Sunday, March 11, 2007

Slip Sliding Away

This was from the FA 50K yesterday, on the YUT-C 50K course at Mill Park in Youngstown. The picture tells much of the story. Along the river(s) where the trail was in the shade and the getting the run-off the hills, it was still under ice. Hurray for screwed shoes! Without them, I would have been toast.

There were nine of us out there for the run-myself, Brian, Bob, Jim H, Jim, Tim, Jerry, Lloyd and Dave. I arrived at 7am and saw that Bob and Jim were already out there, so I thought I would get an early start on the day, since rain was forecast.

I like the YUT-C course, it has a little bit of everything. The ice was the real story though, the monkey trails were harder going down that going up. It was very slow going on the ice sections. For awhile I fretted about how long it was going to take me, then remembered this was a 'time on my feet' run for me befor Umstead.
I ran the "long loop" for my first round, and caught up with Brian, Tim and Jim at the covered bridge. Tim and Jim did not have screwed shoes and had some slow going. For some reason, maybe the scew placement, I wasn't sliding all over the place. I stopped to chat with Bob and Jim who were going in the opposite direction, and they told me they were all running the shorter loops! Hey, I didn't get that memo...

Starting on the second loop, probaly within a mile, I felt a blister forming on my arch-probaly due to wet socks and the sock bunching up. Hmm.I had no tape with me. Since it was lightly sprinking rain, I decided to run the short loop so I could tape my foot up. I thought this was actually a good thing to happen, that I could experience taping blisters on the fly. Back at the car I made sure I wiped my feet totally off, dried them, then get my Elastikon tape out. hmm, I should have brought scissors or a knife. Biting off this tape is not easy!! I tape it as well as I can. It's actually not a big blister at all, but it certainly was hurting like a big blister!
I am getting ready to leave for my last loop, another long one, when Tim and Brian appear. Tim has had enough, he's done for the day. Brian decides to go back out with me. He's tired and says he's cooked. In fact, he's kind of wavering on the 3rd loop, to go long or short, but I tell him he'll be done if he goes for the long loop with me!
Peer pressure goes a long way with ultra running, and Brian keeps going. He feels much better when we hit the turnaround point on the loop. In fact,he keeps talking about doing a few more miles! I'm getting pretty tired by the time we hit the covered bridge, but it's good knowing the course a little, I know we just have a few more miles to go.

But we still have the ice down by the river, and the monkey trails to go!
Brian suggests we go "off-piste" and avoid the ice trail by the river, so we head directly uphill (or more like up ravine.) This works well for short distance, until the hillside kind of turns into a cliff. We then climb to the road above, since Brian designed the course and knows where we are.
But the adventure is not over yet! A man walking stops us and tells us the road is closed ahead, there is heavy equipment tearing up the road for a sewage line break. We run ahead anyways, and are denied!
Okay, so we go off-piste again, since the trail is directly down the steep slope below. It's kind of a slide from tree to tree, then a nice slide down through the snow. You kind of had to turn your feet into skis and do that sideway stop.
So we hop back on the trail again, hit the monkey trails for the last and final muddly slick time. The last little slope is about the most treacherous. I get stuck to a tree and can't stop laughing because I can't figure out how to safely slide to the next tree without conking my head open. I finally just let go of the tree and actually just slide slowly, through the mud, to the bottom of the hill.

It took me about nine hours, one hour longer than I was hoping for, but due to the ice, there just was no going faster. It was good for me, good time on my feet. Thanks for running the last lap with me Brian, that was fun!


E-Speed said...

That course is rough in good conditions! You did great!

Rob "Buckeye" Powell said...

Looks like you had a great time. Screwed shoes are the answer. I am glad you shared that one with me. Still on for a Mohican run next weekend? I cannot hardly walk today but I hope to be good by next weekend.

Misty said...

Sounds like fun.
Great Job!
Great pictures!

Kim said...

Oh yes, Mohican is def on for next weekend!!

Jack said...

Good job, it looks like a wonderful course, even with the ice.

ErieTom said...

Way to go Kim on a tough course, and great photos!!!

Sarah said...

Sounds like a wild, fun adventure! I'd say 9 hrs is speedy considering all the bushwhacking you did. Awesome!

Mike said...

I am so jealous! My blog hasn't been updated because I have been without internet at my hotel, and cannot post from where I am in training with pictures...I have the pictures and will write two posts soon!

Good job Kim!