Tuesday, October 15, 2013
First of all, if you're an ultra runner, this may be good for a laugh or two (found this link on the Ultralist): http://whatisultra.tumblr.com/ I like "YOUR FIRST 100 MILER".
Went down to Caryville, TN, last Saturday for the Cumberland Trail 50k. I really loved the trail & scenery last year & I also had one of my better races. I would have to deal with 2 handicaps this year though: the back brace for my still aching back; and the 5 to 10 degree warmer (hotter) temps.
At 55 degrees at the start, I didn't think I would have a problem, but with the early 2000 foot climb with my "deluxe heater belt" in place and warm headlamp (1st hour in the dark), I was sweating like crazy! It felt like the afternoon high of 81 had already arrived (only 71 last year). Like Not Yo Momma's race last time out, I was caked with salt at the finish.
The trees weren't nearly as colorful as last year, but still a beautiful area to run in. The leaves were just starting to turn & most leaves were still on the trees -- the trail had some leaves on it, but generally it was fairly clear. With fewer leaves, it seemed as though the trail was much more technical this time, but less dangerous as you could see most all the hazards. Anyway, I just couldn't run the same pace as I did last year (finished almost exactly 30 minutes slower). Also going down technical, steep grades was very tough on my back -- on a one mile section down the mountain it took 20:25 to gingerly climb down.
Next up on my ambitious Fall schedule is the Big Backyard Ultra in Bell Buckle, TN, next Saturday. This is the infamous "last runner standing" race -- a guaranteed DNF for everyone but the winner. This is from the UR magazine: