Sunday, March 1, 2009

Trail Monster Fat Ass 50K, sort of

Yesterday morning I joined fellow Trail Monsters in Freeport for a Fat Ass 50K around Hedgehog Mountain. While I did run 50K+, I did not do it all with at the Fat Ass "fun run". I decided to get part of my run in during my "commute" from Cumberland to Freeport.

I left home at just after 6 AM in a very light drizzle which quickly changed to sleet and then snow. The temps were very pleasant at around 33 F but there was a headwind that stayed with me the entire run. Other than a couple bio breaks, the run went well. I followed the same route to Freeport that I have taken on all my past runs to Freeport: Rte 9 through Cumberland Center to Rte 115 into Yarmouth across Bridge Street to East Main Street to Old County Road to Webster Road and then Desert Road. Instead of turning right on Desert like I do when running to work, this time I hung a left and then the first right onto Merrill to Katy and Chuck's house, who hosted the run.

I arrived just as everyone was suiting up to head out, having already amassed 13.5 miles. The crowd was impressive, more than I expected. It was nice to see some running friends I had not seen for awhile. The course planned for the run had been adjusted from the original 7.8 mile loop due to the warm weather and rain that had visited the day before. The new loop was an almost exact 5 mile loop from Chuck's house out to Hedgehog Mountain, up the mountain, and back the same way we went out.

The group stayed pretty tight during the first loop with very little drama. Once on top of Hedgehog, we paused to take in the the beautiful day from the high vantage point. On the way back, the fun started. There is a field we crossed twice on each loop, once out and once back, that contained a number of tricky spots. First, there were a couple low spots where post holing was nearly impossible to avoid with cold water at the bottom. I deposited my feet in them on the way out, which provided a very frigid wake-up call to my feet. On the way back the group left the main snowmobile route in search of a better way across the field. This search was unsuccessful in every way, leaving the group strung out across the field post holing everywhere. The going was slow (and bloody) for some, but soon enough we were back on the main trail and did not make the mistake again.

Once back at Chuck's house everyone went about refueling and addressing other needs. The first loop and each subsequent loop was taking about an hour. Considering the mashed potato consistency of the snow, this was good going. After a brownie, half a boston creme pie donut and some caffeinated high fructose corn syrup, I was on lap 2. I spent a good part of the day running with my buddy Jamie, who has been suffering from some plantar fasciitis issues. Fortunately, it seems that he is becoming a success story of active release therapy and stretching. He is a source of great inspiration for me, and I am thrilled to see him improving. It is my opinion that he should vanquish from his mind any fear of not running the Western States 100 this year. He is all but there now.

Lap 2 and 3 went by pretty quickly and by the time I knew it I had logged 31.4 miles in just over 5 hours. I felt great this morning and knocked out 10 miles this evening on the treadmill. I think my body is coming around to the long stuff. Bring on the Massanutten Mountain Trails 100!

A final note on yesterday's run. I want to send a big thanks to Chuck and Katy, and Katy's mom, for the great hospitality. The food was plentiful and yummy. Big shouts out to Alan, Emma, Ian, and Floyd for running all six loops (5oK). Great job to Mindy for achieving her longest post-injury run. And two high fives to my boy Jamie. Great run to Danielle and Ryan, Jim "PBR" Dunn, Blaine, and everyone else. Spring running is almost upon us!

1 comment:

Jamie said...

Great report! That Field of Death was something else... made it interesting, and I mean that in the best possible way. It was a fun obstacle.

Your training is coming along great. Looking forward to pacing you to a great finishing time at Massanutten. Bring on the whip-poor-wills!