Sunday, December 16, 2012

Last Chance 50k – A Novelty “training” run


This was the first Annual Last Chance 50k trail event on the Swamp Fox leg of the Palmetto Trail! The Mayan calendar ends on December 21, 2012...which makes this your LAST CHANCE to run a 50k! This event started and finished at the Witherbee Ranger Station which is located in Cordesville, SC.
It was an out and back course and it was also a relay.

I first heard about this event a couple months ago and was on the fence about registering. I was not going to run another Ultra until the new year and had not really been training over the past month.

 Week                       T              W                 T               F             S              Sun          Total
18-Nov -- 3 4.5 3 24 0 5 39.5
26-Nov -- 4 6 3 -- 14 5 32
3-Dec -- 0 0 4 -- 15 3 22
10-Dec -- 0 2 4 -- 31 0 37
BUT!!! How could I pass up something that sounded so cool? I regoed at the last minute and looked at the list of runners seeing that there would not be anyone there to add any pressure for me to run hard. I saw my friend Ned was going and that was a big plus. The plan for me was to try and keep a steady pace to the turn around and then walk back if need be. My friend Jonathon then saw that I was registered and asked if I was really going. I told him that I might not once I found out there was no camping. His Ant was running this as her first 50k and he would be down pacing her the second half and was kind enough to let me crash with him and hooked it up with pizza and beer the night before.

This was a flat run with no real roots so I thought it would be a great tanning run. It ended up being supper technical on the way back. I started out just as planed taking it smooth and easy running behind some girls. I keep looking downish and thanks to that I ended up face down in some mud. After that I decided to pass them thinking I don’t need that distraction haha.

Got busted looking "down"
After a while a runner named Thijs yep that was his name how cool is that. Came up behind me and we ended up running most of the event together. He works at Tri Sports (one of the sponsors) and this was his first 50k and he did an amazing job. It was great to meet him and chat together for most of the run. As we hit the first aid station I was surprised how good my legs were feeling and I keep thinking of when they would break down on me and when I would start my walk to the finish. We hit the turn around and I started having the same thoughts, but I was feeling great. I started jumping up on some of the flood beams and running on them to add some excitement. At about mile 26ish I looked at my Garmin and thought well hell I’m still felling this good and hit it in under 4 hours maybe ill push it and see what happens. Going from a 9:10 avg pace to see if I could get it down to an 8:40 avg pace. I ran from mile 26 to 28 at a 7 minute pace feeling great just having fun on the trails.

Here is where it all went downhill but in a funny way not O GOD MY BODY SUCKS kind of way. At mile 28 we hit a section of trail that has a lot of pot holes everywhere. Now on really technical trails this is not a problem for me. The more technical the trail is ill keep my eyes focused 1 to 5 steps in front of me. On flat road type trails normally ill focus 8 to 15 steps in front of me. Well I was focusing further out and not seeing the pot holes. I went down so hard. If you took bricks and slammed them on the ground that would give you an idea of how hard I hit. I got back up and started walking cleaning myself off. Picked the pace back up to about an 8:20 min mile. Then bam hit the ground again. Walked, and then started running again this time about a 9:40 pace. Starting to see the trend? Then BAMMM!!!! Hit the ground again but this time the stuff that came out of my mouth shocked me (#**&^#>><)_&!@#$?:}{_++_**&^%) and there was a relay runner passing me at that time. (I looked for him after to say I was sorry but could not find him). This was all within 15 min or so. I walked for what seemed like forever after that just thinking how funny/painful it was. Then I looked at my Garmin and said hell I could still hit 5 hours as another runner came up from behind me I started running again and my finish time was 5:00:26 taking 12th place overall and 8th for men. Not bad for what was meant to be a training run. As I was sitting at the finish line I saw Ned blazing down the trail finishing in 5:01:36 a new PR for him and just an amazing run. The trail was marked so well and the Aid stations were great and the people were so nice and helpful. This is definitely a 50k to check out, but watch the pot holes.

If feels great mentally to have finished the year with a strong time and an overall fun experience on the trails. I’m so thankful for how this came together.