Note to self: Whenever I get lost driving to a race, it's foreshadowing for the fact that I am going to get lost during the race.
I left my house with about 2 hours to go before the race started, it was only supposed to be a 50 minute drive. After getting around a closed road I got to the vicinity of the race but couldn't find the road I needed to turn on. I decide to call my dad and have him look up directions on the computer. Some background info on my dad: when someone at work asks him to send a document through e-mail he tells them he doesn't have the "capability" to do it. In other words, he's a computer dumb ass (I know he'll see this.) So by the time he pulls up Google maps, I've already found the start.
I decided to take it easy today because this was my third ultra in three weeks, and I didn't want to hurt myself. OK, it wasn't so much that I decided to take it easy from the start, as it was that I started out in the top 5 for the first 2 miles then realized that wasn't going to happened so I decided to slow down and let everyone pass me before I killed myself. This was my second time running Germantown so I had an idea of the course. one 7.75 mile loop, repeated 4 times, No really big hills but a good amount of small and a few medium sized hills. Fall is now in full effect, with the leaves completely covering the trails making it even more important to watch your step. I ran the first 7.75 mile loop in 1:22, which I was surprised that I ran it so fast after slowing down.
From that point I decided I would run my next three loops around 1:30 and finish right around 6 hours. I thought I could do that without having to push hard, giving my body a rest. That plan sounded pretty good, but it didn't factor in the 35 minute detour I was about to take. I was near the end of the the second loop when I looked at my watch and thought I should be about 10 minutes from the end of the loop. I kept running but never reached the bridge that comes at the end of each loop.
The next thing I know, I'm running in an open field. I didn't remember this from the first loop, I thought I was probably going the wrong way but I didn't have any evidence so I kept going. Then I past and old wooden out house, didn't remember this either, know I was almost sure I was going the wrong way, but not sure enough, I continued. Then I came to a paved road crossing, no trail on the other side, OK now I know for sure I'm going the wrong way. I turn around and run back until I see a marking.
I finally get back to the course but somehow I am know on the wrong side of the orange tape they put across the trails where your not suppose to run. I couldn't have been stupid enough to run right under that tape, could I? There are now course markings in both directions, I'm not sure which way I came from, so I didn't know which way to go. I picked a direction and started running, luckily it was the right way. I had somehow back tracked, and was no running the same trail I had just run about 30 minutes ago. Not only did I go off course, but I went backwards, nice.
That meant I had to climb the biggest hill on the course twice for the second loop. Once I climbed the hill for the second time I discovered what cause me to make the wrong turn. Some ass hole cut the Orange ribbon that was tide across the trail signifying that your not supposed to go that way. I re-tied the ribbon and continued to the end of the loop. The second loop took 2:05. So much for 6 hours.
After that I never really got back into a rhythm and just plodded along trying not to work too hard. It's times like these I try to cherish the fact that I have the desire and ability to be out in nature and cover these vast distances. I ended up coming into the finish line in 6:53:25, a cool 53 seconds faster than last year (although I didn't get lost last year.) It was another enjoyable day on the trails. I'm now 25% of the way to my 100 ultra goal!