shins and grew exponentially worse as the day went on. It was insane. I dropped at mile 29, and truth be told, I don't regret it. I was not trained/prepared for 50 miles in these kinds of conditions, pure and simple. The course was tougher than I was and it won.

The first 3.5 mile loop followed by the full 15.5 mile loop were both tough but went along well enough time wise. However, 10 miles in my legs felt as if they had run almost double the amount.

Going into the second loop, I knew I was in trouble. My pace slowed significantly and my legs were taxed. And the course. My god, the course. It went from ridiculously bad to what the #$%& is this &#$% bad. Mud you could only walk slowly through as it threatened to suck the shoes right off your feet. On one steep downhill, I literally skied down half of it (and managed not to fall somehow, that was fun). Thoughts of DNF danced in my head. My legs were shot.

I was pretty demoralized but got a big boost when I caught up to my friends Ty and Maddy at around mile 24. I ran the first four miles with them but let them go (they're much faster than I am). They planned to drop, where at that point I was 90% sold on the idea. We mostly walked the last 3-4 miles back to the start/finish area. Maddy dropped with a bad knee. I convinced Ty to not drop yet and at least run the next 5.5 mile loop, but we got a mile in and said screw it and took a shortcut back.

Again, no regrets. I'm only slightly disappointed. I couldn't imagine going on in conditions that were only getting worse. Major hats off to all the finishers, that was just nuts. Happy to have gotten in a tough 29 miles that will serve as a good springboard to what I hope is a summer filled with a lot of fun mountain runs.

3.5 miles in. Ditching the hat and arm warmers before giving
Jeremy a high five. 

18.5 miles in.

Putting Gus in the water bottle pocket.

Maddy, myself and Ty about to call it a day.
Ran 29.4 miles @ 11:02/mile pace.
Insanely muddy trails.
Moderately hilly.
Mid 40s to mid 50s, overcast, periods of light rain, windy.
Saucony Kinvara TR, shorts, sleeveless shirt, short sleeved shirt.

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