Seems like after 3 years of near perfect weather for my races, my time was up. When I woke up in my hotel room at 3:00 and looked out from the 4th floor of the Marriott, I didn’t see any rain. Niiice. Maybe the storm pushed north, maybe I’d get in a dry morning… An hour later, as I loaded my cooler into the car, the sprinkles started, but I still thought, meh, isn’t that bad. Standing in the dark of a pre-dawn New England morning, listening to the pre-race meeting, it was dry again. At this point, I figured fuck it. If it rains it rains and tried to get the idea out of my head. I’ve run in way worse weather than this day could throw at me and I really can’t control it, so why think about it.
First problem of the day is that I hadn’t been able to shit before I left the hotel. No idea why, but that worried me more than anything else. I have a pretty decent routine that usually flushes the system within plenty of time. This morning, no such luck. I knew that I would be taking some time during my race to visit the big, blue beauties. The first few miles were nice and easy, a string of headlamps bopping around the woods. The rain would start and stop, without that much concern. Except for a few exposed sections that ran along the outside of some corn fields, the trees took most of the rain. The course is a 10.3 mile loop. It is mostly single track, double track and a few jeep road sections. Even in the foggy, rainy morning, I really enjoyed the course. Plenty of fun chunks that kept it fresh.
Only big course marking problem was around mile 8 where someone had taken down a very important sign that had us leaving a jeep road and heading back into some single track. I was about a quarter mile past the turn off, when a group of runners were walking back down the road looking for the trail. That was the only time anything was wrong with the markings. Everything was so well marked, I have to assume someone took the sign down. I finished the first lap in 2:12 including time in the aid station. I just reloaded some gels and refilled my water pack. The second loop is when the rain and wind really started. I pulled my gloves back out when I noticed my hands were kind of stuck in this weird, curled position. I kept to my plan of hiking the few hills there were and walking every 30 minutes to take a gel. I wasn’t sure how long I’d be able to keep up this plan, but didn’t really have any better ideas. I finished the second loop at 4:17. I was pretty happy with a near 2 hour loop and thought, hell not bad. The rain was starting to die a little and the wind was pretty much gone.
I switched out my socks, replaced gels, filled my water and took off on loop 3. This was were I started to feel my feet and knees a little. Nothing out of the ordinary, just the usual, long run bullshit. I was still drinking plenty of water and sticking to my gel every half hour routine. I finished loop 3 in 6:35. At this point I switched into a dry shirt, ate a few pieces of a grilled quesadilla that rocked, and was also the only real food I ate during the race. My friend John was also there to run the last 20 miles for me. My only concern was to finish this next lap by 3:45 pm, which was the first cutoff. I didn’t think there would be a problem, but it was still in the back of my head.
It was nice having John there, and the lap was pretty uneventful. I was a little slower and the lap took me 2:26, but I was way under the cutoff time and only took about 4-5 minutes in the aid station before heading back out for the 5th and final loop. I pushed pretty hard and ran nearly the entire lap. It was great pushing myself and I’m proud of the way I finished. Total time for my first 50 mile race was 11:20.
Feet and knees were a little sore and the last lap started to chafe my taint a bit, I kept lubing, but the shorts I was wearing have this horrible habit of taint chafe after about 10 hours. Biggest bullshit of the day? My barely out of the box Ambit3 failed to upload my race. It crashed the app 3 times and then wouldn’t open at all. After a week of back and forth with Suunto, they told me it is lost in their complete shit software. It’s still on the watch, but they have no way of pulling it out of there. It was a harsh reminder for me not to focus on my Strava numbers and know that I did the work.
- Altra Lone Peak 3
- 2 pairs of Injinji medium weight
- 21 Salted Caramel Gu
- All the water
- about 5-6 pieces of quesadilla
- Nathan VaporCloud Race Vest
- Suunto Ambit3 Peak
- Lap 1- 2:15
- Lap 2- 2:04 – 4:17
- Lap 3- 2:17 – 6:35
- Lap 4- 2:26 – 9:02
- Lap 5- 2:18 – 11:20