Thursday, July 11, 2013

Finger Lakes 1st DNF...

Well, kinda sorta.....
Yes, we stopped to ask for our photo to be taken

Way back in January, when the weather sucked (oh wait, it still sucks...well, sucked in a cold snowy way), I eagerly awaited the opening of registration for Finger Lakes Fifties. Registration day came and I excitedly plunked down my $$$ on the 50K race, with the hopes of cutting an hour off my time.


~8 or 9 miles in
Fast forward to a helacious winter that wouldn't go away and a spring where I thought I'd float away in all the rain & you have the perfect set-up for the under-trained.  I managed to get on the trail for a grand total of 5 trail runs before this race.  That's right. 5.  I can hardly believe it myself.  Not that I wasn't in shape.  After all, I did run my best marathon in May & my run, bike, swim training has been good. But it is in no way a substitution for time on the trail.  For those that do it, it is a whole different style of running.

Anyway, as the race approached, Trail Buddy and I started to get a little scared.  In fact, we seriously considered DNS'ing it but just couldn't bring ourselves to do it.  The only other option was dropping to the 25K (actually 16.5 miles), which is 1 loop of the course.  We couldn't change officially so we would have to start @ 6:30am with the 50K & 50 milers & drop out early instead of with the 25k runners @ 8am.  But that was ok with us as the forecast was for insane heat in humidity anyway.  The earlier the better.

This is a great trail race.  If you are anywhere near this area and you love trail running, you should do this course.  They limit registration to 250 runners and run it like an Ironman.  Full service volunteers.  Lots of food.  Free photos. Full on enthusiasm.  And can I just say, this year a GREAT shirt! I don't know about anyone else, but my experience with trail races are that they are cheap to enter and you get squat in terms of swag and finish line bling.  So when I was handed a women's cut PINK, attractive and soft Sweatvac shirt, I was pretty happy! The men's shirts were blue.

Race morning arrived and we were on the road at 5am. We arrived just in time to check in, go to the start, and we were off. We just ran easy and let most people ahead of us. We had decided to just run easy & enjoy the day. Since we hadn't run together in a while we had a lot to catch up on. The first few miles were ok but soon after the 1st aid station we hit the hills & mud. There was so much mud. I'm pretty sure my shoes carried 10 extra pounds of it on them. It made the going slow even though I felt ok. We chatted and slogged on and were soon overtaken by some very speedy official 25k runners. Some of them made it look easy! 

Oh so graceful ;-D
We crossed the finish instead of the lap mat in 4 hours 48 minutes....35 minutes slower than last year! I can't even imagine what our 50k time would have been! Between the mud, high 80's temps & 90% humidity I heard the race had the fewest amount of people completing the full 50 miles in its 25 year history! I might have been able to slog it out but it would have wrecked me and I have musselman tri this weekend and I have goals for that race! 

It was hot as heck on this stretch but worth it for the view!

So, yeah, I failed. But I had fun doing what I did. I just couldn't do more that day. I wish I hadn't forgotten my phone that day so I could have shown you my shoes and my feet. Not only were my shoes unrecognizable (had to take the hose to them down for a long time!) but my feel were macerated already. It would have been very bad to go on. I can't even imagine what working the next day would have been like. 

Next up: Musselman sprint triathlon...


Michael said...

Running in heat and humidity is awful, especially for that kind of distance and if you weren't quite prepared it might not have ended well. I think you made a very smart decision to switch to the shorter distance.

Rachelle Q said...

Sounds like you made the best choice, not a fail in my book:) Beautiful trails!

Jamie said...

It looked beautiful, and I'm glad you got some of it done! Great decision :)

Good luck on tomorrow, we'll be there cheering!!!

Kate Geisen said...

Sounds like a super smart decision and a FUN day instead of serious suffering that would put you back away from meeting your goals. Beautiful pics too! :)

Anonymous said...

I herad about the race and lookinf at the pictures makes me want to run it. Beautiful pictures and I agree, I love they have some swag :) Good job and a smart race decision.

Paul said...

Heat AND mud. Ohhh. I would have scratched too. Yucko.

Enjoy the tri and do that one properly next year !