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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
<b><span style="text-decoration:underline;"><a href="http://www.cherokeeroadrunners.org/llth.index.htm" target="_blank">Louisville's Lovin the Hills 50K</a></span></b><br><br>
I knew coming into this race it would be a crapshoot at best to be able to successfully complete this 50K. I had not run for well over three weeks and my longest run this year was a bit over an hour for the run. I did crosstrain quite a bit with a stepmill, so I guess you could call this <b>"crosstraining your way to a 50K finish."</b> I mean it's not like I haven't run this distance before with a 4:12PR(2004), but on a different trail course.<br><br>
Most first time runners of the LLTH 50K really have no idea what they are getting themselves into when it comes to running this race. Sure they hear stories of the <a href="http://www.cherokeeroadrunners.org/eventpix/llth/elevation.gif" target="_blank">"hills"</a>. And I have from my good buddy Tom (4-time finisher), who I would be running this race with. Tom was sick for most of the week leading up to the event. Even spent 18-20hrs in bed one day, but the hardcore ultrarunner that he is, nothing was going to stop him from running this race.<br><br>
I took Friday off work to make the 5hr trip south to Louisville. Tom and his family were kind enough to put me up for the weekend. After arriving in Louisville, I met up with Tom at the local trail store, called <a href="http://www.louisvilletrailstore.com/" target="_blank"><span style="text-decoration:underline;"><span style="color:#22229C;">The Trail Store</span></span></a>. Tom and I hadn't seen one another for almost 2 years. The last time was when we both paced at the 2006 Kentucky Derby Marathon. The first time we met was at the 2003 HUFF 50K. Interesting enough that was our maiden voyage into the ultrarunning world. After a brief stay at the the trail store of which I purchased a new <a href="http://www.montbell.us/products/disp.php?p_id=2303179" target="_blank"><span style="text-decoration:underline;"><span style="color:#22229C;">Mont-Bell</span></span></a> windshell, we headed for a bite to eat at a small italian restaurant, Steve O's Italian Kitchen in LaGrange, KY near his home. Better than any Olive Garden I've eaten at. It was good stuff.<br><br>
Before departing for the race site in <a href="http://www.memorialforest.com/" target="_blank">Jefferson Memorial Forest</a>, we awoke around 4:15AM for a large bowl of hot oatmeal topped with blueberries. After getting ready we made a quick stop in Louisville to pick up another runner (Tim) who would go on to finish/place quite well in the 50K race. We arrived a bit early for the race, but it gave us a chance to chit-chat with other runners and get our stuff ready for the long day ahead. At first we thought about wearing shorts, but that quickly changed and went with tights/longsleeves. Although some brave souls did wear shorts and some even ended the day wearing no shirts at all.<br><br>
After a last minute briefing we were off. We started off midpack. The trail quickly became icy/snowy/muddy, which is what we would have to contend with for the remainder of the race. Up hill or down hill the trails were slushy, snow covered and quite muddy in spots. Oh! Did I mention log jumping and creek crossings? Some of that thrown in as well.<br><br>
The course was made up of 5 sections:<br>
1) 5 Miles on the Red Trail (I think we covered this in 59 Minutes)<br>
2) 7.7 Miles on McConnell Trail and a road section (We were reminded by the RD that if we heard a large(understatement) white dog barking at you on the right then you were going in the right direction. The white dog just happened to be a <a href="http://www.tealwoodkennel.com/Becky2Pyranese0602.JPG" target="_blank">Great Pyrenees</a>. The largest dog I've ever seen. Beautiful animals. It is probably safe to say that he could eat you out of house and home.<br>
3) 5.8 Miles on the Siltstone and Purple Heart Trails<br>
4) 7.2 Miles out-n-back on the Siltstone to Scotts Gap. At this point it gave us a chance to see the leaders of the race. The top 5-6 runners, including the lead female were tearing up the course. Some looked fresh while others looked like they were ready to be done. Tom and I at this point were joking about how bad we felt and we hadn't even hit the turnaround yet.<br>
5) 5.1 Miles from Bearcamp Rd to Purple Heart Trail, then on the road, back on the trail and into the FINISH!<br><br>
Each section had its challenges. The footing in general was tough only because as you got tired it made it harder to plant your feet and get traction. The amazing thing is that neither of us fell down, although there were times when I felt like I could go down at any moment. I'm almost certain that if one of us were to go down in front of the other, both of us would have hit the ground.<br><br>
We both new the end was in site after hitting the last aidstation. The end to a challenging day for each of us. We both had our issues throughout the day, but finished together in a respectable time (6:43), I thought for such a challenging course and the conditions that were presented to us.<br><br>
Race Swag:<br><img alt="" src="http://i138.photobucket.com/albums/q278/cmerun100m/2008%20LLTH%2050K/LLTH50KSwag.jpg" style="border:0px solid;"><br><br><br>
Man do we look BEAT!<img alt="huh.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/huh.gif"><br><img alt="" src="http://i138.photobucket.com/albums/q278/cmerun100m/2008%20LLTH%2050K/LLTH50KPostRace.jpg" style="border:0px solid;">
 

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Congrats, Craig. I'm impressed on your attitude and outlook this year. Take it easy now, use the 50k as a training run, and you are sure to be rewarded later on at your goal races.<br><br>
Vince said that was the hardest 50k course he's ever run!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks Lloyd! My thoughts exactly.<br>
I spoke with Vince before and more after the race. He lead for 16-17 miles I think. Whatever he told you about the course is correct.<br>
Good luck to you! CR
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
jjj - Thanks! Me to. Yes sir! That is a topo bandana. Quite a few wore it during this race. Will come in handy down the road.
 

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You don't look TOO beat - after all, you're upright in the photo, aren't you?!<br><br>
Good job - glad you're back into it again.<br><br>
Didn't realize Steve O was from La Grange...I could have sworn he was from a whole different planet!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Standing yes! Did I mention I drove home 5hrs after the race. Just feeling sorry for myself.<br><br>
Felt worse getting out of bed on Sunday morning. You know that day after feeling. Of course you don't<img alt="notworthy.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/notworthy.gif">.<br><br>
Onto the next challenge.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hey Jesse -<br><br>
Good to hear from you. Yes, I know that was not one of my smarter moves.<img alt="banana.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/banana.gif"><br><br>
Going back to Boston as well. Now I just have to find a decent airfare to get there, but I'm working on it.<br>
-cr
 

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<img alt="notworthy.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/notworthy.gif"> I don't know how to comment on stuff from another planet... Congrats!! Really enjoyed the RR... you almost sounded human...<img alt="wink.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/wink.gif">
 

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Good job on your race! The metal is nice too <img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/smile.gif">
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thank you! At times I felt like a robot working up those hills. Go forward. Slide back a few inches. I kept telling myself to dig in Craig, dig in.<br><br>
Good luck at Umstead!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks merig!<br>
Your metal is nicer<img alt="biggrin.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/biggrin.gif"><br>
Maybe in 2009 I go after your hardware.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks katie!<br>
I am finally starting to feel like myself again. Whatever that means. Pretty sore the last couple of days, but I only have myself to blame. A good hurt as they say.<br>
-craig
 
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