Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Ok my fist DNF is in the books, I've spent a lot of time working out in my head just what lead to me dropping at the 4th aid station of the Highland Sky Trail run on June 17th 2006. And it comes down to 2 main failures:
1. I ran too fast for the course with my current level of training. This was not so much that I could not go the distance, nor even the elevation gain ( All of the courses big hills (2) are in the first half which I completed). No it was the rocks that did me in. I ran at a speed that was usual for a course with some rocks roots etc, but this course was literally all rocks, I don't think (after the first couple miles) that I was off the rock more than 10% of the time. I have trained on rocks an my ankles are not too bad, but in this case the steep downhills on rocks were brutal. Fatigue set in leading to me to roll both my ankles quite of few times and taste the dirt (fall) 4 times, l should have slowed sooner but it seems once I get going its hard to switch to a lower gear and by the time I was forced to, I was so toasted it was over.
2. I had a nasty blister form under a callous on my left foot and I was feeling some nasty pain, 20 more miles of that was not looking to be fun.

Ok have I whined enough? 145 people started 125 finished so there were plenty of others that survived, I just have to face it that I was not tough enough on that day. Kudos to all that were.
I WILL be back next year for this race, much wiser and better prepared.

Rattle Snake 50k is up next on the menu July 8th in Charleston, WV, I plan on going out slower and focus on completing the distance.

Friday, June 16, 2006

The day before
Tomorrow is the Highland Sky Trail Run, I have big expectations of this run fueled by all the positive comments from the ultra mailing list. My longest long run was 2 weeks ago at 30.77 mi. on trails around Canoe Creek State park which is a mere 1/2 mile from my house.
I feel very fortunate to live so close to some nice trails in this park. One loop around the lake is a bit over 6 miles which is just right for doing multiple self sustained loops for my long runs. I park my car along my route and stop to refill my water bottle and refuel etc as needed. The lake is now open for swimming and my next long run is going to end with a dip in the lake ;) .

At this point the weather outlook is pretty good, although 79degrees is getting on the warm side I'll take it over rain and mud which I had to deal with during the first 3 ultras this year.