Race morning dawned with temps in the low 20's..absolutely tropical compared to the 8-15 below we experience in days leading up to the race. I had on 4 layers plus my faceguard with the Festivus Hat on top. 3 different people said I won the Best Hat Award!!. Thats Great. Would I get all 31 miles in????
Thats me on the far right with TriEric...Aimee and TriSaratops. Missing was Janet..aka DaisyDuc who had wandered around the garage to chat. I trained with Eric and Aimee a few times. They were a big help to me. Thanks!!!!
I loved the atmosphere and met a whole bunch of folks. I was assured by all that its very low key and its all about the experience.
We took off at 7:27am and the folks going 50 k did the A loop..5 miles Settled into an easy pace and had to work on making sure I wasn't sliding all over or tripping. The snow was packed down but in a rut about 2-3 feet wide...obviously we would have to move over for folks coming from the other direction. I realized 15 minutes in that I had one layer too much..I took my Festivus cap off for a while to cool. Soon it was apparant with the work I had to do in these conditions that the heart rate was getting up there.
Snapped that shot about 3 miles into. I finished the first loop in about one hour, 4 minutes. I knew that the B loop...8 miles is a real tough section and I made sure to get my gels in take enough water etc.
I had done the 8 mile section last week in somewhat virgin 10 inches of snow in 2:25. This time it took 2:35. It was grinding...I saw my buds coming back from their loop as the Half marathoners began on Loop B. Ran into Kim, the Trail Goddess. Nice to finally meet her. She snapped a few pics.
Ankles got a super workout and I am sure every racer can say they nearly wiped out many times and that their ankles were stressed. Thats cool...but I was starting to wonder if I could make the entire distance... At turnaround of the 8 mile loop, I saw Brian. He was volunteering. Thanks!!! Tom Riley (hope I spelled it right) and he gave me some ibprofen pills. I really fueled up with pb and j and bananas and cookies. Heading back to the Boston Store is not as punishing. Creek crossings were not bad as they were nearly frozen over. Snapped this pic as I was couple miles from the end of Loop B. By this time, I was debating whether I could even finish before the cutoff. I was also thinking it would just be cool to get in a Half Marathon in these conditions...but I kept moving.....
I got back to the Boston Store..checked the shoes...all gunked up with snow..I hydrated...took 3 more ibprofen pills...some more bananas..cookies and few pretzels. At that moment I was talking myself into doing the 5 mile loop and finishing with a solid 18 miles...
The 5 mile loop was trudgery.....I saw the eventual winner, actually doing his 3rd A loop. Thanks to the volunteers at the Brandywine Falls aid station for coming up with even more pain reliever....man was I medicated...haha.....
I finally hit the Boston Store at 5 hours, 3 minutes for the 18 miles. I told the officials I was done and several told me that alot of people ...maybe 50 percent of the 50k hopefuls opted to not go the full distance.
I got the chili(loved the veggie chili) my fritos and some coffee...Thanks Caribou!!! But best of all I got the jacket...Love it baby!!
Some info from my trusy Garmin. Elevation climbed 5,000 feet. Calories burned....2,200. Heart rate maximum.(reached several times) 169. Average Heart rate in the low 150's. Folks, I was at 90 percent or above alot in the race....
Officially of all the races I have set out to do over 24 years of triathlons..from Sprints to Ironmans, thats the first race that I did not finish what I set out to do. However I look at it this way.
1. It was incredibly tough
2. I am tough, but need to be tougher
3. I will be back.
4. What doesn't kill you..makes you stronger
So, if you see me this coming winter on the trails...say Hi. I will likely have that silly hat on. I will be training as best as possible and I will do a 50 K.
But in the meantime..Have some great training everyone..
Life's a Blast.