Before I went to bed Saturday night I gave my body a once over and thought about what I should expect when I wake up Sunday morning for the marathon. My ankle right ankle was swollen. It swells up after every race and usually goes down after the first night so I wasn’t to concerned. The bottoms of my feet hurt like hell from running on rocks all day and I was feeling a little sore. Other than that I was good to go for the morning. I woke up and the swelling in my ankle had gone down as expected, but I was still sore and the bottoms of my feet still hurt. I made the 45 min drive to the race (much better than the 7 hours of the day before) and made my way to the packet pickup where I was informed that part of the course was underwater so there were changes made and the race was delayed 1 hours. I was happy because I could really use the extra hour to get ready and it’s not like I had even glanced at the course map, so I had no idea where I was going in the first place. I caught a few extra z’s in my car then got up and started to stretch out. I didn’t have any sorness that would prohibit my stride but I had a fierce pain in my left arch. I went on top of a grassy hill and began to trout for the first time since yesterdays race. It was a painful process, and with 30 minutes to the race start I was beginning to wonder what the hell I was thinking signing up for to races on back to back days. By the time the gun sounded I had no idea whether I would even be able to run at all, but as others started off I followed suite. It actually felt really good…….for the first 100 yards then my legs started screaming at me, they weren’t sore, just tired. This went on for the first 3 miles and I began formulating a run walk strategy that would get me across the finish line sometime before sundown. I decided I would run the first 6 miles and go from there. So I told my legs to shut up and keep moving. They did so, but weren’t happy about it. We are currently not on speaking terms. When the turnaround point came I was feeling a lot better and decided to keep running. I made my way passed fellow runners who had passed me on the way out. This course was a 13.1 mile out and back course which was repeated 2 times (Although with the course change apparently the course came up short, the RD is going to calculate the exact distance this week and post it on the website). The course was mostly on bike paths with some road and sidewalk. I came to the halfway point on pace to break 4 hours which was surprising because my PR is 4:18 (although I haven’t tapered for a marathon since my first one last may) and I was feeling less than great. By the time a reached the last turnaround point at mile 20 my legs were really feeling yesterdays hilly 50k and I just couldn’t keep running. I walked for about ¾ of a mile, and again contemplated a run walk strategy. While walking, every muscle in my leg began to cramp and starting to run again was a difficult process, but once I did I felt somewhat refreshed and decided I could finish out the race in a strong fashion. I ran the final 5 miles in a sub 9 min pace, passing all of the runners that passed me during my walk, and a few more. I came across the finish line in 4:10 which is a new PR (although I am not going to count it as a PR because I probably only ran about 25 miles.) Not bad for a tired, cranky set of legs.
These back to back runs were a VERY difficult but rewarding experience. I am glad that I was still able to run strong after such a difficult race on Saturday. After the race I met up with a guy I had finished with in my first 50k last year, he is and RD for some other runs put on by ORRRC. We were talking about or running and I told him how I did these back to back runs as training for Mohican. It turns out that he was the pacer at Mo last year for Linda Barhorst (course record holder at Stone Steps 50K in
Weekly Milage: 89 Miles