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Executive Summary:<br><br>
Finger Lakes 50’s (25K, 50K, 50 mile)<br>
Finger Lakes National Forest<br>
Don’t break anything<br>
Have a good time<br>
Training run with eye on fall 50 miler<br><br><br>
Nothing bent or broken<br>
Had an outstanding time<br><br>
The DW and I met meri, ingrid, altoids and her DH and kids at a nice brew pub and had a pretty good meal where everyone loaded up on the carbs. I allowed myself my one beer the eve of the race and settled on the Hop Warrior IPA (it was a very good choice that came highly recommended by the motel owner). Good conversation ensued as we talked about everything from hybrid cars, carnivores living with vegetarians, orthotics, and even the weight of my ass. We finished up dinner and headed our separate ways all eager to get to the starting line in the morning. There was an ice cream stand across the street from the hotel and I had a craving for a BIG cone. The DW didn’t want anything but I treated myself to a rasberry/vanilla twist cone. Yum.<br><br>
Back at the hotel I laid out my gear, set the alarm clock and the alarm on my watch, and requested a 4:30 A.M. wake up call. I was wide awake so I watched "Patton" until about 11:00 P.M. To ensure that my wake up plans did not go awry I woke up every hour, on the hour to make sure the clock and my watch were still keeping time.<br><br>
I woke up 10 minutes prior to the planned crescendo of alarms, showered, and got dressed. I played with fire as I attempted to wake the DW and she promptly instructed me to leave her alone until 5:00 A.M. We packed up and made our way to the race site 20 minutes away.<br><br>
I met up with meri and a friend of mine that started running ultras this year. The temperature was in the low 50’s and the forecast called for a high of 73 degrees. Perfect. Prior to this race I promised myself to run this race easy and within my ability with my eye on a fall 50 miler. I had been dealing with shin splints in my left leg for about a week and a half prior to the race and was a little concerned how my leg would be. The morning of the race the leg was a little sore just walking around. I crossed my fingers. After a short pre-race briefing we were off.<br><br>
I ran with meri for the first few miles as we headed off the road and onto the single track that would take us to the cattle pastures with incredible vistas of the valley below. Meri set a good pace as we started a gradual but continuous climb to the radio towers. Through the pasture and onto another wooded single track trail I watched my footing as there were more than enough rocks and roots to trip a careless runner up. Out of the woods and onto a fireroad the pace quickened as we descended a fairly steep stretch that begged to be run flat out. We kept our speed in check as I thought to myself that this fast downhill would probably be painful on the next lap. Meri was great company as we chatted and the miles passed. At somewhere around 5 or 6 miles I was finally warmed up (though the shin splints in my left leg were still nagging) and picked up the pace. I met up with my new ultra running buddy while he was rummaging around in the forest looking for the trail. I told him that he should try following the arrow on the nearest tree and we were off. We run a lot together in training and usually match each others pace fairly well but today we were each running our own race so we played leap frog for the rest of the 15.5 mile loop. He’d pass me and then a couple of minutes later I would pass him. We rolled into the start/finish area within 2 minutes of each other.<br><br>
I ran into the start/finish area at the end of the first lap at 2:50 and change. I was feeling good except for the sore lower left leg. I felt that I hadn’t overdone it on the first lap and felt confident that if the leg held out I could finish this race strong. I spotted the DW and she gave me a new water bottle (with gatorade), I ate a Hammer gel and downed 3 Tylenols, kissed the DW and was out of there in less than one minute. I passed my buddy on the way out of the aid station (why the heck was he still there?).<br><br>
The second lap seemed to fly as I met up and talked with several runners and the pain in my left leg disappeared. A guy that was running his first 50 miler, another guy running his first ultra (and he was hoping to do the 50 miler) a lady who had just gotten back into running after a ten year layoff. I passed quite a few people the first third of the second lap and was running comfortably until I got a side stitch at about mile 23. I haven’t had a side stitch since I was the uncoordinated-dorky-unathletic-kid picked last in high school gym class. I slowed my pace and tried to focus on my breathing. Just when I thought it was easing and I picked up the pace the stitch would come back and I would have to slow down. This continued until about mile 26. I pulled into the aid station located just before a portion of the course I nicknamed the Mine Field with my buddy right on my heals. I topped off my water bottle and headed out into a field rutted by the hooves of the cows and baked rock hard by the sun and lack of rain. This was tough, slow going but I ran as fast as I could while feeling like I was doing the football tire training drill. Through the field, I climbed over the barbed wire fence which was easy on the first lap, and although covered with a piece of carpeting, could do some serious damage to the sensitive skin between your legs if you should happen to wobble on tired legs.<br><br>
Over the fence and onto what looked like a deer run with some light bushwhacking down a rutted, limb strewn, overgrown logging road I made slow progress. After about ¾ of a mile it was out of the woods and up a short section of paved road. At the top of the hill I waited what seemed like forever (it was probably about 20 seconds in reality) as another runner was refilling his camelback. I refilled my water bottle and again headed into the woods. I was tired but feeling good and could smell the barn. This section had a lot of wood plank bridge crossings and some of them were very unstable and I had to watch my step as they rocked under my feet (I later learned this was where meri had her spill).<br><br>
I rolled into the last aid station at the ponds, topped off my water bottle and was off. I hated the last section of the course. The final mile and half or so is in heavy mown grass and the trail is walled on both sides by thick brush. There was no air movement and I felt oppressed. Oh, and its also all uphill. I pushed some negative thoughts out of my head as I forced myself to run this last bit of the course. I pushed on and as I rounded a corner I spotted the tent for the spotter. I took a quick look at my Forerunner. 5:44 and change. I let out a whoop and sprinted with everything I had left for the final couple of hundred yards. I crossed the finish line to wild cheering. Someone hung a finishers medal around my neck and tore the tag off from my race number as I wandered away from the finish chute while catching my breath. Final time was 5:45:25.<br><br>
Afterward we watched meri finish and set a PR, ate chicken barbecue and had a few Long Trail Double Bags. It was an all around great weekend as I got a chance to see meri again and finally run in a race along side of her. I met up with altoids and her wonderful family and was excited for her as she had just run farther than she ever had before. A fun time Friday night at dinner. Met up with some other Coolrunners and some old friends that I hadn’t seen in a year. Great weather. Met my goals (so I missed by 25 seconds) and none the worse for wear. I could go on and on. I’m still all smiles. <img alt="biggrin.gif" src=""><img alt="biggrin.gif" src=""><img alt="biggrin.gif" src=""><br><br><br><br><img alt="" src="" style="border:0px solid;"><br><br><img alt="" src="" style="border:0px solid;"><br><br><img alt="" src="" style="border:0px solid;"><br><br><img alt="" src="" style="border:0px solid;"><br><br><img alt="" src="" style="border:0px solid;">

· Premium Member
15,296 Posts
great race report! you ran a fantastic race!!!!! you ran thru the mine field? i could barely tip toe thru it <img alt="biggrin.gif" src=""><br>
I had a great time with you and your wife and look forward to next year.

· Premium Member
8,037 Posts
Excellent race report! I forgot some of those sections. The knobbly pasture was horrible! My ankles were going directions God never intended, and I was just walking it! <img alt="smile.gif" src=""><br><br>
Fun race, so glad I was able to be there with you guys.
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