What a great day!! It dawned with temperature at 37 F-a balmy heat wave, compared to a high of around 10 degrees the day before!!
The Buckeye Trail 50K Winter run has three options- a 1/2 marathon, a full marathon, and a 50K. It is done on a different course than the summer 50K. This race had two double loops, a five mile out-n-back, and an 8 mile out and back. The 50K'ers then ran the the 5 mile portion again for the 50k.
This race again filled early, so early in fact, when I looked at the entrants lists, there were quite a few local ultrarunners who were not included! They waited too long to register. Tanya, the RD, is limited by the park to 125 entrants.
All three running groups were off at 7am. There was about one mile on the flat towpath, and it was a very crowded beginning, in fact, unless you were in the front pack, it must have been a pretty slow first miles. But that's okay, it gave everyone a chance to warm up.
The trails were at first snow-covered and icy. My buddy
Mike and I had already decided to screw our shoes. This was a very good idea!! I had traction all throughout the race. Runners were skidding down hill, sliding, while I was able to keep running downhill pretty effortlessly.
I saw all sorts of friends out there today! I ran into my friend Nancy who lives up north but also has a cabin down my way. I also ran into another woman, not running the race, who knew me, but I couldn't remember her name. Ooops, I hate when that happens. I knew alot of faces but were unsure of a few names out there today on the trails. I think the funniest 'sighting' was when a runner ran past me, then yelled out "hey do you have a running blog?" And I said yes, and he said he thought he recognized me! LOL. I'm famous.
As the day went on, the trail conditions deteriorated to mostly mud,due to the warm temperatures-but it still was not bad. There are some good hills on the BK, so plenty of time to rest up on the uphills and pound the downhills. Due to the icy conditions, we didn't do the Brandywine River crossing, but one other small stream allowed me to get my feet wet!
I developed a new term on this run: ultrawhining. Yes, exactly what it sounds like. I was on the last leg, running for the last turn around point, and it was time to run the stairs again! So I am climbing these stairs, glad I have started on the stair master, and just generally doing ultrawhining. The term makes me laugh, and then I hold the following conversation with myself:
You know, you think this is fun.
You have a weird idea of fun. This is quite a workout.
You know, you actually do think marching up these stairs is fun.
You are having fun now!! Then I started giggling. I do have fun out on the trails. I become such a happy camper outside in nature, I must be annoying to be around.
When I was on the last 5 mile portion, I ran into Roy, who is my friend and pretty much my running guru and mentor (I don't know if he knows that or not!) Anyways, he paid me a very high compliment:" You now, you improve with each one of these races that you do. You're taking names today!" Wow, that really made me feel good.
I finished up the 50K at 7 hours 30 minutes. Very nice!!! I had done an off the cuff prediction of around 8 hours with the course conditions. I was pretty pleased. I did try to push the last 5 miles, because I knew I could break the 8 hours if I just applied myself.
No falls, although I do have a new bruise, right across my wrist, like a line, maybe I whacked it into a tree-it's not really a trail run unless I come back with a new bruise!