Sunday, January 28, 2007

Winter Buckeye Trail 50K

Another great run, as over 100 runners toed the line near the Boston store in Peninsula, Ohio on Saturday morning. This event offered a half-marathon, marathon and 50k. The weather was nice for the end of January in Northern Ohio, in the high 30’s and low 40’s most of the day. The course consist of 2 loops, one of 8 miles the other of 5. Both loops contain a fair amount of ups and downs. The trails were snow covered and became quite slick after the first run through. I used this race as a training run for my first 50 miler coming up on March 10th (Land Between The Lakes, in western Kentucky) so I didn’t have a set finishing time. I just wanted to run the race without crashing and walking to the finish line. This was the last run of a 56 mile week for me and my legs were feeling it. I have been running no more than 30 miles a week for most of my one year running career and am just starting to pick up the miles. The first 5 mile loop really made me question the hilly 10 miler I had done two days before. My quads were already burning, not a good sign considering the first 10 miles are usually effortless for me. I wasn’t quite sure what my strategy would be from that point on. Then as I struggled up the large hill into the forest at the beginning of the 8 mile loop, behind me I heard the pitter patter of little feet. A hundred yards later I looked down to see a young man who couldn’t have been any older than 9 years old chugging along right past me (and I thought I was a young trail runner at 21!) I got a good laugh out of that sight, and it really picked my spirits up. I thought to my self “I can’t let a 9 year old beat me, but I better not blow by him only to have him pass me later on.” So I sat in the back seat as he cruised along down the trail, as he passed, I followed suit. It was cool to see the looks on the other runners faces as this little guy motored right by them, and his pace was perfect for my weary legs. One guy asked me as he ran past “who is that kid you are training? I want to get his name so I can look for it when he becomes famous!”

I replied “I don’t know, I’m just along for the ride:”

He carried me on his back from mile 5 all the way to the end of his day at the half-marathon(I am sure he has a bright running future ahead of him). That was around 2:50 into the race and I wasn’t sure how much longer I could keep running with the way my legs felt. As the little man left me, I hooked on to a group of three running friends, knowing that if I didn’t start following someone at this point, the way I was feeling I would end up walking by mile 20. I think I followed this group to the 18 mile mark, then I got my second wind (or I guess it was my first wind, because I was feeling better than at the start.) I hit a grove and turned on the gas. As I hit the aid station in the middle of the 8 mile loop I knew that I had a good chance at coming under 7 hours if I just kept a 14 minute pace, which wasn’t a gimmie with the hills and the condition of this course. I blazed through the start/finish aid station ready to attack the final 5 mile loop (of course blazing for me at this point was about 11 min. per mile.) The last five miles went well, and I was even able to catch up to the women ahead of me in the last few hundred yards of the race, finishing in a time of 6:25, matching my time from the 50k two weeks ago in Yermo, CA. I was happy with my time, and quite surprised. After the first 5 mile loop I had pretty much written this day of, but was encouraged by my ability to recover. This was a great run, with great volunteers and runners alike!

1 comment:

Kim said...

That little 9 year old was Kyle Martin, Kim Martin's there is some genetics going on!!

Kim came in first in the 50K.

-another Kim (not Kim Martin!)