I did run my 18th ultra this past Saturday at the YUT-C 50K (Youngstown Ultra Trail Classic). It's an "old school" kind of ultra with great people. I paced my wife to her 2nd 25K for the first 15.6 miles then said my goodbyes for the 2nd half. By the time it was all said and done, I ran the back half, 15.6 more miles, 56 minutes, 1 second FASTER than the first 15.6 miles. Pretty darn cool. Yes, she runs slower than me but what that does for me is keep me super fresh in terms of shredding my body too early. I wouldn't want it any other way, though. I do enjoy running with her and seeing her to the finish line, even though I'm often not the best of company.
It's interesting to compare my finishing time to July's Buckeye Trail 50K...a 50K run solo and in the heat. My time here was only 20min slower. Lesson learned here: it really DOES pay off to go out slow and conservative in order to crush the latter sections of a race and feel great afterwards. Feel great? Yea. I finished feeling like I had another 10+ in me and didn't have a shred of soreness in me...after 31.2 miles. The days since have told the same story...absolutely no lingering effects/soreness from that race in any way, shape, or form. Leading into the race, I honestly forgot about it in a way. Friday night, we found ourselves at a local winery with friends which doesn't help hydration, by the way. On top of that, I hadn't drank much water anyhow so I knew I was dehydrated. (dumb, by the way...so don't try that at home!) To me, I simply had a long run with friends on Saturday. Some will "hate me" for saying that the 50K was easy but I have to say...it was. I have a lot of personal satisfaction that is two-faced. The first is from the first 25K with my wife then the 2nd half as I crushed it and passed countless runners feeling fresh as could be and never being passed or challenged once. It wasn't about winning or passing people, though. It was about running what I could run...giving 110% of what I had and leaving nothing on the course. I was running "against" myself and no one else...and I smiled all the way. Looking back now about 5 days post-run, I keep wondering...what now? I have already backed out completely of the Oil Creek Trail Runs next month so I have nothing on the calendar but the Akron 1/2 Marathon in just over a week. Besides that...nada. I know I don't possess the passion for 100 miles at this point in my life but perhaps 50 miles? Who knows...I just know that I enjoy running simply to run and feel good. Heck, I haven't even had a timing device on my wrist for awhile now. I don't wear them anymore on my morning runs and didn't wear one at YUT-C. I knew my time once...when I crossed that finish line. :-)
I will make an introduction this morning to you. I now have a 3rd girl in the house and she loves to run! Her name is Bristol. During Navy Week, we took a Saturday morning and headed into Amish country to our favorite winery where the local humane society was having a dog show. Little did we know we'd meet her there. She is a terrier mix of some kind (we'll know exactly any day now via DNA testing), about 10 months old, and we brought her home about 10 days ago. She has really fit in well in our home and loves both road and trail running. Here she is!
|After her first trail run.|
|Running on the Buckeye Trail near the Boston Store|
|Totally wiped out after her first trail run.|