I came into the Clinton Lake race hoping it would prepare me for the 100 miler at McNaughton Park (Potawatomi Trail) in 2 weeks as I had done the last 3 years. I think it went well, all things considered.
One thing which bothered me the week leading up to the race was the return of some symptoms of SOD (sphincter of oddi dysfunction) which I had corrective surgery for last summer. I guess if it's not one thing, it's another -- just add it to the list. I have an appointment with yet another Gastroenterologist to see what's going on. It was a very big concern as I arrived at the race start -- ready to call it off if I needed to, but fortunately felt well enough to run and it did not present a problem all day.
Race morning was cold (27 degrees) & blustery (20 mph winds with gusts) and in the open parking lot, it felt alot colder. I believe it's the first time I've worn 3 layers to keep from shivering at the start of a race. Going over the lake for the 1st time, the wind blew straight down the lake (caps on the waves) -- the gusts were strong enough that I kept on the upwind side of the bridge so I wouldn't get blown off!
I didn't know how I would feel on race day, so I had not decided on an opening pace or race goal. Being so cold the 1st mile, I started alot quicker than I usually do, but felt I wasn't overdoing it. It was not till a couple miles later that I started peeling off the layers -- I had broke out into a good sweat & everything was sticking to me. As cold as it was, that meant I was probably going out too fast, but still, I felt comfortable with the "quick" early pace. Continuing past the 1st aid station, I thought, I sure am feeling good -- what a nice day to be out on the trails -- wish I felt like this every race & for an entire day!
I finished up the 1st 10 mile loop in about 1:50, an 11 mpm average. I was on pace to match my PR of a sub 6 hour finish and felt everything was going great. Of course, the good feelings would not last and for me it was quite abrupt at mile 19. Not sure if it was something I consumed at the last aid station or I had flat exhausted all I had. The last 10 mile loop was as difficult as the 1st loop was easy. Finish time (6:15:58) was a little slower than last year, but was not my worst time for the course. I guess I could have paced myself better, but still I'm happy with my run.
Didn't do too much socializing this day due to the weather conditions, but still got a few words in with Mike Ward, Jennifer Leslie, Ellen Erhardt (Congrats again!), Bill Dey & Kathy Siculan. Some notable faces not present this year: Jeff, Chris & Gregg!
At the moment, I'm still hoping to attempt the Potawatomi Trail race in a couple weeks. I'm going to have to take this day by day as to how it will actually unfold.