We are only 7 weeks away from the Chubb 50K and the training runs are multiplying in distance. Chuck’s training seems to be going really well, he is sticking to his plan and making all his distance runs without a hitch. At least that is what it looks like from my viewpoint. He says that he has rough days, but I have never noticed him struggling like I seem to be. My last two long training runs went all wrong and I was beginning to panic, wondering how I let my so called friends talk me into signing up for a 50K. What kind of friend guilts you into running a 50K, I just want to know who these people are, beware of those friends with the type A runner personalities.
So here I am in the cold at Cuivre River, it’s muddy and sloppy wet, there is snow on the ground and the creeks are to our knees with no way to cross and not get wet. The plan was to run 2 laps, one lap is a two loop course, kind of a figure eight. We parked in the middle of the loop so that we could stop for food and water every 6 miles. This actually worked out well, because it forced me to eat, I don’t always do that as I should. Chuck invited about 12 people to join us, but only one person,
Scotty, said he could make it and he said he would be out for the second lap. So at 8 am we took off down the trail to find that we would be running through mud, snow and water most all of the run.
At first we tried to skirt the mud and water, but after a few miles we just gave up. When we made it to the top of the ridge, we stopped for a picture at the overlook, I was sure not to get too close to the edge, I didn’t want to go cliff diving and swimming today.
Back on the trail we would slide around in the mud for a while then we would run across the creek and have clean shoes for about 30 seconds, of course the clean shoes came at a cost, hypothermia from the knees down. Sometimes it felt like we were running on frozen nubs instead of feet. The p
roblem was, there was just now way to get across the water without getting in it.
We headed up the trail along the rocky ledge, Chuck was trying to run and take video at the same time, so I ran a head of him. I was almost to the end of the rocky ledge, when my foot hit a rock and I fell and started sliding towards the river. I looked up as I was sliding down to see Chuck filming the entire fall, so I yelled “did you get that”. Not only did he get it, but was laughing so hard, I don’t know how he stayed on his feet and to top it off, he just runs past me laughing while I try to crawl back up the hill. He is just as clutzy as I am, so it had nothing to do with balance or agility, its gotta be his Inov8 shoes. After I got back on my feet I could feel my knee and shin hurting, it felt warm like blood may have been running down my leg. Later after I took my tights off, I saw the blood and my knee was starting to turn blue. The good thing is, since I didn’t actually see the blood, I just kept running and finished the workout.
We made it back to the cars and grabbed some Honey Stinger waffles and headed back out. We made the next loop in pretty good time, and there was deeper water to cross on this loop and more places that we could fall into the river with one wrong move. Plus Chuck kept farting while I was running behind him, he almost gassed me a couple times. He blames it on some Perpetuum that he's been trying out in his water bottle for these long runs. I hope he gives up on that stuff soon.
We made it back to the cars for more water and a Honey Stinger Rocket Chocolate bars and of course to pickup
Scotty for the second lap.
We now had 12 miles under our belts, and our time was slower then anticipated due to the poor trail conditions, but that didn’t stop us. We ran the trail loop backwards this time, so it was back through the deep creeks. Then we kept seeing what looked like donuts on the ground. At first we thought we were just tired and were seeing donuts, since we like them so much, but with closer inspection, the donuts weren’t real, they are what we now call trail donuts. They are not really good to eat though. They don’t taste like chicken either.
I told Chuck I couldn’t wait to put on my Recovery Socks, they make my legs feel so good after long runs, he said that he had brought his along also to put on after the run.
I bet you are noticing that
Scotty isn’t in any of the pictures. You could almost think the he was home in bed and not out on the trial. We all know that Scotty is no loser and he wouldn’t be home in bed when he planned to meet us for a run, he just didn’t want to be in the pictures.
Three out of four loops were completed, with one loop to go. Chuck sucked down a Honey Stinger Ginsting and we were on our way.
I was feeling ok, my legs were tired, but I was shuffling along, not fast, but not walking either. I was actually really happy because I had felt so bad on the two previous long runs, that I thought this was going to be the same struggle, but it wasn’t. With one loop to go, we were starting to have time issues. I needed to be finished by 2 pm, so we were going to have to shorten our last loop a little, so we modified the loop a bit and cut two miles off it. We finished 22 miles in a little under 6 hours. That sounds really slow, but it was a really great run for the conditions we were running in. I felt ok, too. I know Chuck could have run faster, but he even said his feet were hurting at the end. I went home feeling a little less panicked. I think I could have done another 9 miles to make our run a 50K, it would not have been fast, but I’m sure I could have done it.