Well I came up a little short on my bid to become a bad ass, only completeing 5 loops plus the Oak Hill climb to get my dum dum. It ended up being just over 26.2, so at least I got in a marathon.
Things went quite well early on actually. I ran the first loop very relaxed and by the time I hit the riding run trail I hit my stride. I had let Patrick go ahead early on this loop but by the time I got back to the bridal staging area near the coverd bridge he was just leaving for his second loop. I finished the first loop in just over 41 minutes, so I was running about 8 minute pace on that first loop. Patrick and I ran together for the next three loops and it was great having some company on the trail. I felt as though we were running at a very comfortable pace and continuted to clock loops in about 42 minutes.
Patrick is running a race next weekend so he called it a day after 4 loops and I continued on along. Near the end of that 4th loop my shoulders and back started to tighten up a bit and I decided to take the 5th loop slower and hoped things would loosen up with a slower pace. It was a difficult loop. Legs were fine, heart rate was ok, but my entire back was killing me. I don't know what was going on but after a slow 5th loop I decided to just do the Oak Hill climb and call it a day. I completed the marathon in 4:08, so it was still a pretty good effort for the day but I was obviously dissapointed that I wouldn't be getting a t-shirt for a bad ass finish.
After laying on my back for a while and spending some time in my in-laws hot tub, my back loosened up and I felt pretty good actualy. This having been the first time I've experienced back pain I didn't know how to remedy this stiffness on the run. I hope to figure this out before my next big race, because I don't want something like this to result in a DNF again. One thing I will continue to do is work to improve my core strength, which should only help. I hadn't lifted weights all summer or fall and just two weeks ago started up my lifting regiment again. If I stick with it through the winter and get stronger I hope the back and shoulder pain I had on Saturday isn't a problem going forward.
Of course the Bad Ass 50k was just one of my two races on the calendar this weekend. On Sunday I was scheduled to pace the 8:00 per mile group at the Buckeye Classic 10 at Highbanks Metropark in Columbus. I was seriously doubting my abilities to pace after the marathon I had run on Saturday so I called my friend Roger up and asked if he would be willing to help me pace. If I couldn't make it I knew Roger would be able to handle it without a problem. Of course Roger agreed to help out, so I had some insurance for Sunday.
I was definitely stiff after the 26.2 miles I ran on Saturday but after stretching out a bit I was feeling OK. The first mile of the 10k is on a flat trail along the river, and it took me a while to loosen up. After the first mile we hit the Dripping Rock Trail and the next 4 miles are seriously hilly. I was surprised that I was doing quite well going up and down the hills. The 8:00 pace wasn't much of a challenge so far. At about 3 miles we looped around the Overlook Trail, which is another hilly section of trail before reconnecting with the Dripping Rock Trail. When we came down off the hill at about the 5 mile marker we were still easily on pace and I was running very relaxed. The last mile was a repeat of the first mile - a flat trail along the river. Roger and I finished right on pace, very relaxed.
I was pretty surprised I felt so good on my run today, but it was an encouraging sign. Although I struggled late in the Bad Ass 50k it wasn't an indication of my fitness and I don't think it was a result of going out too fast. It just is what it is. I ran into a difficulty I hadn't encountered before and didn't know how to work through it on the run.
My next "race" happens to be another fat ass, the Festivus 50k on December 12th here in Columbus. I ran a 4:20 on the course last year after having run a 3:27 at Columbus in 2008. I did a lot of walking late in that run as well. If things go well I think a time of 3:50-4:00 is well within reach.
That's all for now, hope to see you all out on the trail!