Last Saturday, I finished my 5th Clinton Lake 30m race. I came in with no expectations so that I wouldn't be disappointed. I was prepared to enjoy myself regardless and would be happy with anything. Well, it worked. Guess that's how I need to prepare myself from now on . . . . .
Clinton Lake power plant:
After the 800+ runners at LBL, it seemed like only a handful of runners showed up this race -- the smallest field that I can remember for this venue. The RD had us park door to door so that everyone could fit into the parking lot, but only half or so of the lot ever filled up.
The RD had another new idea: have your race number imprinted on the white singlet that you were given at packet pick-up. I wasn't planning on wearing a shirt. I usually don't wear shirts that have advertisement plastered on them or if they're white either (because of deer hunters). Most other runners were wearing them, so I wore it at the start.
Speaking of deer, this brute was just outside my bedroom window about a month ago:
It seems my abdominal pain is morphing once again: some added pain along & under the entire ribcage w/occasional cramps. It has been tolerable (so far). It had no effect on me race day.
Race day temps were 33 to 50. It was warmer than predicted, but still a great running temp range. The only drawback to the warmer temps was the course thawed out quickly when the sun came out. What was just wet on the 2nd half of the 1st loop, turned into a mudfest by the 3rd loop. I couldn't believe that this trail would ever have me bringing out comparisons to McNaughton Park (not good). The super sloppy sections were much shorter here, but beared the same ressemblance. There were records broken this day (I was lapped by 2 runners for the 1st time here), but the faster runners missed out on this mud fun.
Even with a faster early pace, I never felt any of that fatigue feeling like at LBL -- just a steady loss of leg lift as the race progressed.
I've always used Clinton Lake 30m as practice for the longer race at McNaughton Park (now Potawatomi Trail Runs) that follows 2 weeks later. The short up & down hills with soft dirt trails are somewhat similar, although Potawatomi has a few larger hills. I hope I won't have to make use of the bonus practice I earned on last Saturday's soupy trails, although I suspect it's about time for another rainy day at muddy McNutty. If it's anything like at Clinton Lake, I will likely have a very short time to have fun. I'm signed up for 150 miles, but I have no expectations.