Fortunately and Unfortunately this will not be my usual PowerPoint presentation since I don’t have that many photos so my words alone with have to suffice.
As you all know (or maybe you don’t) I have been injured since GEER and not really running except in the pool (which doesn’t count) since late September. As I always do I still decided to sign up for another race just in case I had a miraculous recovery. Well I did not…and I have been in physical therapy for the past 3 weeks.
I signed up for the Black Warrior 50k in Moulton, Alabama. Since there was not the recovery I had hoped for I dropped down to the 25k race.
I arrived on Saturday morning about an hour early. This gave me plenty of time to stretch and get my hip loosened up. The weather was about 55 degrees and partly sunny but very humid (not a disappoinment since I was in Alabama).
The race bried consisted of a conversation about the start of the race which “is a big hill”. They assured us that this was the biggest hill in the race and just to stick it out to the top!!??!?! The 25k course started out on a packed dirt road for about 2 1/2 miles and then single track trail (which by the way is also used for horses) then ending on the same dirt road for about 3 1/2 miles. “The single track is kind of tricky and technical” – “There are some stream crossings, muddy spots and a few rocks”.
So the gun sounds and we start running – get to the top of the climb (which is about 3/4 of a mile at best) then hit flat road to the trail head. The trail was very interesting – the stream crossings were like 2″ deep. The muddy areas were challenging but and sometimes a good 50 feet in length – but I had to show some of my fellow runners that you would not die or sink into the mud if you ran straight through it – a concept that some had not discovered yet in Alabama. That approach does lend itself to dirtying up your brand new white nike’s though. Then all of a sudden there would be a section of trail that was about a 100 feet of just sand (yup just like running on a beach).
There were only two aid stations for the 25k race first one at about mile 6 and the other just over mile 12.
I made the first aid station just over 1 hour and felt great – hardly any pain. Grabbed some water, banana and pb&j and kept running. Just after mile 8 after a nice long stretch of sand trail – I started feeling the pain. The pain steadily increased and by the time I hit the last aid station I was really in pain. Mile 12 – Julia was there and going to run with me to the finish. I filled up with water (it was about 70 degrees by that point) and we headed out – all packed dirt road straight to the finish – only 3 miles to go… And that is when it happened – both legs stopped working. Pain shooting all the way down the outside of both legs. It was awesome !!! I kept attempting to run – I am so close and I AM GOING TO FINISH!!
So the last 3 miles were brutal – I ran backwards as much as I could and walked and jogged BUT… I FINISHED!!! 3:07:52 which happens to beat my first 25k by about 33 minutes.
It was a completely different course that what we are all used to and I would love to run that again uninjured. Even with the horse manure it was a really fun fast course.
I am back at PT and hope to be back with you guys soon. No races planned to all this is fixed so I won’t be pushing it.
Glad to see the new google group!